WONTHAGGI Theatrical Group’s latest production, The Boys, will hit the stage this Friday, September 28.
It follows months of practice, with the first rehearsal – without scripts – last Wednesday night.
And by all accounts, the cast of seven are absolutely smashing it.
The Boys, by Australian playwright Gordon Graham, explores men’s behaviour and attitudes.
Each cast member plays an emotionally-charged character in the play centred around three brothers and their relationships with women.
It starts with the oldest brother, Brett Sprague, on the day he is released from jail. His brothers, Glenn and Stevie, the boys’ mother and their girlfriends plan a barbecue to celebrate his return.
Jake Benson, a Year 12 student at Wonthaggi Secondary College, plays Stevie – the youngest brother.
“It’s very intense, so it can take a bit to get into character – and then out of character,” Jake says.
“The cast are absolutely fantastic. I might miss the occasional line but other than that, it’s coming along well.”
For Inverloch’s Nick Carver, who plays the middle brother Glenn, it’s his first production.
Nick’s better known for playing double bass and guitar with the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group (WTG) orchestra and with his band, The Butchers of Mean Street.
“My character starts off pretty nice, but then gets more controversial as the play goes on – so it’s great being able to build up to that,” Nick said.
The oldest brother Brett is played by Anthony Kennedy, who has performed with Warragul theatre groups Off the Leash and Break a Leg.
After intense scenes, the cast will often do a fun or light-hearted activity, such as singing.
It helps to defuse the situation and allow cast to get out of character.
Chloe Papillon, also a Wonthaggi Secondary College student, plays Nola.
The mother Sandra is played by Laura Muranty – who’s becoming a familiar face in local theatre, as is Evy Nye who plays Jackie.
Both have performed in recent Leongatha Lyric Theatre and Foster Arts Music and Drama Association productions.
Megan Kenny, last seen in WTG’s Cocky of Bungaree, will play Michelle – in stark contrast to her previous cheerful role.
Director Sophie Cuttriss says the production’s coming along wonderfully.
“It’s a very tight ensemble, I’m so lucky to have this great cast.
“They’ve enjoyed it more than they thought they would – the subject matter was quite daunting.”
Sophie also directed Minefields and Miniskirts for the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group, and the National Vietnam Veterans Museum.
She acknowledges that audiences may be wary of seeing a play like The Boys, with its confronting and challenging themes of men’s violence against women.
She says there is little physical violence in the play and no crime is re-enacted on stage.
“We need to face these issues and talk about them. How else can we effect change?
“We can give young men and women the chance to understand and question this behaviour and these values, so they can learn to respect each other.”
The Boys will be on show at the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s ‘The Shed’, at the State Coal Mine.
To book, go to www.wtg.org.au/tickets
Session dates and times:
* Friday, September 28 – 7.30pm
* Saturday, September 29 – 7.30pm
* Sunday, September 30 – 2.30pm
* Thursday, October 4 – 7.30pm
* Friday, October 5 – 7.30pm
* Saturday, October 6 – 7.30pm.