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Talking Heads @ Limelight 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: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
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From Beyond The Fringe on stage in 1960 to The Madness of King George on the big screen in 1995 Alan Bennett has been a major force in British drama and comedy, often blending the two to great effect.

The award-winning series of razor-sharp wit in sensational solo performances by the famed British playwright, actor and author is coming to Wanneroo's Limelight Theatre this April.

Directed by Wanneroo resident Gwen Browning, Talking Heads was originally written by Alan Bennett for BBC-TV in 1988 and has since found a new lease of life on stage.

Bennett is also the author of the stage and film versions of The History Boys and Prick Up Your Ears.

Talking Heads has been described as a classic of contemporary drama, universally hailed for its combination of humour and deeply felt humanity.

The Limelight Theatre production features three monologues:
Bed Among the Lentils, in which a vicar's wife discovers some semblance of happiness with an Indian shop owner.
A Chip in the Sugar, focuses on a man's life that begins to unravel when he discovers his aging mother has rekindled an old flame.
Her Big Chance, exploring what happens when a young, naive actress gains a part in a German film which is not quite what she thought.

Susannah Devenish, David Nelson and Sue Mainwaring

Browning chose to direct Talking Heads because of Bennett's perceptive view of the ordinary human being.

These monologues are funny and sardonic, tragic and painful," she said. "We laugh at the situations presented and then feel a twinge of guilt.

It is unusual rehearsing with only one person at a time and, as you can imagine, it's very intensive and exhausting for the actor."

Involved with Limelight Theatre since 1983, Browning has performed in "too many productions to remember" and previously directed Hotel Sorrento, Whose Life Is It Anyway? and Lifex3.

She has also scored four Limelight Theatre best actress awards between 1992 and 2006 and a similar accolade at the State Drama Festival in 1995.

Talking Heads has presented a few challenges for Browning, including the stage setting.

We need to be able to suggest several different playing areas for each set and adapt the stage for three different performances," she said.

Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.
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Why? Razor Sharp Wit and Deeply Felt Humanity
When: 8:00pm
Where: Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo
Cost: $19 and $16 concession
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