26 May 2023

Theatre done differently: Acts of Passion program promises rollicking night - and don't forget the nibbles

| Zoe Cartwright
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group of people sitting around tables

The Red Door Theatre Company is looking forward to another exciting run with its latest program of two one-act plays. Photo: Anthony Mayne.

Looking for something different to do on the weekend?

Opening night for the Moruya Red Door Theatre Company’s latest program, Acts of Passion, tonight and features two one-act plays, Curtain Call and The Ladybirds.

But it’s not the theatre you’re used to. The company includes a diverse cast and leans towards plays that make you laugh or think – ideally, both.

The company’s mission of inclusion reaches to its audience.

Instead of making people sit formally, tables are set up and patrons are encouraged to bring a beer, a bottle of champagne, some cheese and bikkies – or even a barbecued chook.

“We want to make it more of an engaging community event, somewhere you can go to have a laugh, a beer and enjoy a night out with your mates,” company president Anthony Mayne said.

It seems like a formula for success – the company’s last run, Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders – was a sellout every night.

Tonight the company will open its eighth run, with two plays in one evening at the Moruya RSL Hall. For those who prefer a more traditional experience, there will be a matinee performance with theatre-style seating on Sunday.

Both plays are just one act but don’t skimp on the drama.

The first, The Ladybirds, follows the fortunes of a struggling village players’ company.

The opening scene has an actor with an – ahem – unusual object in hand. If you have delicate sensibilities, consider this your warning!

Directed by Jack Spahr, The Ladybirds pushes boundaries and explores the tension between what we expect from traditional institutions and how people actually are.

“It’s really well directed, really fun, and it’s got a beautiful message at the heart of it,” Anthony said.

It features an almost all-female cast – Canberra Area Theatre award winner James Gillett is the only man on the bill.

READ ALSO Christmas comes early for James Gillett and Moruya Red Door Theater Club

The second play, Curtain Call, is directed by Phil Barr.

It centres on a group of actors who gather each year to mark an important anniversary, but this year someone is missing.

Curtain Call is a more subtle affair, with a late twist that keen observers may be able to piece together.

The double-header bill also features a mother-and-daughter duo across the two plays.

It’s mum Kersten Davis’s debut performance. Her daughter, Cecilia Colom-Davis, is a young, highly regarded actor already.

It will also be performing arts and movement coach Jack Spahr’s debut as a director.

“It’s really wonderful to see the company expand and to watch everyone’s growth,” Anthony said.

“We’re looking forward to putting on a performance that’s a bit edgy – and a lot of fun!”

Performances are this Friday, 26 May, at 7 pm; Saturday, 27 May, at 7 pm; Sunday, 28 May, at 2 pm; Friday, 2 June, at 7 pm; and Saturday, 3 June, at 7 pm.

Tickets are available on the Ticketor website, or call 0490 305 389 during business hours.

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