Lunenburg at Harbour Theatre in Western Australia

A MIX of mystery, comedy and romance is coming to Harbour Theatre.

Written by Canada’s Norm Foster, Lunenburg is the story of a woman who, after her husband dies unexpectedly, discovers he owned a home in Nova Scotia she didn’t know existed.

As she leaves Maine to unravel the mystery of her husband’s secret life in the town of Lunenberg, her best friend becomes romantically involved with the next-door neighbour.

What follows is a tale of grief, secrets and acceptance – and a lot of flirtation.

Foster is considered Canada’s most produced playwright, known for his humour and insight into the trials and tribulations of everyday life, and is frequently compared to US playwright Neil Simon.

Harbour Theatre president Dr Jarrod Buttery is one of three actors bringing the play to life, along with Meredith Hunter and Kate O’Sullivan.

“Nobody has ever heard of Lunenburg!” he admits. “We certainly hadn’t until we read the script.

“Our main challenge is having to dispel blank faces with some elaboration.

“Lunenburg is a harbour town in Nova Scotia, about 100km southwest of Halifax, and home to Canada’s most famous boat – the Bluenose, nicknamed ‘The Queen of the North Atlantic’.”

Involved in theatre for more than 30 years, Dr Buttery was one of the founding members of Blak Yak Theatre and has performed in a plethora of productions with Melville, Roleystone, Garrick, Limelight, Playlovers, KADS, Old Mill, Kwinana and Harbour Theatres.

He directed the first Terry Pratchett play to be staged in Australia and was named best director at the 2004 South West Drama Festival for his production of Heide’s Last Hit.

Over the past seven years, Dr Buttery has appeared in 10 plays with Harbour Theatre, including Norm Foster’s The Love List and On A First Name Basis and has directed a sold-out season of The Ladies Foursome (also by Norm Foster) and Picasso’s Women.

“After an extraordinarily successful period of staging The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband in a variety of Perth, country and interstate venues, my fellow actors and I started looking for another three-hander play to sink our teeth into,” he said.

“I have been involved with three previous plays written by Norm Foster and, when we browsed his script catalogue, we fell in love with Lunenburg.

“It’s extremely well-written, intelligent, funny and filled with heart.”

Lunenburg plays at 7.30pm March 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24 and 25 with 2pm matinees March 12, 19 and 26. Tickets are $25.50, $23.50 concession and $20.50 students – book at or call TAZTix on 9255 3336.

Harbour Theatre is located at 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park.