Five Different Couples Tell One Enduring Story
“Can you know someone more from their letters than you do in person?”
The Guild Theatre at Rockdale NSW is presenting Love Letters by A. R. Gurney, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as the final play of their 2023 season, from November 3 to December 2.
Love Letters centres on two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III. Side by side the characters read letters and take the audience on a journey which spans almost 50 years. Though separated through most of this time, in these letters they share their hopes, dreams, disappointments and successes ... theirs is a unique and complicated relationship that is often hard to define, but one that defines their lives.
The director Lyn Lee has chosen to cast five different couples to play the roles of Melissa and Andrew. She feels this will bring diversity to the play, as each couple will have a different perspective in respect to their character. Audiences will then have the opportunity to see the play more than once and experience the different interpretations which each couple will bring to the roles as the characters come to life.
Dawn and David Pointon - November 3 – 5
UK born Dawn met David in France in 1992, whilst holidaying with her then fiancé. After their meeting they shared a love letter to each other and instantly fell in love. Dawn ended her engagement immediately ... David proposed and they were engaged three months later then married seven months later. They initially lived in France then moved to David’s birthplace, Australia, in 1994. The Pointons now have two adult children, a Golden Retriever 'Finley', three chooks and a cat 'Banjo'. Whilst they have performed in many productions over the years, they are very excited about Love Letters as it is the first time that they will be sharing a stage.
Glenda and Greg Kenyon – November 8 – 12.
Greg first set eyes on Glenda at the Bankstown Town Hall theatre after a production of Annie Get Your Gun in 1975. Greg was later cast as Prince Charming, because he had long hair (it was the 70’s) and Glenda was appointed to be his ponytail stylist. How Greg had the temerity to converse with such a very, good looking leading lady (apparently “punching way above his weight”) one will never know ... but they were married a year later! They now have four children and nine grandchildren who share their passion for theatre. Greg feels their roles will entail an entirely different challenge for them, as they stopped writing love letters to each other about 40 years ago! Greg and Glenda will be celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary during the run of Love Letters.
Maria Micallef and Brett Van Heekeren – November 15 – 19.
Maria and Brett, are the only non-married couple but the connection was instantaneous. On stage they have developed a chemistry that has grown, as they dissect the play and their characters. Their banter and quick wit during rehearsals is representative of their rapport and you would almost swear they were married. There is sensitivity and mutual respect as they work together, guiding one another to bring more to their respective characters.
Working together for the first time is like a journey of discovery such as the journey lovers share when they first meet. They have found that they have a lot in common; a love of good food, wine and their love of theatre. They hope that these commonalities will transfer in bringing their characters to life.
Christianne and Scott Brawley – November 22 – 26.
Christianne and Scott met in 1991, when they were both cast in a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Christianne was cast as Nurse Ratched and Scott as an orderly in the mental home ... not very romantic. Nevertheless, straightaway they made each other laugh and the relationship took off from there. The ability to make each other laugh is an integral bond in their relationship, as is their shared love of community theatre. Both have been involved in community theatre, acting, directing and writing for over 30 years. They have acted together many times, but are especially excited to share the stage again in Love Letters as they will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary during the production’s run.
Nathan Farrow and Jodi Burns-Farrow – November 29 – December 2.
Jodi and Nathan met during The Guild’s production of The Woman In Black, in which Jodi played the ethereal figure that tormented Nathan to his wit’s end ... a glimpse of their future together. They went out after the production, but Jodi was not ready for his brand of chaos in her life. However, a year later they appeared together in Dad’s Army and Nathan took her to the Open Air Cinema. Seventeen years later, they’re still together, so Nathan thinks he’s winning the ‘chaos’ argument for now. Nathan proposed to Jodi from the stage of The Guild Theatre in front of an audience of family and friends and they were married the following year in Venice. They have performed in five productions together, but this is the first time they speak to one another or, at least, write Love Letters.Love Letters is the last play for 2023 and runs from 3 November – 2 December, 2023 and there will be Wednesday matinee performances rather than Wednesday evening performances.
For tickets: https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing/1070683
By Arrangement The Literary Property Trust A. R. Gurney