WHAT happens when you take a Friends-like sitcom and juxtapose it with a dark, comedic sub-text?
The answer lies in the WA premiere of Wonderful World, written by Richard Dresser and directed by Geoffrey Leeder at Melville Theatre.
A close-knit New England family in the US is shaken to its core when a minor misunderstanding spirals out of control.
Brothers Max and Barry find themselves at odds when Barry’s wife misinterprets a dinner invitation, feeling she was deliberately excluded, and then embarks on a full-scale policy of truth-telling.
Max’s fiancée and mother are drawn into the fray as loyalties shift and relationships are ruthlessly examined.
“It’s a quirky, playful script that’s not to be missed,” Leeder said.
“Wonderful World is a play in two acts with eight scenes in different locations in the first act and then three different locations in the second act.
“The challenge is staging the play and ensuring the audience understands when we have moved on in time and place.
“This is achieved using minimal or no furniture, complemented by the lighting design.”
Involved in theatre for more than 30 years, Leeder has worked either as an actor or director with Rockingham, Kwinana, Melville, Harbour, KADS, 9 Lives and Turquoise Theatres, the Graduate Dramatic Society and Koorliny and Mandurah Performing Arts Centres.
In 2000, his production of Too Far to Walk was named best play at the annual Finley Awards – and he’s also a life member of the Independent Theatre Association.
“I was introduced to Wonderful World some years ago by my daughter while she was working at the WA Academy of Performing Arts,” Leeder said.
”’Dad,’ she said, ‘You would love this play’. I read it and she was right – I did love it.
“Since then it has been on my list of plays to do.”
Wonderful World plays at 8pm November 23, 24, 29, 30, December 1, 6, 7 and 8 with a 2pm matinee December 2. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 9330 4565 or at www.meltheco.org.au.
Melville Theatre is on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.
wonderful1: Wonderful World features Jethro Pidd, left, Natalie Burbage, Valerie Henry and Madelaine Jones. Picture: Lyn Leeder
wonderful2: Paul Davey as Max and Madelaine Jones as Jennifer in Wonderful World. Picture: Lyn Leeder
wonderful3: Max (Paul Davey, left) has a word with his mother Lydia (Valerie Henry) in Wonderful World. Picture: Lyn Leeder
wonderful4: Wonderful World finds brothers Max (Paul Davey, left) and Barry (Jethro Pidd) at odds over their family. Picture: Lyn Leeder
Melville Theatre Company was the brainchild of David J. Burton who, in 1982, called a meeting for interested people in the community to form a theatre company in the Melville area.
As a result, the Melville Theatre Company was born. The newly formed company's first production was the farce, Not Now Darling. With its second production, The Sound of Music, the young company won the Finley Award for the Best Production of the Year. Since then, actors and directors have consistently featured in the list of awards at the annual State Drama Festival, now known as Dramafest.
Initially, performances were in the Melville Civic Centre but, since 1987, the venue has been the Roy Edinger Centre, on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.
P: 0410 505 582