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THEATRE: 23 OCTOBER 2016

By GERALDINE WORTHINGTON

The Days Are as Grass, by Carol Hall | Directed by Jane Edwina Seymour

The Depot Theatre, Resource Performance Workshops & Stories about Humans | The Depot Theatre (http://thedepottheatre.com) | Until 29 October

Carol Hall, American composer and lyricist, is best known for writing the music and lyrics for the hit musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Hall, however, has also written a lesser known compilation of short plays, The Days Are as Grass, which explores an array of dramatic topics and situations including the importance of hope, past friends, unrequited love, and the unavoidability of time.

At The Depot Theatre, producer/director Jane Edwina Seymour has assembled an excellent ensemble who play 14 diverse characters bracketed in the 40-80-age demographic.

Sandra Campbell, Richard Cotter, Christine Greenough, Susan M Kennedy, Kimball Knuckey, Sarah Plummer and Felicity Steel, collectively bring to life Vacation, Last Will and Testament, Life Time, Jack and Jill, Sensations, The River Jordan Lamp, The Days Are as Grass and The Last Word.

These highly entertaining plays tackle the most serious of issues through a poignant and quirky lens. Multi-faceted, each play is cleverly constructed and developed, blending the amusing and the moving, and addressing topics such as life’s changes, love’s quirks, and the surprises of age.

Seymour’s sharply tight direction ensures each scenario is clearly defined and directly delivered whilst gently shaping certain aspects of the performances to speak to an Australian audience. Each accomplished actor brings to the stage fully explored characters and all the roles are a gift for actors in a show that is peppered with dualities.

This short-play program offers a mix of humour and drama with a number of touching and inspirational nuggets. Although the plays run for an average of 10 minutes, in all cases they offer contemplation on a number of important topics by utilising the ordinary to meditate on what it means to be human. Humour is nearly always present, sometimes in predictable circumstances, but equally, some pretty dark places are navigated.

I had a most enjoyable evening. This entertaining presentation is well worth a look.

Above: Kimball Knuckey and Christine Greenough. All images: Clare Hawley.

Sandra Campbell.

Richard Cotter and Felicity Steel.

Susan M Kennedy.

Richard Cotter and Sarah Plummer.