One of the driving forces behind Australian theatre for nearly half a century is about to retire to England - but not before treating local audiences one last time.
Edgar Metcalfe is directing his own play "With Friends Like These...", a sparkling new Australian comedy.
After 12 years in English repertory Metcalfe took up the position of Artistic Director at Perth's Playhouse Theatre because he ‘thought the climate would be better for his asthma'. He was subsequently Artistic Director at Leederville's Hole in the Wall Theatre; Associate Director at the Melbourne Theatre Company for two years (during which time he won the Melbourne Critic's Award for his production of "The Devils" and "What the Butler Saw"); and frequently worked for the Effie Crump Theatre, Northbridge.
Metcalfe has played Iago, Macbeth, Puck, Prospero, Caliban and Cladius; and leading roles in "Private Lives", "Charley's Aunt", "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" and "Quartet", and in the musical theatre "Fagin and Daddy Warbucks". In 1976, he was named WA Citizen of the Year and in 1978 was appointed as a member in the general division of the Order of Australia, both for services to the performing arts.
Metcalfe directed four national tours in Australia: "Doctor in Love" and "Night Mother" with Jill Perryman and June Salter; and "The Nerd" and "Corpse" with the late Gordon Chater. He will also be remembered for introducing WA audiences to traditional English pantomime. His writing includes a collection of short stories set in the Perth hills and he has published three books, his lastest being a novel based on his play "Alleycat Alice".
Always supportive of good amateur theatre, his final Australian production is with one of WA's oldest groups, The University of Western Australia's Graduate Dramatic Society, for whom he has previously directed "The Importance of Being Ernest" and "The Merchant of Venice".
"With Friends Like These...", written and directed by Edgar Metcalfe, will hold its world premier production at the Dolphin Theatre, UWA, on June 25, 26, 30, and July 1-3 and 7-10. Bookings through BOCS Ticketing.
Pat Stroud (Grads Production Manager) (+61 8) 9385 1205 / (+61 4) 08 908 928
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716