FAMDA impresses again
THE opening night of Foster Amateur Music and Drama Association’s latest offering The Shoe Horn Sonata wasn’t without its dramas of the unexpected kind.
One of the leads Margaret Rudge, playing Bridie Cartwright, twisted her knee before act two.
Despite being in pain, Margaret soldiered on and, while requiring the services of a walking stick, held up beautifully for her role in act two. The analogy of Margaret’s pain and of those suffered by women and children in World War Two while under the clutches of the Japanese was note-worthy.
Most of the audience however were completely oblivious of the sore knee and thought the walking stick had been a good prop – a prop of a different kind as it turned out.
The drama is the story of survival of the Australian and British nurses and civilians in the prison camps of Japanese occupied South East Asia and the trauma-induced suffering of the survivors.
Despite some early nerves both Margaret, and Jean Moore, who played Sheila Richards, performed superbly in their roles, delivering a strong message.
For many in the audience it is the first time they’ve heard of the stories of brutality suffered by the women and children in the camps. Whilst many books have recorded these events, to hear it first hand is significant.
The FAMDA set was clever with one half of the stage set up inside a motel room while the other was set inside a television studio.
Set in 1995, Bridie and Sheila are interviewed by a journalist named Rick, played by Peter Clyne. The audience didn’t see Rick, only hearing his questions come from speakers so that all focus would be on the two women.
An overhead screen projecting images of wartime and the victory celebrations was clever. As too was the music interspersed throughout the show, used by the women in wartime to lift their spirits as a subtle defiance of the Japanese guards.
The drama gathered momentum in the second half, holding the audience’s attention well.
And well done Margaret for producing the waltz finale despite the sore knee!
The Foster War Memorial Arts Centre was warm and cosy, the tiered seating providing excellent viewing from all seats. Well done to director David Baggallay, cast and crew for a great performance-one well worth witnessing.
The show continues for just one more week starting this Wednesday, July 25 and continuing to Friday and Saturday nights, July 27 and 28. Plenty of tickets are available at the door or purchase from Main Street Revelations in Foster or phone 0400 867 872.
• More photos in next week’s Star.
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