MOVE out of your comfort zone – a character-driven drama studying unrequited affection, obsession, sex and being happy comes to Melville Theatre this July.
Written by David Eldridge and directed by Susan Lynch, Under The Blue Sky is described as “modern, thoughtful theatre” and boldly follows the relationships, loves and lust of three couples.
All of them are teachers and have been friends for a long time… but all have been hiding truths from each other.
The play is set on one significant day when they decide to tell each other their innermost thoughts.
Originally written in 2000, the play was revived in 2008 in the West End featuring Doctor Who’s Catherine Tate and The IT Crowd’s Chris O’Dowd.
“If you love something that takes you out of the old-style drawing room dramas and comedies, then you will love Under The Blue Sky,” Lynch said. “There is a lot of humour in the play, as well as some genuinely confronting moments.
“We get to see the best of some of the characters and the worst of others.
“At one level, it’s about their relationships suddenly changing but it also looks at how we continue living our lives in the face of all the horrors in the world.
“Although you can see our personal struggles as small and insignificant, we also have a drama of our own that makes our lives something timeless.”
The main challenge, according to Lynch, is getting the actors to step outside their comfort zones to deliver the intensity needed for their roles.
“In rehearsal, we’ve been going from laughter to tears and back,” she said. “Sometimes I enjoy the rehearsals so much I don’t want them to stop!
“What I want to do is get the balance right between challenging the audience and letting them enjoy themselves.
“In the end, we don’t want to beat people over the head – we want them to come away feeling they’ve had a great night and I think this play will do that.”
Acting and directing in Perth for the past 18 years, Lynch has staged a plethora of productions with the Old Mill, Harbour, KADS and Melville Theatres and the Graduate Dramatic Society and has more recently appeared in Relative Values, Necessary Targets, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Parramatta Girls and Love, Loss and What I Wore.
In 2002, her production of Out of Order was runner-up best play at the annual Finley Awards and she received a best director nomination for The Shape of Things in 2009.
Lynch was also recognised for encouraging new talent in Daisy Pulls It Off at the 2011 awards.
“I have been drawn to Under The Blue Sky for a few years but had too many other things going on – yet every time I read it, I was excited about the chance to get some really good performances happening,” she said.
“It features good roles for actors and that makes it fun to direct as well.
“The play has some sexual elements and language that can be confronting but Melville Theatre has developed a reputation for doing modern and exciting theatre and was happy to let me try this play in Perth.
“I can’t wait to see the audience reactions. This is very much the sort of play that will cause arguments in the bar and long conversations in the car going home.”
Under The Blue Sky plays at 8pm July 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 with a 2pm matinee July 17. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 9330 4565 or at www.meltheco.org.au.
Please note: this production contains strong language and adult themes.
Melville Theatre is on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.
blue1&5: Joy Northover and Garry Davies are appearing in Under The Blue Sky at Melville Theatre.
blue2: Under The Blue Sky features Petrina Harley as Michelle and Zac Bennett-McPhee as Graham.
blue3: Helen (Georgina Kling) and Nick (Sean Bullock) cook up a storm in the kitchen in Under The Blue Sky.
The Melville Theatre Company was the brainchild of David J. Burton who, in 1982, called a meeting for interested people in the community to form a theatre company in the Melville area.
As a result, the Melville Theatre Company was born. The newly formed company's first production was the farce, Not Now Darling. With its second production, The Sound of Music, the young company won the Finley Award for the Best Production of the Year in Community Theatre. Since then, actors and directors have consistently featured in the list of awards at the annual State Drama Festival, now known as Dramafest.
Initially, performances were in the Melville Civic Centre but, since 1987, the venue has been the Roy Edinger Centre, on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.
P: 0431 024 052