Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 - TAZ Entertainment
David Young Productions is proud to present the southern American comedy Second Samuel, written by Pulitzer Prize nominee, Pamela Parker. The international premiere season, directed by Susan Hayward, will open at the Subiaco Arts Centre on April 29.

Set in the late 1940s, the people in the sleepy rural town of Second Samuel are preparing for the funeral of one of their most beloved citizens. But their serenity is suddenly shattered when dark secrets are revealed, making townfolk in for a summer no one will ever forget.

Second Samuel is a small town in Georgia, rebuilt after General Sherman burned the first one. It’s where the men spend their leisure time at the local watering hole and the women are found gossiping at the local hair and beauty emporium.

American guest artist, Kansas-born Nat Martin, will feature and reprise his role as Ulysses Simpson, known as “US”. Martin has performed “US” since 1987 throughout the United States both locally, regionally and on national tours and this will be his first tour overseas.

Martin’s biog is impressive as he describes his career as a great theatrical adventure of make-believe. Having professionally performed in the musical Camelot, Little Shop of Horrors, Ragtime the Musical, A Lesson Before Dying, three productions of Driving Miss Daisy and written music and lyrics for Tallulah and Hattie: Dead at the Pearly Gate Café, another production written by Parker. Martin’s cv also lists film and television credits including In The Heat of the Night for MGM.

“Plugging into a show with new performers, in a new space and in another country will be a fun and exciting challenge,” Martin said.

This touching Southern comedy is about family, diversity and strength with a unique blend of charm, wit and humour. Second Samuel is a journey of discovery and the message comes home that it is okay to be different.

Second Samuel has received rave reviews from American theatre critics, been on three national tours, countless high school and community theatre productions, sold out every performance at South Carolina’s Spoleto International Arts Festival, been off Broadway, has been produced at Virginia’s historic Barter Theatre, and named best original script by the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper.

Atlanta playwright Pamela Parker, who has been nominated twice for the Pulitzer literary honour, approached well-known Perth director Susan Hayward through internet theatre forums and, after great discussion, logistical planning securing actor Nat Martin, the 2010 production was born. Parker will also make her way to Perth for the international premiere season.

When describing how she became a playwright, Parker said: “I was always reading books and then developed a love of theatre but not a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I was a good stage and house manager. I liked lighting and sound. Acting was okay but I didn’t like being ill before going on stage.

“I enjoyed theatre but I couldn’t find my niche. I tried everything but nothing felt right. Writing a play never crossed my mind, until one day someone told me I couldn’t. So the challenge was set and I haven’t looked back.”

Director Susan Hayward has produced some highly memorable productions over recent years including The Vagina Monologues, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The One Day of the Year and Round and Round the Garden. Hayward is also looking forward to directing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf later in the year for Playlovers.

When asked why stage Second Samuel, director Susan Hayward responds enthusiastically. “How could I not be doing Second Samuel?” she said. “Quite apart from the delightful quirky story, how often does a little old director in community and independent theatre get a chance like this?

“It would be big news in professional theatre if an established actor – well-known enough and recognised to have been invited to Obama's inauguration – was coming to Perth to reprise a role he had played all over the USA, so to have him come to work with me is mind blowing!”

“I always do my best to honour the playwright's intentions in whatever play I do. With Second Samuel I have a massive responsibility. Not because the playwright will be here but there are so many threads to the story, so many nuances and so many ways to do it. It would be easy to just play it as a comedy but it is so much more.”

Along with an outstanding Perth cast lineup and original music written and composed by Tommy Thompson, the Perth season of Second Samuel will no doubt be the first of many international seasons and high acclaim. Second Samuel will perform an exclusive season at the Subiaco Arts Centre from April 29 to May 8.

Bookings through BOCS Ticketing - (08)9484 1133 www.bocs.com.au

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