"The Dresser follows a performance and the backstage conversations of Sir, the last of the dying breed of English actor-managers, as he struggles through King Lear with the aid of his dresser," Jacob said. "The action takes place in the main dressing room, wings, stage and backstage corridors of a provincial English theatre during an air raid. At its heart, the show is a love letter to theatre and the people who sacrifice so much to make it possible."
"I stumbled on to The Dresser completely by accident when I found the film starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins a few years ago," Jacob said. "I was completely absorbed and immediately wanted to bring the show to a local audience."
Vee McGuire plays the efficient and reliable stage manager Madge. "She can appear rather cold and business-like," she said. "Madge has been with the company almost 20 years, driven by her unrequited love and devotion to Sir. In some ways, she has a lot in common with Norman, although she often finds herself at odds with him.
"Madge's emotions are always held in check but there are a number of subtle shifts as the play progresses, so the challenge is to show these different facets. The other challenge is fixing my hair into a 1940s style!"
Acting for the past four years, Vee has appeared at Garrick, Limelight, KADS, Hayman and Blak Yak Theatres, Irish Theatre Players and the State Theatre Centre in productions such as Henry V, The Chook House and Five Stubbies for a Sixpack. "I had seen the two film versions of The Dresser and loved the way all the characters were so driven with passion about their art," she said.
"The depth of emotions just under the surface of the characters creates a tension that is palpable. As a lover of theatre, doing a play about the workings and characters in a Shakespearean theatre company in wartime England also fascinated me."
The Dresser plays at 8pm July 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 with a 2pm matinee July 11. Tickets are $23, $18 concession book at www.TAZTix.com.au. Melville Theatre is at 393A Canning Highway (corner of Stock Road), Palmyra.