BY LAWRENCE MACHADC
Versatile actress Annette van Roden and the cast can’t wait for the curtains to go up on Things I Know to Be True, because the play had to be shelved in March 2020 due to the COVID lock downs.
The play finally returns to The Pavilion Theatre from February 5-27 and despite the frustrations of the enforced delay, there is no denying the enthusiasm of the Castle Hill Players for their first event of the New Year.
“Just as it was about to be opened (last March), the play had to be shut down due to COVID, though we did have one performance for those who were there,” van Roden said. “We got back to rehearsals just before Christmas and we since we lost a cast member who moved inter-state, we brought in a new cast member (Vivienne Rodda) who fits in very well.”
Van Roden, a veteran of the theatre for more 25 years, plays Fran, the mother of the Price clan, which the Baulkham Hills local says is “a loving, dysfunctional family”.
The love between Fran and Bob (played by Castle Hill Players president Stephen Snars) and their four children is mutual but they don’t necessarily see eye to eye about everything.
“This play is relevant today due to the COVID situation and the beautiful thing about the cast is that we have come together like a tribe,” van Roden said.
The COVID pandemic has cost this professional actor and entertainer 70 per cent of her work because most of her gigs at aged care facilities and special events have been canned.
“I have another job as a medical community trainer for medical students but it is tough for a self-employed creative,” said van Roden, whose cat keeps her going during this challenging time
Ace director Carol Wimmer, who has directed at Castle Hill Players for nearly two decades, said she wanted to do this play even before she finished reading the script by Andrew Bovell, “because it’s more than a play about a family”.
“It’s about love and understanding – and misunderstanding, about growing up and letting go,” Wimmer said.”About joy – and pain. It’s characters are funny and complex and confused – just like any family, anywhere!”
“There are many things I know to be true about Andrew Bovell’s writing. I know that he watches and listens, that he is perceptive. That he uses what he observes to create characters that are very real, who speak naturally about complicated emotions.”
What: Things I Know to Be True, directed by Carol Wimmer of Castle Hill Players
Cast includes: Kate Jirelle, Annette van Roden, Stephen Snars. Vivienne Rodda, Adam Garden and Ben Freeman.
When: Feb 5-27 ; Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 8:15pm, Sundays 4:30pm
Where: Pavilion Theatre in the Hills Showground, Doran Drive, Castle Hill
Bookings: www.paviliontheatre.org.au or 9634 2929