Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
A moving and gripping professional performance by the Stirling Community Theatre of the memorable South Australian premier production of Forget Me Not. Written by Tom Holloway and directed by Megan Dansie and featuring Angela Short (Mary), Tony Busch (Gerry), Alicia Zorkovic (Sally) and Aaron MacDonald (Mark).
Tom Holloaway has created a sensitive and magnificent play about the gruelling experiences of over 3,000 children taken from poor familes and single-parent families in the UK and were shipped to work farms in Australia during the 1940's and 1950's. The parents were deceived into believing their child was adopted by a caring and secure family, while the children in most instances were led to believe their parents were dead.
Gerry (Tony Busch) and Sally (Alicia Zorkovic). Photo by Mark Anolak.
Gerry is the son. Through a series of conversations his harrowing experiences unfold of his upbringing on a farm where he and the other boys were denied love, experienced exhausting, brutal farm work and suffered physical abuse.
Gerry is seen as a sixty year old who believes his mother is dead. He is clearly struggling with his identity and struggles with relationships, in particular with his adult daughter Sally. Gerry struggles with alcohol and fits of uncontrollable rage.
Gerry's daughter, Sally has clearly been treated poorly by her father, and her tolerance is nearly exhausted, but despite his history of angry outburts and drunken behaviour she continues to support him. Sally obviously sees her father as the man he could have been.
Mary is Gerry's mother, an underclass battler, living in Liverpool, who has struggled with the myth the government arranged for her son to be given opportunities and privileges she was never able to provide. She is completely unaware Gerry was despatched to Australia.
Mark the well meaning social worker introduces further dynamics to the story as he endeavours to unite Mary, Gerry and Sally together in Liverpool.
Sally ( Alicia Zorkovic ), Gerry(Tony Busch ) and Mark (Aaron MacDonald). Photo: Mark Anolak.
Director, Megan Dansie obviously has a deep understanding of the story and each of the characters. She does a remarkable production of one of the finest plays which has won numerous awards.
All the players present superb performances and are very convincing in their roles as they constantly portray a unified empathy to Holloway's play. Despite the tensions raised through the reveiling of the harrowing experiences there are flashes of humour which provide relief, but at the same time the story parallels with our own stolen generations are clearly evident.
This is a wonderful opportunity to see an excellent presentation of one of the best contemporary plays surely to be performed in 2017.
Gerry (Tony Busch) and Mary (Angela Short) Photo: Mark Anolak.