THE BRILLIANCE of playwright David Williamson will be on show when the Murwillumbah Theatre Company presents his classic comedy, Travelling North, from May 26 to June 11.
Travelling North is a heart-warming story about a twilight love affair between Frank and Frances. Frank is in his 70s, a retired civil engineer with socialist leanings and Frances, in her late 50s, is a God-fearing, good-natured woman.
Together, they travel north to find their place in the sunny sub-tropics of Tweed Heads, much to the consternation of Frances’ conventional children in Melbourne, daughters Helen and Sophie. They fear that Frank is using their mother as a live-in nurse and servant and are also concerned that they no longer have the services of a doting grandmother.
Frank is blissfully happy, despite putting up with nosy neighbour Freddy. But Frances is less content, with nothing to do and her family far away. And when Frank’s new doctor Saul diagnoses heart disease, trouble is on the horizon.
David Williamson is Australia’s most significant and prolific playwright, with a string of successful plays (and films) to his credit including Stork, The Removalists and Don’s Party.
Travelling North is his first play to have strong female voices out front – and is all the better because of it.
Travelling North premiered in 1979, the year that David Williamson moved from Melbourne to Sydney, a major event in his life. It is regarded as a tribute to the generations that fought for change in the years leading up to the early 1970s, when this play is set.
Travelling North was made into a feature film in 1987 starring Leo McKern, who received an AFI Award as Best Actor and Williamson the honours for Best Screenplay.
Director, Penny Irving has worked in professional and amateur theatre for 30 years. Since “travelling north” Penny has directed the play Honour and ran a Director’s Workshop for The Drill Hall Theatre in Mullumbimby. This is her first play with the Murwillumbah Theatre Company.
Ms Irving has assembled a quality cast for Travelling North, including David Thomas as Frank, Bryanne Jardine as Frances, Rachael Gorham as Helen, Jacqui Harris as Sophie, Stuart L’Estrelle as Freddy and David Sunter as Saul.
Travelling North will be staged at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre on May 26 and 27 and June 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7.30pm.
There are two matinees on June 4 and 11 at 2pm.
Tickets are $20 and are available online at murwillumbahtheatrecompany.com, from Electronics Murwillumbah in Main Street, or at the door.
Seating will be cabaret style and patrons are invited to bring their own food and drink. For enquiries, please phone Lesley on (02) 66726753.