IT’S like Sex and the City – but on a golf course.
Written by Norm Foster and directed by Jarrod Buttery, The Ladies Foursome at Harbour Theatre follows a quartet of women playing golf, although the sport rarely comes up in their conversation.
Over the course of 18 holes, secrets and confessions unravel as the women discuss love, sex, children and everything in between.
Foster is considered Canada’s most produced playwright, known for his humour and insight into the trials and tribulations of everyday life, and is frequently compared to US playwright Neil Simon.
“The ladies’ conversation could almost be held in a workplace or a restaurant, except it happens to be on a golf course and regularly jumps ahead each time they tee off at a new hole,” Buttery said.
His journey to directing The Ladies Foursome began in 2015 when he saw another Foster play, Under The Bright Sun.
Loving the playwright’s wit and naturalistic dialogue, he was cast in The Love List – also by Foster – at Harbour Theatre in 2016, followed by the award-winning On A First Name Basis the following year.
“I read several more of Foster’s plays and fell in love with The Ladies Foursome,” Buttery said. “I was laughing out loud by page two of the script.
“It’s beautifully written with believable dialogue, alternating between hilarity and poignancy, delivered by three-dimensional characters.
“The script and my cast make me laugh at every rehearsal.”
Involved in theatre for more than 30 years, Buttery was one of the founding members of Blak Yak Theatre and has performed in a plethora of productions with Melville, Roleystone, Garrick, Limelight, Playlovers, KADS, Old Mill, Kwinana and Harbour Theatres.
He directed the first Terry Pratchett play to be staged in Australia and was named best director at the 2004 South West Drama Festival for his production of Heide’s Last Hit.
With The Ladies Foursome, Buttery’s biggest challenge is the fact neither him nor any of his cast are regular golfers.
“But none of us are expected to be,” he said. “We can’t actually go hitting golf balls into the audience, so the actions are simulated.
“But that’s what theatre is all about: pretending.”
The Ladies Foursome plays at 7.30pm March 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 24, 26 and 27 with 2pm matinees March 14, 21 and 28. Tickets are $25.50, $23.50 concession and $20.50 students – book at www.TAZTix.com.au or call TAZTix on 9255 3336.
Harbour Theatre is located at 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park.
ladies1-4: Sherryl Spencer, left, Meredith Hunter, Anna Head and Kirstie Francis are appearing in The Ladies Foursome. Picture: Michael McAllan
Harbour Theatre was formed in December 1963 by eight enthusiastic amateurs, led by Jimmy Quinn, a very competent and experienced director. Since then Harbour Theatre has entertained thousands of people. The variety of plays we have offered the public range from drama to comedy, whodunit to tragedy, and murder to farce. About the only thing we haven't attempted is Shakespeare. Yet!! Over the years Harbour Theatre has produced hundreds of full length plays, countless one-act plays and many Christmas Revues. These have earned us many awards in several of the play festivals around Perth.
Harbour Theatre initially performed in the Evans Davies Library in South Terrace, Fremantle (above what is now Dome). This was Harbour’s home for its first 31 years. Over the years the theatre grew and grew, and in the 1970's a major restructuring of the theatre resulted in the stage and seating being completely changed, thus allowing for larger audiences and better facilities for the actors. With an Associate Membership in the hundreds, Harbour Theatre has always been self sufficient, never having to call on Government or other funding bodies for support.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, in March 1995 we were forced to find another venue at which to perform. As a temporary measure, Harbour Theatre performed at the Tivoli Theatre, Applecross, for about 18 months, while searching for a location back in Fremantle.
Finally, at the end of 1996, Harbour Theatre relocated back in Fremantle to the Princess May Building. The next few weeks were very hectic as the spaced we leased had to be converted into a theatre. Our members raised the money and we built the stage and seating and installed the lighting, in time for our last play of 1996. The Princess May Building became our home for the next 15 years.
In 2007 the Fremantle Education Centre (who leased the Princess May Building from the City of Fremantle) refused to re-negotiate a lease and then in 2009 they received a Government Grant to build offices in the area occupied by the theatre. Despite months of lobbying State government representatives and local councillors, we were forced to move. The City of Fremantle then offered to rent us the Port Cineaste Building as a temporary venue. So, at the end of 2009, with the blood, sweat and tears of 33 of our members, we dismantled our beautiful theatre (and the only purpose built theatre in Fremantle) and moved lock, stock and barrel to the Port Cineaste Building. The major task of converting a cavernous cinema into an intimate performing arts space has been an enormous job undertaken by a number of our hardworking and dedicated members and involved many, many hours of volunteer labour.
Against all the odds Harbour Theatre lives to perform another day and we look forward to bringing you many more years of exciting and entertaining theatre.