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
An Australian classic
An award winning and moving Australian classic, The Shifting Heart follows the life of an Italian family attempting to make a new life in Australia, in the aftermath of World War II.
Melbourne of the 1950's in its first faltering attempts at multiculturalism provides an evocative background to this humorous and ultimately tragic story.
Director Rachel Vonk (centre) discussing the script with Harrison MacLennan (Gino) and Jacqi Warner (Momma)
Playwright Beynon dedicated this play to a Polish immigrant known as 'Mr. Leczycki' who cut his throat because his work colleagues couldn't understand a word he was saying.
The Shifting Heart was Richard Beynon's first play, and was chosen as best Australian play of 1956 for which he earned Sydney Journalists' Club award and was placed 3rd (out of 2,000 entries) in London Observer World Play Competition.
Beynon was also a noted actor on the London stage. Set in 1950's Collingwood, The Shifting Heart is a story of racism and prejudice. Following the family life of Momma and Poppa Bianchi who immigrated to Australia 8 years ago with their daughter Maria now heavily pregnant during the Australian summer and their son Gino getting into all sorts of trouble with the locals.
With a mixed set of neighbours and set in their backyard, we hear how this Christmas turns out for this Italian family.
Produced by the well-regarded Darlington Theatre Players at Marloo Theatre this production is played straight, as written. It features such well-known community theatre actors as Michael Hart and Jacqui Warner and welcomes newcomers to the Marloo Theatre.
Directed by Rachel Vonk, assisted by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce, the play reflects modern Australia with its reaction to 'illegal immigrants' as much as it did the immediate post-war period. Not to be missed.
The Shifting heart opens on the 5th July, 2013 and runs until the 27th July. Tickets cost $18 for adults, $16 for concession holders. Curtain up at 8:00pm, 2:00pm for the matinee on the 21st July.