Saturday, August 29th, 2015

HOW honest are we with the people around us?

It’s a question explored in the play Never Ever, written and directed by Melissa Merchant, being staged as part of Blak Yak Theatre’s short play season downstairs at Rigby’s Bar.

Six friends get together and decide to play a game of “never ever”, a game meant to be about truth.

As the game progresses, stories are told and the truth is both revealed and concealed with each woman having a secret to hide.

“In a world of constructed realities, where every little thought can be shared on Facebook or tweeted for the world to see, how much do you really know about your best friend, work colleague or old buddy from uni?” Merchant said. “And how much do they really know about you?

Never Ever is a play about the truths and the lies we tell, as well as the parts we keep hidden.

“I wrote the play many years ago, when I was in my 20s, and it was a chance to have some fun and ask some interesting questions.

“This year, I decided to come back to it with a more mature approach and see if I could update it and present it to a modern audience.”

Active in theatre since 1995, Merchant has worked with Heritage, Kwinana, Harbour, Melville, Blak Yak, Roleystone, KADS, Garrick and Marloo Theatres, Murdoch University and the Graduate Dramatic Society.

She received a best actress award for her role in Insignificance in 2006 at the annual Finley Awards and appeared in Can’t Stand up for Falling Down, named best production at the 2002 Dramafest and South West Drama Festival.

In 2006, Merchant also directed a stage adaptation of TV show Coupling, winner of best ensemble cast at the South West Drama Festival.

With Never Ever, her main challenge is negotiating the actors around all the eating and drinking required on stage.

“The timing will be crucial to ensure that no one ends up with an empty glass or a mouthful of food when they need to speak,” she said.

“There is also an interesting balance between comedy and drama that needs to be managed very carefully.

“I don't want to step on the funny moments – and hopefully there will be plenty of funny moments – but I also don't want to minimise the impact of the dramatic moments.”

Joining Never Ever for Blak Yak Theatre’s season of short plays is Move It! by Johnny Grim.

Directed by Graeme Johnson, Move It! is a tongue-in-cheek show about three New Zealanders entering their home-grown play into various WA drama festivals – and trying to improve it after harsh criticism from adjudicators.

Never Ever and Move It! play at 8pm, September 12 and 13 – doors opens 7pm with an a la carte menu available. Tickets for the show are $15 – book through

Rigby’s Bar is located at the rear of 221 St Georges Terrace, Perth.


never1: Jenny Palmer, left, and Ruhama Geiger explore the truth over a game of pool and glass of wine in Never Ever. Picture: Michael McAllan

never2: Never Ever features Ruhama Geiger, left, and Ebony Davey as two of six friends playing a game that exposes both truths and lies. Picture: Michael McAllan

never3: Tina (Anastatia Ward, left) and Kasey (Kate Davenport) both have secrets to hide in Never Ever. Picture: Michael McAllan

never4: Cally Zanik, left, and Ruhama Geiger are appearing in Never Ever this September. Picture: Michael McAllan

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Blak Yak Theatre

Blak Yak is a not-for-profit community theatre group. Established in 1993, we have been committed to producing high quality theatre. Our productions have been taken from such diverse sources as William Shakespeare, Tom Stoppard, Terry Pratchett and even television sitcoms.

We’ve always been an advocate for the underdog, and were originally founded to give first time writers and directors a chance to stage their shows.

We still have that nurturing attitude, and we’re always looking for people, which means that Blak Yak is a great first step into theatre for performers, directors and technicians.

Blak Yak does not have a home. We are one of the few nomadic clubs in the Perth metro area. From Wanneroo to Kwinana and from Fremantle to Kalamunda, we have taken our unique and award-winning brand of theatre all over Perth.

Melissa Merchant
M: 0403 293 969


Never Ever, Blak Yak Theatre, Rigby’s Bar, play, performing arts, stage, truth, lies



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