THE inner workings of a family just after the end of World War II are explored in Playlovers’ latest offering, Following The Black Sheep, making its debut in September.
Written by Perth playwright Yvette Wall and directed by Campbell Greenock, the play is set in 1946 and focuses on Jack who, haunted by his past, returns home from the war to stay with his sister Shirley and her family.
Tensions rise when Shirley’s headstrong daughter Frances has to make an important decision about her future and Jack forms an affinity with her.
“The war has had a great affect on all the characters and we particularly get to see how one man has been forever changed by what he has gone through,” Greenock said.
“It is also a story about being true to yourself because the teenage daughter has to choose between her mother’s wishes and her own.”
Wall adds: “A friend told me a story about her uncle, a pacifist, who was an army stretcher bearer in Bougainville during World War II – it was very touching.
“I developed the rest of the story fictitiously from there. I admire and am inspired by those who remain true to themselves under trying circumstances.”
Acting for the past three years, Greenock has performed with the WA Youth Theatre Company in productions such as MINE and The Dreaming Hill and has also recently become a board member.
Following The Black Sheep is his first time as a director and says the main challenge is to quickly understand his own method of directing.
“This includes knowing how to express my vision to the cast while also listening to their ideas and allowing them the opportunity to explore their own characters,” Greenock said.
“Working with some great actors has definitely helped in this regard – I have hit the jackpot with Sienna Freeman who is only 10 but takes direction easily and also has her own ideas about her character.
“The first time I read the play I knew there were many interesting character developments that would be fun the flesh out with the actors.
“Having been approached by the writer to direct the piece was a huge compliment and I have jumped at the opportunity to make this great script come to life.”
Joining Following The Black Sheep is The Wardrobe, written by Sam Holcroft and commissioned as part of the 2014 National Theatre Connections Festival.
Directed by Elisabeth and Kimberley Shaw, the play tells the stories of various young people who seek refuge or comfort in the same wardrobe between 1485 and 2015.
Following The Black Sheep and The Wardrobe play at 8pm September 11 and 12 with a 2pm matinee September 13. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 0415 777 173, [email protected] or at www.playlovers.org.au.
Playlovers is located at Hackett Hall, Draper Street (off Underwood Avenue), Floreat.
sheep1: Sophie Prober, back left, Sienna Freeman and Andrew Philips are appearing in Following The Black Sheep, a look at life just after World War II.
sheep2: Following The Black Sheep sees Jack (Andrew Philips, right) haunted by his past after World War II with sister Shirley (Sophie Prober) wanting him to meet society’s expectations.
sheep3: Tomboy Patty (Sienna Freeman) tried to comfort her Uncle Jack (Andrew Philips) with cake in Following The Black Sheep.
sheep-sienna: Ten-year-old Sienna Freeman is appearing in Following The Black Sheep as the tomboy Patty.
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: 0458 018 388