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Salonika at Garrick Theatre

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
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On the blood-soaked sands of Salonika a new drama is played
Charlotte and her daughter Enid come to Greece, to Salonika, searching for the grave of their husband and father, Ben, killed in action so long ago.

As they emerge on to the beach, at waters' edge lies a bronzed, naked youth – alive or dead? Sleeping or awake? Apollo fallen from the azure skies or washed ashore from Homer's wine-dark sea?

There are no footprints in the sand.

Salonika, Garrick Theatre, Louise Page, Douglas Sutherland-Bruce, Siobhan Vincent, Kerry Goode, Ray Omedai, Jake Newby
Siobhan Vincent and Jaxon Barclay in rehearsal for Salonika (Photograph by Michael McAllen)

Mysterious, beautiful, lyrical, often hilarious and mocking, Salonika is always involving and thoroughly compelling.

Salonika was written by the prize-winning playwright, Louise Page in 1982 at the age of twenty-seven and although she has written many others, it is this that has caught the theatre-going public's notice.

Salonika won the author the highly prestigious George Devine Award for most promising playwright of 1982.

At that time she wrote: "I wanted to write a play about old people which would successfully handle images…Old age gets such a shoddy deal. Having done all that hard physical labour people deserve to be feted…I've tried to write about old age with passion and feeling."

Salonika, Garrick Theatre, Louise Page, Douglas Sutherland-Bruce, Siobhan Vincent, Kerry Goode, Ray Omedai, Jake Newby
L to R: Enid (Siobhan Vincent) and Charlotte (Kerry Goode) in rehearsal for Salonika (Photograph by Michael McAllen)

Following the huge success at Garrick of The Way of the World last year, Raymond Omodei is making a welcome return with Salonika. He first directed this play at the Hole in the Wall Theatre in Subiaco in 1985, starring Nita Pannell.

Now it is the turn of Garrick Theatre audiences to enjoy this fascinating work set on one of the forgotten battlegrounds of the First World War, the blood-soaked shores of Thessalonika, site of armed conflict for nearly three thousand years.

Raymond Omedai, together with co-director Jake Newby, has attracted a most experienced cast in Siobhan Vincent, Douglas Sutherland-Bruce and Kerry Goode, adding in Garrick newcomers Rhett Clarke and Jaxon Barclay.

salonika, Garrick Theatre, Louise Page, Douglas Sutherland-Bruce, Siobhan Vincent, Kerry Goode, Ray Omedai, Jake Newby
British soldiers in a trench in Salonika 1917 (Photograph courtesy the Imperial War Museum)

Salonika opens on the 28th February at Garrick Theatre, 10 Meadow Street, Guildford and runs until March 16th. Tickets cost $25 ($22 concession) and may be booked by ringing Elaine on 93781990 or online at

Remember that tickets are discounted to $15 each for the opening night only.

'There is, in this strange and beautiful play, a moment when the author crosses the boundaries of naturalism and the seaside sands of Salonika are literally parted and the dead past rises to life.' The Guardian

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Why? An intriguing play directed by theatre great Raymond Omedai
When: 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Phone: 9378 1990
Where: Garrick Theatre, 10 Meadow Street, Guildford.
Cost: $25 (concession $22)
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