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When We Are Married @ 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:
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Imagine suddenly discovering you're not officially married after twenty-five years of supposed wedded bliss what would you do?

Ellenbrook drama teacher Alida Chaney gets mixed up in the repercussions in her latest play at Limelight Theatre, written by JB Priestley and directed by Gordon Park.

When We Are Married is a timeless British comedy set in 1908 as three couples gather to celebrate their joint silver wedding anniversaries.

But as the evening progresses, they discover the priest who conducted their ceremonies wasn't authorised to perform marriages and they suddenly get a taste of single life once again.

An accomplished British novelist, essayist and playwright, JB Priestley is also known for his works Time and the Conways and An Inspector Calls.

Chaney plays Lottie Grady, a character she describes as a "good-time girl".

She doesn't come into the play until the second act, when it's revealed she had a bit of 'fun' in Blackpool with the suddenly unmarried Joe Helliwell," she said.

At the time, he mentioned he would marry her if only he wasn't already married.

Lottie turns up to find out if he's still of the same mind, given he's now technically not married.

She ends up being the fundamental key to revealing the truth about the Helliwells' marriage."

Despite Lottie being larger than life, Chaney says it's wrong to assume the character is similar to her real outgoing self.

I am not gaudy or cheap, which is how I see Lottie," she said. "She's the girl everyone can have a laugh with down the pub and who men would initially be attracted to but not want to take home.

It's quite sad in a way and not the sort of person I would like to be."

First stepping on the stage in the UK as an 11-year-old in Oliver, Chaney has a wealth of stage credits to her name and has performed with a variety of theatres including Limelight, Playlovers, Garrick and Stirling Theatres since arriving in Perth in 1998.

She also has also appeared at the Regal Theatre with Glen Shorrock in Cruisin' and in Annie and Les Miserables and at Burswood Theatre with the Harmony Singers.

Most recently, Chaney appeared in Lucky Sods at Limelight Theatre and directed the musical Blood Brothers at the end of last year and is currently working as a drama teacher at the Step Up Dance Academy in Ellenbrook

"I was approached by the director to appear in When We Are Married because he knew I could do the accent," she said.

Director Gordon Park was inspired to direct the show after performing in the play many years ago.

"I remember it being very funny and entertaining for audiences in the UK so I felt it will be well-received at Limelight Theatre," he said.

"The three couples in the play are quite uptight and distinguished so you can imagine the mayhem that erupts when they find out they've been 'living in sin' for 25 years.

"JB Priestly has a wonderful command of English and his script is rich with puns, biting lines and light-hearted quips.

"All the characters are wonderfully lively and complex, which keeps the play fresh and pertinent."

When We Are Married begins on February the 9th and runs until the 25th.
Alida Chaney with Robert Benson-Parry
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Why? Timeless comedy
When: 8:00pm
Where: Limelight Theatre
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