Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

SOUTH Perth’s Old Mill Theatre is hosting the world premiere of two new short plays this September.

Written by Eilannin Dhu and directed by Dannielle Ashton, Black and White is the journey of a young girl entrenched in a relationship of domestic violence and mental ill-health.

“The story focuses on her struggle to break out of the situation she’s in,” Ashton said. “It’s a deeply-moving piece that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Ashton, who is also a youth worker, believes Black and White is an extremely important story to tell.

“It’s based on a true story involving an older guy and younger girl and the mental health issues he’s trying to come to terms with amid the domestic violence,” she said.

“One of the challenges is keeping the story truthful and real, ensuring the representation of the characters is accurate and believable.

“We also need to remain sensitive about the story while the creative processing is evolving.”

Ashton has a wealth of award-winning theatre credits to her name including best director for Trainspotting and best overall production for The Return and Indian Summer at the past three DramaFests and runner-up best play for A Streetcar Named Desire and The Sum of Us at the past two Finley Awards, among numerous others.

Lightening the mood is Past Loves, a farce written by Martin Lindsay and directed by Jeff Watkins, that explores how a small suspicion of infidelity can affect relationships and friendships between two couples.

“The idea came from a late-night radio discussion about the-then new Japanese Prime Minister and the eccentricities of his wife,” Lindsay said. “But fear of lawsuits made me transfer the play to a more suburban scenario and characters.

“I wanted to explore the impact of the suspicion of infidelity, whether real or otherwise, upon two couples and their intertwined relationships – how are best mates, associated partners, and couples affected when the seed of infidelity is planted?

“Mixed in was the idea of tolerance of other people’s beliefs when those particular beliefs may not be as flexible in return, matched with the consequences they may have in real life.”

Lindsay previously received numerous awards for his script A One Night Stand-Off in 2008, including best actor, original work, play and co-director, and the play has since been performed in Ireland.

“It's interesting to hear your words and characters interpreted by others with some things exactly how you imagined them and others surprisingly different,” he said.

Black and White and Past Loves play at 8pm, September 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10. Tickets are $15 – book on (08) 9367 8719 or email [email protected]

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on Mends Street, South Perth, opposite the Windsor Hotel.


b&w1: Krysia Wiechecki and Phil Barnett star in the world premiere of Black and White this September.

b&w2: Krysia Wiechecki and Phil Barnett play characters in an extremely topsy-turvy relationship in Black and White at the Old Mill Theatre.

b&w3: Director Dannielle Ashton, centre, is helping to bring Black and White to life with actors Krysia Wiechecki and Phil Barnett.

b&w4: Actors Phil Barnett and Krysia Wiechecki discover the many colours of a relationship in Black and White.

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Old Mill Theatre

The Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to be operating out of one of the most historic buildings in South Perth. It was opened in 1899 as a Mechanics Institute Hall. The South Perth Council purchased the building in 1913 and renamed it the Mends Street Hall.

The Council still owns the building, and supports our use of it. The building first became a home of theatre in 1948, when the South Perth Dramatic Society moved in. The name Old Mill Theatre was first used in 1958, and the company was incorporated in 1959. We are therefore celebrating our official 60th birthday party this year.

A number of significant changes to the building have occurred over the past few years, with major extensions completed in 2002. An understage tunnel, which links our two backstage dressing rooms, and enables easier access from one side of the stage to the other, was completed in 2008. Bathroom facilities have also been installed backstage as part of this project, which is wholly self-funded.

The Old Mill Theatre is fortunate to have strong support from our local council, the City of South Perth. The City has undertaken major renovations to the exterior of the building in 2008, and the theatre is looking better now than ever before.
Danni Ashton
P: 0400 438 695
M: 0400 438 695

Martin Lindsay

P: 0422 951 167


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