Equally Divided at Limelight Theatre, Western Australia

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AN all-too-human comedy about doing the right thing – set in a converted railway carriage – is the latest offering from Limelight Theatre.

Written by Oscar-nominated playwright Ronald Harwood and directed by Gwen Browning, Equally Divided is a wry, humorous tale of two warring sisters squabbling over their mother’s estate.

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Edith has always been the dutiful daughter who looked after her bedridden mother, while her rich and selfish younger sister Renata attracted all the attention and various husbands but never lifted a fingernail to help.

When the will is read, their childhood rivalries re-emerge and Edith is sure Renata will come out on top yet again.

But their eccentric mother’s tempting collection of antiques may prove a tipping point with questions soon emerging about whether honesty, like beauty, only runs skin deep.

Ronald Harwood is best known for his British stage plays, such as The Dresser and Quartet, which he also adapted into films, along with other screenplays that earned him Oscar nominations.

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Theatre

“I am a real fan because he has a gift for pin-pointing our human weaknesses and dilemmas,” Gwen said.

“His dialogue has a particular rhythm which often reveals more than the words themselves.

“The play is set in a converted railway carriage and we need to create a wide set with a shorter depth than usual to create a feeling of claustrophobia.

“We also need a great many antiques to dress the set.”

Involved with Limelight Theatre since 1983, Gwen has performed in “too many productions to remember”.

She was named best actress at Limelight Theatre in 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2006, also scoring the accolade at the 1995 State Drama Festival.

Gwen has directed the plays Hotel Sorrento, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Life x 3, Quartet and Talking Heads (winner of best production in 2012) and last year directed her first pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.

“Equally Divided is a rather extraordinary play,” she said. “It’s about inheritance, disappointed lives, loneliness and rejection but they are all dealt with in a humorous way.

“The story is part-comic, part-tragic and questions important social and moral dilemmas.

“The play also argues that justice is sometimes reached only by taking the law into your own hands.”

Equally Divided plays at 8pm March 31, April 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 with a 2pm matinee April 3. Tickets are $23, $20 concession – book at www.limelighttheatre.com.au or call 0499 954 016 between 9am and 12pm, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Limelight Theatre is on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.

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