Tales from the Park are back

Tales from the Park are back

Former Armadale resident Phil Barnett, right, plays ghostly spirit Alan, telling Monica (Bev Lawrence) to move on with her life in ‘Hello From The Other Side’, one of six short plays in Tales From The Park.

Former Armadale resident Phil Barnett is sinking his teeth into a couple of snack-sized bites of theatre.

He’s appearing in ‘Hello From The Other Side’ and ‘The Devil You Know’ – two of six new stories served up in Tales From The Park presented by Maverick Theatre Productions at the Old Mill Theatre.

All written and directed by Noel O’Neill, the simple setting of a park bench has cooked up an appetising variety of drama and comedy.

Hello From The Other Side features a spirit, played by Mr Barnett, who urges a woman to move on with her life following his death.

“The idea came from thinking about being able to get in touch with spirits after people had passed so unresolved issues could be cleared up,” Mr O’Neill said.

The inspiration for ‘The Devil You Know’ came from the FIFO industry and looks at a married man (another role for Mr Barnett) having an affair while his friends try to talk him out of it. Mr O’Neill also plays one of the characters.

“FIFO relationships can take their toll on a marriage,” he said. “It’s not what it seems and, despite the good money, there is sometimes a higher price to pay.”

In ‘A Change For The Better’, a man – played by Mr O’Neill – undergoes a spiritual discovery within himself a week before his wedding but his fiancée doesn’t understand.

“Sometimes, we don’t want to see people changing because we have accepted them as they are,” he said.

‘The Apple Cart’ features two sisters meeting again after a long time, trying to work out what happened to make them drift apart.

“I read a short story and the details were revealed to the reader but not the characters in the story,” Mr O’Neill said.

“In my own story, I revealed them for dramatic reasons.”

In ‘Room To Let’, a young girl rents a room and meets her landlord in the park where she tries to convince him to give up a relationship to save his marriage.

“It’s all about a tangled web of deception and the idea a younger person can see it so clearly,” Mr O’Neill said.

‘A Time And A Place’ is a real-life family affair featuring Bev Lawrence, her daughter Isabella Lawrence and daughter-in-law Anita Telkamp.

Isabella and Anita play Christine and Caroline, two daughters trying to persuade their mother (played by Bev) to move into a home.

“I wanted to explore how relationships are challenged between mother and daughters,” O’Neill said.

Tales From The Park plays at 7.30pm June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 with 2pm matinees June 9 and 16. Tickets are $25, $22 concession – book at trybooking.com/CROWI.

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel).