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Community theatre productions can be a gamble but Love and Music, presented by the Fremantle Performing Artists, was first-rate. No wonder this production was of such a high calibre as it was written and directed by Brenton Foale, who has accomplished an impressive 40-year career in theatre, film and television.
Love and Music is a comedy/drama about love, heartbreak and obsession. Steve (James Garces) has been living with his girlfriend, Simone (Mazey O'Reilly), for a couple of years, but Simone feels stifled by Steve's lack of ambition and self-centeredness. At a recent party, Simone met Andy, who is full of confidence, a personality trait that Steve lacks.
After a disagreement with Steve, Simone leaves him for Andy, sending Steve's life into a crumbling whirlwind of torment and suffering. With the help of his sister and his best friends and visits from the "ghosts" of girlfriends past, Steve discovers how self‐centred he has always been and learns how to be a better man. But can he change in time to save his relationship with Simone? Or will he lose her to Andy forever?
For a community theatre production, the cast boasts impressive training and theatre experience, which was evident in their excellent performances. James Garces (playing the lead role as Steve) is studying a theatre degree and is tertiary ambassador for Black Swan Theatre Co. Mazey O'Reilly (playing Simone and co-writer of the show) is also undertaking a theatre degree and has an impressive resume of productions as has Belinda Harris who, as Steve's sister, Jules, told him the hard truths of his history with women.
Playing Steve's best friends were actors Oliver Temby (co-writer) and Harry Bell who are new to company productions. Harry Bell provided some comical highlights in the show with his entertaining facial expressions and his fabulous portrayal of one of Steve's girlfriend's mother.
The stage production was excellent effecting seamless changes from present to reminiscing, executed through lighting and simple but effective scene changes. Steve was transported to face his past loves played by Caity Rose, Denim Piche, Keri Neale, Ashlee McKenna and Charlize Mills. McLane Catterall dramatically played Andy as he confronted Steve and contested his claim on Simone.