Two short, one-act farces, both focussing on impending weddings and inherent family dramas, will complete a compelling double bill from The University of Western Australia's Graduate Dramatic Society, opening soon at UWA's Dolphin Theatre.
Grads' winter season boasts high comedy and grand drama with Sir Peter Shaffer's Black Comedy followed by Anton Chekhov's The Proposal. Each is directed by young women directors: Meredith Daniel, of Tuart Hill, is steering the former and Jo Williams, from Hamersley, the latter.
Shaffer, who also wrote Amadeus and Equus, was inspired by Chinese theatrical conventions in his 20th century classic, Black Comedy, according to Ms Daniel. "It opens in complete darkness with the actors moving effortlessly about the apartment. They are plunged into lightness and confusion when the fuse blows and the stage lights are lit," she said.
Brindsley Miller and his bride-to-be, who are waiting for their guests in a room full of "borrowed" furniture, are soon joined by the pompous prospective father-in-law, a teetotal spinster, a flamboyant gay neighbour, a philosophising electrician, an eccentric art dealer and Brindsley's mistress.
In The Proposal, Chekhov pokes fun at loveless courtship and marriage which, in the Russia of his day, was often the only means to financial security. When the hypochondriac landowner, Lomov, comes to ask for 25 year-old Natalya's hand, hilarious arguments ensue.
"Chekhov was the master of one-act plays and this half-hour gem contains all the dramatic tension that a well-honed farce could ever hope to hold," Ms Williams said.
"In these dark and difficult times, it's good to experience the light of splendid comic writing from these master playwrights."
Grads' winter season starts at 7.30pm on Friday, June 26 and ends on Saturday, July 11 with a special 2pm matinee on Saturday July 4. For all session dates and times, visit http://www.grads.org.au/ Tickets can be booked through BOCS Ticketing, 9484 1133, http://www.bocsticketing.com.au/
Meredith Daniel (Black Comedy director) (+61 8) 9345 3794 / (+61 4) 10 565 329
Jo Williams (The Proposal director) (+61 8) 9203 6541 / (+61 4) 23 313 659 Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716