Flowering Cherry is the latest production from the Pymble Players. You may recognise yourself or people you know in the depiction of the key characters, and it will leave with questions;
Is it good to have pipe dreams? Is the grass greener on the other side?
When life gets tough and your big dreams become a possible reality, would you fulfil what you know oh so well, or prefer to keep your dreams as a constant comfort?
The Pymble Players Club is providing another great production at the usual venue of the Corner of Bromley Avenue and Mona Vale Road from the 8th of October until the 1st of November.
Keith Potten directs Robert Bolt’s Flowering Cherry, providing insights into post-war England and a theme of sensationalised romanticism present in the era as a product of discontent in the suburbs.
The plays longevity, however, is prevalent as it allows for constant questioning of the validity of our ‘dreams’ as well as what our reaction would be if we were actually given the chance to fulfil them.
Potten has had a long career in amateur theatre, both performing and directing. Most notably, he played the title role in King Lear for the Genesian theatre in 2003 and has previously directed two plays for the Pymble Players.
Going with another realist set, we are provided the static setting of family/dining room with a kitchenette, along with a humble garden. Set in London in the 1950’s, the set exemplifies the family’s financial turmoil that becomes prevalent throughout the play.
Bolt, also known for his Oscar winning plays Dr Zhivago and A Man for All Seasons, wrote Lawrence of Arabia and Death of a Salesman. In The Flowering Cherry, Bolt depicts the struggling life of a dreamer whose fantasies get the better of him, to the point of tearing his life apart.
Jim Cherry dreams of life on the orchard, in Somerset, England and growing apples for his beloved scrumpy. But for now he is an insurance broker with a drinking problem, and life this way appears less daunting to him than chasing his fantastical dreams.
Unlike the Pymble Players last production, this cast has a good age range, providing a variety of experience and young energy.
This is Vince Barry’s debut performance in amateur theatre, after an assortment of roles in his high school life. Vince plays Tom, the highly intelligent and keen to impress son of Jim and Isobel.
Jim Burns has an extensive theatrical résumé including amateur theatre, musical comedy, on the web and television. He plays Jim’s colleague, Gilbert Grass, a minor role but fulfilled with absolute conviction.
Mark Paemaa makes his debut performance, starring as David Bowman, an Orchard plant broker, unbeknownst that his newest potential customer is just an idealistic fantasist.
Diane Howden is another performer with a long résumé. She plays Isobel, Jim’s loyal wife who sticks by him until his pathological lying forces her to leave.
Amy Crilley is an actor whose passion for theatre stretches into her daily life where she is a secondary school English and Drama teacher. She plays Judy, another very intelligent child of the Cherry’s. Life appears to be good for Judy, right from the start of the play, but you never know who may be there to tear dreams down.
Hayley Joy Brown is another experienced actor to add to the list of talent for this production. Brown is probably better known as a puppeteer, but she takes her hand away from her marionette to play the antagonist role of Carol. Carol is Judy’s friend but becomes much more than friends with two of the other characters’.
Finally, Geoff Jones returns for his seventh role at the Pymble Players’. A history in professional music, Jones plays the main role of Jim Cherry. Reaching middle-age, Jim Cherry is questioning his life choices and dreaming of retiring to an orchard in Somerset, but has he got what it takes?
The plot is easy to follow and this is definitely aided by the abilities of performers in this well-staged play. Skilful direction of Bolt’s script by Keith Potten makes this an enjoyable production and well worth a look.
Further details and to book, contact Pymble Players.