Saturday, September 5th, 2020 - Stirling Theatre

SUSPENSE, mystery and murder come together at Stirling Theatre in The Small Hours, a thriller with international intrigue.

Written by Francis Durbridge and directed by Janet Brandwood, the play follows Sussex hotel owner Carl Houston who saves a passenger when their plane is hijacked after leaving Australia.

Houston nearly dies as he tries to learn why his travel bag is of interest to the police while also attempting to find out what a toy koala, his devious chef and the hijacking have in common.

Playwright Durbridge is an English author, best known for creating the character Paul Temple.

Janet has chosen to update the play from its 1980s setting to the present day.

“What directly inspired me was finding a copy of the script when I was in the theatre office,” she said.

“I previously directed Durbridge’s A Touch of Danger in 2011 and was familiar with his style. 

“My husband Tom also directed two of his plays at the old Stirling Theatre in Cedric Street. 

“I am a big fan of crime stories and have Agatha Christie’s entire collection of books, her biography and many of her plays – I have directed six of them.”

The main challenge with The Small Hours, according to Janet, is the set.

“The first scene is aboard an aircraft and we’ve been lucky enough to find two genuine airline seats,” she said.

“They’re on a small thrust stage, right in front of the proscenium, with the remaining scenes in the living room of a hotel.”

The Small Hours plays at 8pm September 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, October 1, 2 and 3 with 2pm matinees September 20 and 27. Tickets are $22, $20 concession – book through Morris News on 9446 9120 or at

Stirling Theatre is on Morris Place, Innaloo.



smallhours1: Vanessa (Jenni Glassford, left) and Carl Houston (Tim Riessen) have a frank discussion with Millie (Lia Przymenska, centre) in The Small Hours at Stirling Theatre.

smallhours2: The Small Hours features Julie Holmshaw, left, as Olivia and Tim Riessen as Carl Houston.

smallhours3: Ronnie Sheldon (Stephen Anderson, left) and Carl Houston (Tim Riessen) in the real airline seats found for the production.

smallhours4: Detective Inspector George Westwood (Paul Anderson, left) has a few questions for husband and wife Carl (Tim Riessen) and Vanessa Houston (Jenni Glassford).

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Stirling Theatre

Stirling Theatre is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to promote and encourage drama and allied arts within the City of Stirling for cultural, educational and recreational purposes.

The group has been in existence since 1970 and prides itself on the quality of its productions and endeavours to produce five or six seasons a year. Stirling Theatre also promotes youth theatre activities through the SPY (Stirling Players Youth) group. It also offers opportunities for community groups to fund-raise through charity nights held during a season.

Janet Brandwood
P: 08 9247 2911


The Small Hours, Stirling Theatre, play, murder mystery, suspense, performing arts, stage



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