MEMORY and nostalgia are key elements of The Nightwatchman at Melville Theatre, as three people move into a new chapter of their lives.
Written by Daniel Keene and directed by Siobhán O’Gara, the play follows a brother and sister as they return to their family home to help their now-blind father move into an elderly care facility.
As they assemble for a final supper to say goodbye to their family home, memories come flooding back and the family history is re-visited with resentments simmering against current tensions in their lives.
“The Nightwatchman is a melancholy, poetic work that explores universal frustrations such as loneliness, old age, letting go, marital disappointment and loss,” O’Gara said.
“But through the father William, there is a strong sense of resilience that underpins it all.
“Each character has a different relationship with the past – the play is about saying goodbye, setting yourself and others free, and moving forward.”
O’Gara has a wealth of theatrical experience behind her, founding the Brisbane Irish Theatre Players in 1990, working with the Canberra Irish Community Theatre in the mid-90s.
Since moving west, she has worked with the Old Mill, KADS, Playlovers and Dolphin Theatres in a variety of roles, including director, stage manager and lighting and sound operator.
In 2007 and 2012, O’Gara received best director nominations for Necessary Targets and Parramatta Girls at the annual Finley Awards.
More recently, she has directed The Mozart Faction at Melville Theatre and Kate’s Story for Life on Hold Productions.
“The Nightwatchman appealed because it’s a moving, poetic ode to the human spirit and the memories that define us,” O’Gara said.
“The play is as much about what we were, as it is about what we are now and will become.”
The Nightwatchman plays at 8pm September 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 with a 2pm matinee on September 22. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 9330 4565 or at www.meltheco.org.au.
Melville Theatre is at 393A Canning Highway (corner of Stock Road), Palmyra.
night1: Andrea O’Donnell, Alan Kennedy and Garry Davies are appearing in The Nightwatchman.
night2: The Nightwatchman features Alan Kennedy, centre, as blind father William whose children Helen (Andrea O’Donnell) and Michael (Garry Davies) are moving him into an aged care facility.
night3: Tensions run high between Helen (Andrea O’Donnell, left) and Michael (Garry Davies) and their father William (Alan Kennedy).
night4: Michael (Garry Davies, left), Helen (Andrea O’Donnell) and William (Alan Kennedy) take time out for a family photo in The Nightwatchman.
The 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 in Community Theatre. Since then, actors and directors have consistently featured in the list of awards at the annual State Drama Festival.
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: 0409 374 731