IT’S a double delight for Perth playwright Johnny Grim this November as his latest two plays come to life at Belmont’s Latvian Centre.
The prolific writer has penned Schoolies and Thick and Thin for a short play season that also includes Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna, presented by ARENAarts and Grim’s own A lad in sane productions.
“Schoolies, which I’m also directing, is a fun play that pokes a stick at the sometimes changing values – depending on how the wind blows – of large institutions,” Grim said.
“At the request of police, the principal of a well-to-do Catholic college arranges a meeting between the parents of two students to resolve an embarrassing incident that occurred during schoolies week.
“Thick and Thin, directed by Simon James, is a commentary on how modern sport is primarily a deftly-marketed business that preys heavily on the loyalty of supporters.
“In this case, the play follows three fanatical supporters of the Chelsea Football Club.”
The short play season marks the 13th production for A lad in sane productions, after Grim originally established the company in 2006.
Performing at a variety of venues, including the Old Mill, Phoenix and Camelot Theatres and Midland Junction and Don Russell Performing Arts Centres, he was named best new writer at the 2009 and 2010 Dramafests, the annual state drama festival.
Grim also has several plays listed with South Australia’s Moore Books and Lazy Bee Scripts in England.
“Primarily, I enjoy writing social commentary using comedy as a medium,” he said.
“I like to think Schoolies and Thick and Thin have points to make but I prefer to leave that for audiences to judge.”
Schoolies, Thick and Thin and The Bald Prima Donna play at 8pm November 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9, 4pm November 3 and 2pm November 10. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/DPYP.
In addition to best set design, The Bald Prima Donna also scored the best director and best ensemble cast awards at the 2013 Hills Festival of Theatre. It also received best director, best supporting actress, best costume and the adjudicator’s award at the 2013 Dramafest, the annual state drama festival.
The Latvian Centre is located at 60 Cleaver Terrace, Belmont (off Belmont Avenue).
SCHOOLIES001: Perth playwright Johnny Grim, right, directing the cast of Schoolies: Denys Lunn , left, Nicole Bennet, Graeme Cross, Peter King and Michele Diston.
SCHOOLIES002: Principal Haines (Graeme Cross, centre) tries to keep feuding fathers Thomas Piperfield (Denys Lunn, left) and Pete Smeggs (Peter King) apart in Schoolies.
T&T010: Bree Vreedenburgh, left, Rachael Maher and Amanda Watson play three male roles in Thick and Thin, another script by Rivervale playwright Johnny Grim.
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 Grim’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 Grims's material a look.
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