A CRITICALLY-acclaimed play from a Pulitzer Prize finalist explores the complexities of relationships at Playlovers Theatre this July.
Written by Rajiv Joseph and directed by Kristen Twynam-Perkins, Gruesome Playground Injuries has been described as a modern “anti-romance” as it follows the lives of Doug and Kayleen from the ages of eight to 38.
The darkly humorous drama looks at how their lives keep intersecting at the most bizarre intervals, leading the two childhood friends to compare the scars and physical calamities that keep drawing them together.
“Despite differing incidents and accidents they are always drawn back to each other,” Twynam-Perkins said.
“I had initially wanted to direct something else but when I read the script for Gruesome Playground Injuries I fell in love with the characters, story and technical requirements of the piece.
“It’s a massive challenge for the actors and myself to get the transitions just right but it’s also nice to work with an adult cast.”
A drama teacher at Helena College, Twynam-Perkins has been involved in theatre for more than 20 years as a performer, director and choreographer.
With more than 70 productions to her credit, she has worked with Playlovers, Roleystone, Stirling and KADS Theatres on No Names No, Pack Drill; Working, Curtains, Bare, Eurobeat, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Spamalot and My Fair Lady.
In 2008, Bare was named best musical at the annual Finley Awards with Twynam-Perkins also nominated for best choreographer and best director.
Her work at Helena College also keeps her busy, directing The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Cloudstreet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Seussical, Honk, The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet and Peter Pan.
“With Gruesome Playground Injuries, there are two main challenges with the script,” Twynam-Perkins said.
“The actors need to easily and convincingly portray their characters in five-year increments over a 30-year period.
“They need to understand the vocal and physical nuances of an eight-year-old child through to an adult of 38.
“The actors are on stage the whole time so they do all the set, costume and makeup changes in full view of the audience, which helps to show time passing and the transitions between scenes.”
Gruesome Playground Injuries plays at 8pm July 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 with 2pm matinees July 12 and 19. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 0415 777 173, [email protected] or at www.playlovers.org.au.
A high tea follows the July 19 performance and is an additional $5.
Playlovers is located at Hackett Hall, Draper Street (off Underwood Avenue), Floreat.
gruesome1-4: Sam Barnett, left, and Kimberley Harris play Doug and Kayleen from the ages of eight through to 38 in the darkly humorous Gruesome Playground Injuries.
Playlovers has been in operation for more than 50 years. Generally performing from Hackett Hall, Draper Street, Floreat, the company puts on four to six seasons a year – including one to two musicals.
Members are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the club: on the creative side (performing, directing, etc), the more technical activities (lighting, backstage, set-building, costume-making, etc) or on the sidelines (serving teas and coffees, and generally helping with other front of house activities).
P: 0429 426 845