Former Karratha resident explores life and death on stage
Former Karratha resident Jeff Hansen is exploring life, love and politics in his latest play this September.
Written by Hannie Rayson and directed by Val Riches, ‘Life After George’ follows the intertwined stories of some intriguing, but ultimately flawed, characters.
After the sudden death of Professor Peter George in a light plane crash, the AWGIE award-winning play explores what impact the loss has on the women he left behind.
Hansen plays Professor George, a well-published university lecturer – who is also dead.
“The play opens with his funeral and has a non-linear timeline,” he said.
“Flashbacks play out George’s life and the relationships to those most important to him.
“He was present, with his first wife Beatrix, at the 1968 Paris riots and this has shaped his life.
“George was a card-carrying member of the Labor party and, if you were to use the word communist, you wouldn’t be far wrong.
“You could call him the Peter Pan of history professors because he refuses to grow up – he’s been married three times to young, attractive women.”
Involved in theatre for the past 32 years, Hansen’s first role was in ‘Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,’ at high school and he’s been involved with Melville Theatre for the past 14 years in various capacities since first performing in ‘Travelling North’.
Also working with Stirling, Limelight and Old Mill Theatres, Hansen is Melville Theatre’s president and scored the Finley Award for best play in 2010 after directing ‘The Return,’ following it up with a highly successful season of the Australian classic ‘Don’s Party’ and the controversial ‘The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?’
“Life after George is a fantastic script,” he said.
“The opportunity to work again with director Val Riches with such a strong play was too good to pass up.
“The role of George has large slabs of dialogue to commit to memory and my main challenge will be getting into the head of an academic who, in the words of his first wife, has never done a day’s manual labour in his life.
“George has a personality nothing like mine and we have little in common, apart from the fact we can both fly a Cessna – although I’ve never crashed one.”
Val Riches chose to direct ‘Life After George’ because she is a fan of Australian plays.
“I feel they are more appropriate to us as Australians,” she said.
“The humour, situations and characterisations give us people we are all familiar with.
“The play covers the last 30 years of the 20th century and relates to issues I grew up with, such as Paris in the late 60s and Che Guevera and it moves to women in the 80s, tapping away at the glass ceiling, then the more laissez-faire and accepting attitudes in the 90s.”
‘Life After George’ plays at 8pm, September 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20 and 21 with a 2pm matinee September 16. Tickets are $18, $14 concession – book on 9330 4565 or email email@example.com.
Melville Theatre is on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.
More information is available at www.meltheco.org.au.