Deadly Relations’, ‘Screaming Inside’ and ‘Stones’

‘Deadly Relations’, ‘Screaming Inside’ and ‘Stones’ are three short plays being offered for your enjoyment by the Wanneroo Repertory, at the Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo. The two-hour programme is presented nightly at 8.00 pm, until Saturday 28th February.

The stage setting for all of the plays is a black backcloth and several pieces of well-chosen furniture. The lighting for all shows is by Jacob Anderson, the sound by Ryan Perrin.

‘Deadly Relations’ is the latest, 50-minute play written and directed by local lad, Bob Charteris. His plays are usually comedies, with this being his first mystery / thriller – but still with a few chuckles thrown in.

        A middle-aged man, Mr Owens (Alan Bascombe), is pouring himself a stiff drink as he and his secretary (Gael Campbell-Young) await news. The doctor (Alan Brock) has been called and is in the bedroom attending Owens’ dying wife. Soon the doctor announces the tragic news that Mrs Owens has passed away. The couple are stunned – the wife was so young.  

      No sooner had the doctor left, than the doorbell rang. It was a police inspector (Ron Arthurs) investigating a hit and run, a couple of weeks earlier.

     A few days later, just as Mr Owens is getting a little grieving time, a smartly dressed, officious woman (Lynda Hunt) arrives at the home.

 Bob has produced a fun script, with good dialogue. At the end of each scene of this quirky one-Act play, he throws in a surprise or red herring. The audience loved it.

‘Screaming Inside’ is a superbly written, 35-minute piece, by an accomplished writer, Sean Byrne. Directed by Sean Byrne and Jason Pearce.

        It is now some time since teenage Alison died, and her mother (Dale James) is drinking a little more than she should – to help her cope with her loss. She explains her feelings and the emptiness of her new life. She seems to get little compassion from her husband, who is more like a mute ornament in the corner of the room.

The story threads are well blended and the amount of skill involved is undeniable. Directing a 35-minute monologue is very difficult, as one tries to keep up the visual interest and find different tasks for the actor to perform, nevertheless, Sean and Jason Pearce have conquered this challenge.

The acting was first class, although with so much drapery around a little more voice projection would have been helpful.

Sadly, the final result was very heavy going with little light relief. You know when you ask someone how he or she is feeling and they then go on for 35 minutes, telling you in great and intimate detail every ailment known to man, ennui develops rapidly. I felt the same with this play.

A huge amount of talent, highly respected, plenty of admirable qualities – but with little likely public appeal. My eyelids drooped.

Stones’ is the second, 30-minute part of this pigeon pair for the above play. Another monologue, again written by gifted Sean Byrne, and directed by Sean Byrne and Jason Pearce.

       It is now the turn of the husband; Steven (Gino Cataldo), who, deep down has also been shattered by the death of his daughter. However, he is tackling the problems thrown at him with a very different approach.

Another fine performance, with the monologue cleverly written in a more masculine style. This contrasted perfectly with the mother’s sensitive and emotional approach.

Many of the comments for the last play are applicable to this one.