Sunday, April 24th, 2011
THEY say blood is thicker than water – but, in some families, past resentments run deep and only bubble to the surface during times of tragedy.

That’s the underlying theme of Crimes of the Heart, written by Beth Henley and directed by Sue Lynch at Melville Theatre this May.

Following the story of the Magrath sisters, the siblings re-unite at their family home in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, after one of them – Babe – shoots her abusive husband.

Described by some as a tragic comedy, Crimes of the Heart was made into a 1986 film with Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek.

“Babe’s sisters Lenny and Meg have to find a lawyer, discover the truth and work out a way of saving their sister from both smalltown prejudice and the law,” Lynch said.

“It all sounds dramatic, and often is, but this is also one of the funniest plays I know and the story of these characters is both heartwarming and charming.”

Reading the script several times over the past few years, Lynch says she has always loved the play but has been so busy with other projects that it’s only now she is able to bring it to the stage.

“Each time I read it, I’m struck by how real the characters are and how funny the dialogue sounds,” she said.

“Once I had people on stage reading during auditions I knew it was as good as I had expected.”

Directing in Perth for the past 13 years, Lynch has staged a plethora of productions with the Old Mill, Harbour, KADS and Melville Theatres and the Graduate Dramatic Society.

In 2002, her production of Out of Order was runner-up best play in the annual Finley Awards and she received a best director nomination for The Shape of Things in the 2009 awards (also taking third place in the best play category).

Lynch says the main challenges she faces in Crimes of the Heart are making sure the actors are consistent with their accents and creating a genuine family feel between the three sisters and their cousin.

“Building the house I have in my head for the stage will also be a test but it’s part of the process I really enjoy,” she said.

Crimes of the Heart plays at 8pm, May 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 with a 2pm matinee on May 8. Tickets are $17, $13 concession – book on 9330 4565 or email [email protected]

Melville Theatre is on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra. More information is available at

crimes1: Bianca Kenna, Tanya McCall and Elethea Sartorelli are the Magrath sisters in Crimes of the Heart this May.

crimes2: Bianca Kenna, Tanya McCall and Elethea Sartorelli are the Magrath sisters with Robert Ross as Doc Porter in Crimes of the Heart.

crimes4: Tanya McCall, Bianca Kenna and Elethea Sartorelli are three sisters re-united in a time of crisis in Melville Theatre’s latest production.

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Melville Theatre

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.
Sue Lynch
P: 0431 024 052


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