Saturday, July 18th, 2015

AN intriguing and seductive play that was later turned in a multi-award-winning film is Limelight Theatre’s latest offering this August.

Written by Kalgoorlie-born Andrew Bovell, Speaking in Tongues is a mystery for grown-ups laden with love, infidelity and mistrust, complete with twists, turns, flashbacks and surprises.

The three-part story focuses on the interwoven lives of nine people – two couples set out to betray their partners, a lover returns from the past and a husband doesn’t answer the phone.

A woman disappears and a neighbour is the prime suspect, contracts are broken between intimates and powerful bonds are formed between strangers.

Bovell adapted his AWGIE award-winning play into the 2001 film Lantana featuring Geoffrey Rush, Anthony LaPaglia, Vince Colosimo and Peter Phelps, winning seven AFI Awards.

Along with his many plays, he also co-wrote the screenplay for Strictly Ballroom and 2010’s Edge of Darkness featuring Mel Gibson.

Director Gwen Browning describes Speaking in Tongues as an evocative mystery that unravels at the same time a dramatic tale of lust, lies and betrayal also unfolds.

“There are nine characters in the play, usually played by four actors, although I have decided to use five for my production,” she said. “Obviously, this requires great skill from those actors. 

“As there are multiple playing areas on stage, the setting cannot be realistic.

“We will be doing some exciting things with lighting to create the mood and add to the drama.”

Involved with Limelight Theatre since 1983, Browning has performed in “too many productions to remember” and previously directed Hotel Sorrento, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Lifex3 and Talking Heads, named best production in 2012.

She has also scored four Limelight Theatre best actress awards between 1992 and 2006 and a similar accolade at the State Drama Festival in 1995.

“After seeing Black Swan Theatre’s production of Andrew Bovell’s When The Rain Stops Falling, I decided to read some of his other plays,” Browning said.

“When I came across Speaking in Tongues, I just knew it was one I had to direct.

“Many people will have the seen award-winning film Lantana, which was based on Speaking in Tongues with Bovell also writing the screenplay.

“But the film differs quite a bit to the play and, in my opinion, is much more exciting.”

Speaking in Tongues plays at 8pm August 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22. Tickets are $21, $18 concession – book on 0499 954 016 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or at

Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.



speaking1: Clockwise from bottom: Tim Riessen, David Nelson, Zachary Ozolins, Michelle Varley and Jane Anderson are appearing in Speaking in Tongues.

speaking2&4: Actors Tim Riessen, Zachary Ozolins, Jane Anderson (front), Michelle Varley and David Nelson find themselves in a tangled web of lies, lust and betrayal in Speaking in Tongues.

speaking3: Speaking in Tongues – the play that became the award-winning film Lantana – comes to Limelight Theatre in August.

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Limelight Theatre

The Limelight Theatre in Wanneroo, Western Australia, is the home of Wanneroo Repertory Inc and located next to the Aquamotion Centre, opposite the memorial.
Gwen Browning
P: 0417 948 944


Speaking in Tongues, Andrew Bovell, Lantana, Limelight Theatre, play, stage, performing arts, lies, lust, betrayal, award



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