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The Rock-itt : May 2010
TOY SYMPATHY Toy Sympathy was written by Michael Gow and produced by the Queensland Theatre Company with the State Theatre Company of South Australia. The play was staged at the Glen Street Theatre 20 April -- 1 May. It was a happy coincidence that the first play to be staged at the Glen Street Theatre for 2010 was the first full length play written by Michael Gow in over a decade. The play has won a number or awards since its premiere in 2007, including the Helpman Award for Best New Australian Work in 2008 and in 2007, the Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Main Stage Production -- Best New Work -- Best Director, Neil Armfield. The story line is that Roland Henning, a well known playwright, is trying to convince his therapist that he hasn't got writer's block, it's just that he can't write anymore. With his therapist's help he and the day his boyhood was shattered, plunged him into life and art. The play shows how his personal tragedy threatens to permanently derail him. A fortuitous discovery offers Roland a chance of salvation; but will he take it--orwillheletgo? The play is a compelling journey of personal self assessment and fluctuates between the present and with Roland recalling his life and those he had encountered. Three members of the cast play multiple parts including the lawyer, a buffoonish headmaster, a dumb footy lout, a detective, a young boy, a girl, a nanny, Alexander the Great and Anton Chekov. The story moves back and forth through Roland's life -- the bullying at school -- the death of a school mate -- his sexual awakening and his confronting discovery of art. Toy Sympathy could be just a story about a patient -- therapist relationship as they skirt the truth but because of Michael Gow's strength in writing the play show the general public an inside look at the workings of a writer -- his struggles, failures, losses and shows why Roland is at a crossroad in his life. Ernest Hemmingway once stated of writing that "Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly -- sometimes it's like drilling rock and blasting it out with charges". The combined production by the Queensland Theatre Company and the State Theatre Company of South Australia, have brought together a galaxy of talented people, all of the cast giving excellent performances. I was particularly impressed by the soliloquy by Chris Pitman as he introduced the feelings of Roland Henning. This production has been on the road for two months visiting Hobart and the country districts of South Australia and Victoria. Toy Sympathy is an interesting play. The photo shows Michael Gow on the right with the cast, the Mayor of Warringah and the Director of the Glen Street Theatre. Have a great night out by dining at Sorlies Restaurant, then a few steps and into the theatre for one of our great live shows. Generous subscriber disc ounts, just give us a c all and let us be your hosts. THIS MONTH AT GLENN STREET THEATRE Page 8 By Louis Nowra and David Page 18-23May BOOK NOW Cast: David Page Directed by: Stephen Page Set Design: Robert Cousins Costume Design: Jodie Fried Original Lighting Design: Mark Howett Sound Design: Steve Francis Running Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes The Wharf Revue Written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott 4-15May BOOK NOW Running Time: 90 minutes Cast: Jonathan Biggins Drew Forsythe Phillip Scott Musical Director: Phillip Scott Lighting Designer: Matthew Marshall