Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
LOVE may be a many splendoured thing – but three short plays are finding out what becomes of the broken-hearted at Phoenix Theatre this August.

Presented by A lad in sane productions (*Note to subs: lower case is correct) and written by Johnny Grim, The Last Waltz, White Roses and Tissues And Wine all concern love and relationships, mixing drama with comedy at every turn, using adult themes.

Grim is also directing White Roses, enlisting the help of Jane Sherwood to direct The Last Waltz and Peter Nettleton for Tissues And Wine.

“I usually end up directing my own plays and I enjoy being part of the team that brings the plays to fruition,” Grim said.

Described as a comedy with a “bloke’s sense of drama”, White Roses is a tongue-in-cheek look at a man suddenly single after 30 years of marriage turning to his three-times married friend to get his wife back.

“Today’s broken-hearted man can seek solace in a multitude of ways, through relationship counselling and men’s self-help groups but, in days gone by, your average broken-hearted man had only his mates to turn to,” Grim said.

“It’s a salute to men born long before modern women had the audacity to remove the first two letters from the word insensitive.”

The Last Waltz is a tale of two worlds colliding when a jilted husband and taxi driver find that love has a universal appeal during a run-of the-mill cab ride.

Director Jane Sherwood said she loved the script when she read it, given it had humour and drama and told a great story of understanding.

“The audience will probably all find something they can relate to in the tale,” she said. “We have a very talented cast although the set – a taxi – will be something of a challenge.”

Love, revenge and deceit come to the fore in Tissues And Wine, after a woman discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend

Director Peter Nettleton said he wanted the challenge of working with an all-female cast, ensuring it engages a female audience, despite it being written and directed by men.

“I think many people, of all genders, will identify with the issues raised,” he said. “I believe that if we can look back and laugh at life's traumas, big and small, the pain is more quickly forgotten.

“I also have a high regard for what Johnny Grim is endeavouring to achieve in the community theatre context and I have an interest in raising the profile of Phoenix Theatre through this joint venture.”

Grim, the driving force behind A lad in sane productions, set up his own independent theatre troupe three years ago, performing at the Old Mill Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Nexus Theatre and Don Russell Performing Arts Centre.

“We deliver theatre that is more for your average man or woman on the street and with these three plays we’ve made an effort to make them entertaining and funny in parts,” he said.

The Last Waltz, White Roses and Tissues And Wine play at 8pm August 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22. Tickets are $15, $12 concession – book through BOCS on 9484 1133 or

August 12 will also be a special fundraising performance to help Claire Anderson, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. Tickets are $25, including wine and cheese, and will go towards her traveling to India for special stem cell therapy. (Note to journalists: More information about Claire is available upon request)

Phoenix Theatre is located on the corner of Rockingham Road and Carrington Street within the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall, Western Australia.

lastwaltz.jpeg: Director Jane Sherwood directs Maty* Young (*Note to subs: correct spelling) and Marcelle Weber in The Last Waltz.

lastwaltz2.jpeg: Maty* Young (*Note to subs: correct spelling) and Marcelle Weber rehearse a scene for The Last Waltz.

tissues&wine1.jpeg: Trish Farrell, Piera West and Amy Harrison in rehearsal for Tissues And Wine.

tissues&wine2.jpeg: Actors Trish Farrell, Piera West and Amy Harrison discuss the script for Tissues And Wine with director Peter Nettleton.

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A lad in sane productions

Johnny Grim tells a familiar story for playwrights, in that he found the lack of interest in considering his plays a somewhat frustrating experience.

Undeterred, in early 2006, he decided to take matters into his own hands, and formed, ‘A lad in sane productions.’ The company’s first outing was with Johnny’s play ‘The Karaoke Twist’ (The Old Mill Theatre, December 2006).

The play was well-received by audiences, and the lone critic who attended. Since then, A lad in sane has become a regular on the local scene, staging two to three original comedy productions per year. Directors looking for original, witty, satirical comedies could do worse than give Grim's material a read.
Johnny Grim
P: 0417 947 974


Three shorts plays from 'A lad in sane productions' in WA


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