FORGET the traditional December Christmas or Christmas in July – it’s time for Christmas in February!
Limelight Theatre is staging Season’s Greetings as its first production of 2014, a black and farcical comedy about a dysfunctional family Christmas.
Written by Alan Ayckbourn and directed by Gordon Park, the play is set in 1980 over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day in an average English suburban house.
It features a high stakes game of snakes and ladders, bungled infidelity beneath the Christmas tree, lots of drunken antics and bad cooking.
Presiding over the festivities are two warring uncles – one is a kindly but incompetent doctor with a dreaded yearly puppet show while the other is a paranoid ex-security guard who loves all forms of violence.
Ayckbourn is an award-winning British playwright also responsible for How The Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Absent Friends, Bedroom Farce, Woman in Mind, A Chorus of Disapproval and The Norman Conquests trilogy, among many others.
“While it’s a Christmas comedy, the month it’s performed is not important,” Park, who also appears in the show, said.
“Season’s Greetings can be appreciated by anyone who has ever experienced a family Christmas and the array of challenges it can sometimes bring..!!
“The moment the curtains open, the audience is engulfed by all things festive and they are transported to what may be a Christmas past, present or even future.”
Involved in theatre for more than 25 years, Park came to WA in 1988 and has worked extensively with Limelight Theatre, as well as Marloo, Stirling, Playlovers and Old Mill Theatres.
He previously appeared in Season’s Greetings many years ago in the UK and believes the play has stood the test of time.
“It was well-received then and although the first production was originally staged in 1980, the BBC produced a television version and many professional revivals have followed including one in 2010-11,” Park said.
“The main challenge has been keeping the cast and crew in the festive spirit from November, when we started rehearsals, to when we open in February.”
Season’s Greetings plays at 8pm, February 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22. Tickets are $21, $18 concession and $16 children – book on 9571 8591 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or at www.limelighttheatre.com.
Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.
season’s1: Clive (Damian Long) tries to resist the charms of domestic disaster goddess Phyllis (Karen Tropiano) in Season’s Greetings.
season’s2: Hayley Green and Jason Pearce are husband and wife Pattie and Eddie at loggerheads with each other in Season’s Greetings.
season’s3: Clive the writer (Damian Long) doesn’t know what to make of grumpy Uncle Harvey (Bob Charteris, left) in Season’s Greetings while Rachel (Jo Brigham) doesn’t know how to tell the wordsmith she fancies him.
season’s4: Neville (Gordon Park, also the director of Season’s Greetings) tries to wrestle the demon drink away from his tipple-loving domestic disaster sister Phyllis (Karen Tropiano).
The Limelight Theatre in Wanneroo is the home of Wanneroo Repertory Inc and located next to the Aquamotion Centre, opposite the memorial.
P: 0431 586 226