A night of gripping theatre, November 14, 7.30pm when there will be a
rehearsed reading of Jim McDonald's new dramatic comedy Spooked at
Noosa Arts Theatre, 163 Lake Weyba Road, Noosaville (phone 5449 9343).
Our past has a habit of intruding into the present. For migrants who have fled the repression of a totalitarian regime, the effects can be quite extreme, even when they have successfully made a life for themselves in a new country. Spooked deals with the experience of being a migrant in an Australia today in the context of growing concerns about Islamic terrorism. What effects could the attitudes of other Australians have on migrants at a personal level?
The play tells the story of Misha, a pasta caf owner in the Western Suburbs, who was originally from Albania. He has mounting fears about the anti-terror laws and a growing community antipathy towards Muslims. Misha develops pathological concerns for his safety and believes he is being monitored because of his background. He suspects everyone and his suspicions are wide-ranging. This provides plenty of comedic moments, but the events take on a sinister tone as Misha becomes more and more paranoid. The play ends on an unexpected twist but not before Misha is all but driven out of his mind by events. Spooked is a play relevant to the times we live in and invites us to consider perspectives we can easily overlook.
Misha: Tomas Passaggi
Lena: Yvie Somerville
Frank: Bruce Hamilton
Yusef: Wayne Clark
Kate: Vicki O'Brien
This 8 scene play runs for approximately 85 minutes. Tickets are $10 at the door on the night - BE EARLY!
About Jim McDonald
Jim went to many productions of the new wave of Australian theatre in the early 1970s at the Pram Factory in Melbourne, seeing performances of such plays as "A Stretch of the Imagination", "Floating World", and "White with Wire Wheels". Oddly, he never got to that other hotbed of theatrical development, La Mama, which was just around the corner from the Pram Factory in Carlton. It was a wonderful time for theatre in the sixties and seventies, Jim not only got to see a large number of mainstream plays at Melbourne Theatre Company but saw people like Max Gillies as a student actor at Monash University, where he was a perpetual student! He says, "I still think the student production of "Waiting for Godot" in 1964 was the best of the three productions - the other two professional - that I have seen. With - eventually - an Arts degree with an English major, Jim's natural bent should have taken him to theatre and writing. Instead his creative instincts were overwhelmed by a career as a high school teacher and an academic path that took him into writing a Masters thesis in Education, although he won a prize for a biographical article on a Victorian feminist for the Royal Victorian Historical Society in 1980. Jim was an active teacher unionist and various times on the state bodies of two Victorian teacher unions. He followed that track working for ten years as a full-time union official in the 1980s in the public sector and then in the airlines. His wife Doreen finally winkled him out of Melbourne and he worked as an academic with a speciality in industrial relations in Toowoomba. He completed his PhD late and it was on the ideology of managers in small and medium sized businesses. A heart attack forced changes on his career path and he eventually "retired" after working part-time for a couple of years at Griffith University. His admitted workaholic approach turned then to creative writing and acting. This is my fourth career, he says. And I treat it seriously like a career. I am doing acting and writing workshops, and I belong to Playlab and the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble. I am also a member of Equity with an agent. But, I wouldn't want to try and live on the pittance if I ever do manage to make some money! My latest gig has been as an extra in the latest Narnia film and I completed a five week master class on writing satire in July -- August at the Queensland Theatre Company with writer Guy Rundle, performer, Max Gillies, and Director, Jon Halpin.
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