By Anthony Probert
FRESH from the success of their season of the murder-mystery A Home For Stray Cats, Spectrum Theatre is getting a bit serious with final rehearsals and preparations underway for David Steven’s acclaimed play The Sum Of Us.
The play explores the relationship between widower Harry and his gay son Jeff, as they both tackle the task of finding the right partner.
The play was brought to the big screen in the 1992 film adaptation, starring Russell Crowe and Jack Thompson.
Spectrum Theatre director Daniel Turner said while he took a few liberties modernising the set, the themes and issues that were addressed were as relevant as ever, and the script barely needed tweaking, despite the play being nearly 30 years old.
He said the production also offered enormous challenges for the relatively small cast, with several lengthy monologues.
“It is a real challenge for these guys, but they are totally up to it, and it’s very exciting to see it take shape,” he said.
“With a small cast, there is a real chemistry that develops that you don’t always get with bigger shows.
Morgan Levingston plays the lead role of Jeff Mitchell, while Thomas Bloffwitch makes his debut for Spectrum and plays Greg, Jeff’s new boyfriend.
Gavin Crane plays Jeff’s accepting father Harry, and Gillian Evans will tackle the role of Harry’s new girlfriend, Joyce.
Turner, who is directing his third show with Spectrum, said he had enjoyed watching the cast and characters develop during the long after-hours rehearsals.
“It’s been really exciting to see Morgan and Thomas gel,” he said.
“Gavin and Gillian also help bring a tightness to the cast. This is shaping up to be a great performance.”
Turner said audiences can expect to be challenged, but also entertained.
“We try to mix things up throughout the year with our plays, with a bit of comedy, a bit of suspense and a bit of drama,” he said.
“This is definitely a more serious play, with strong themes that are very topical at the moment, but it’s also very rewarding.”
The Sum of Us runs on July 14, 15, 21, 22, 29 and 29 at 7.30pm, with matinees on July 16 and 23.
Tickets are available from Paperbark Merchants on York Street.