THE Old Mill Theatre is starting 2015 with the incisive and witty family drama Jigsaws – set in Perth in the late 1980s – by Jennifer Rogers.
Directed by Adam Salathiel, the show opens in February and is the first in a year of all-Australian plays to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landing.
Jigsaws is about three generations of women in the same family where life seems like a jigsaw puzzle: sometimes the pieces fit, sometimes they don’t and often it’s incomplete.
As the play opens, a Christmas visit has been taking place and the reunion is not exactly fulfilling the spirit of the season.
Revelations and indiscretions from the past and present surface, matched with family members changing attitudes and circumstances, while they all try to come to terms with each other.
Salathiel says the play deals with sensitive issues and is a fresh, bold and rewarding look at life.
“It’s a superbly written play which, even though set in the ’80s, has a lot of the messages and themes that are still extremely relevant in today’s society,” he said.
“I want the audience to connect with the various cast members and relate to them and their issues as they are portrayed on stage.
“I also want them to laugh in all the right places yet also feel for the actors and also possibly shed a tear or two.
“Some of the scenes may remind the audience of their own families and issues they might be struggling with themselves.”
First performing as a 10-year-old in 1984, Salathiel has been involved in theatre in a variety of ways – as an actor, director, producer, lighting and sound operator and working backstage with numerous companies including the Old Mill, Kwinana, Roleystone, Phoenix, Marloo and Mandurah Little Theatres, Murray Music and Drama and the Mandurah Performing Arts and Koorliny Arts Centres.
Currently, Salathiel is artistic director of Laughing Horse Productions where he directed the company’s inaugural production The Pirates of Penzance in 2013.
He’s also scored several awards and nominations over the years for best supporting actor, director, production, stage manager, costumes and set.
In 2010, Salathiel was involved with a Kwinana Theatre Workshop production of Jigsaws as a sound technician.
“It was directed by the late Sue Hayward and I fell in love with the script,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to see it return to the stage.
“And now five years on, thanks to the Old Mill Theatre, I am getting that chance.”
Jigsaws plays at 8pm February 6, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20 and 21 with a 2pm matinee February 15. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book at http://oldmilltheatre.com.au/tickets or on (08) 9367 8719.
The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).
jigsaws1: The puzzling parts of family are pieced together in Jigsaws – featuring actors Tracy Bolton, left, Hayley Currie, Beryl Francis, Judi Johnson and Danni Close – at the Old Mill Theatre.
jigsaws2: Tracy Bolton, left, and Judi Johnson play sisters like chalk and cheese in the witty family drama Jigsaws.
jigsaws3: Despite the fractured family, three generations come together in Jigsaws: Aunty Pat (Tracy Bolton), grandmother Emma (Beryl Francis) and granddaughter Alex (Hayley Currie).
Old Mill Theatre
South Perth's Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to be operating out of one of the most historic buildings in South Perth. It was opened in 1899 as a Mechanics' Institute Hall. The South Perth Council purchased the building in 1913 and renamed it the Mends Street Hall. The council still owns the building, and supports our use of it.
The building first became a home of theatre in 1948, when the South Perth Dramatic Society moved in. The name Old Mill Theatre was first used in 1958, and the company was incorporated in 1959. In 2009, the theatre celebrated its 60th anniversary.
A number of significant changes to the building have occurred over the past few years, with major extensions completed in 2002. An understage tunnel, which links two backstage dressing rooms and enables easier access from one side of the stage to the other, was completed in 2008. Bathroom facilities have also been installed backstage as part of this project, which was wholly self-funded.
The Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to have strong support from its local council, the City of South Perth. The city undertook major renovations to the exterior of the building in 2008 and the theatre is looking better now than ever before.
P: 0438 919 729