UNIVERSITY Dramatic Society (UDS) member Xavier Hazard set out to write a show that he would want to see and also want to act in.
The result was Dimity Smyth is Dead, twisting the formula of a ‘whodunit’ to ‘who will do it?’.
“I really love the murder-mystery genre and think it’s really accessible to lots of people,” Hazard, of Wembley Downs, said.
“I know theatre can be not everyone’s cup of tea but I think murder-mystery really bridges that gap and allows people on both sides of the fence to be engaged.
“On top of that, I love the genre but wanted to play with it and turn it on its head in terms of the concept, making the lead a female detective instead of a grumpy Sherlock Holmes.
“It’s a detective story where the detective is not detecting but rather orchestrating a murder and the murder is her own.”
The Hale graduate not only wrote the play but is also directing it at UWA between his fourth year law and journalism studies at Curtin University.
He said although it was a bit of a struggle to fit UDS commitments in among university, work and volunteering, he managed to find a way.
“I joined in 2016 during my second year of university,” he said.
“I had a bunch of friends who were part of it. I hadn’t done theatre since high school and I really missed it. I was excited and a little bit jealous of my friends that they were still continuing with it.
“I jumped in because I have a passion for writing. It was an unparalleled opportunity to pitch shows, write shows and see them on stage.”
Hazard said there were five men and five women in the cast, with each actor taking on a big character.
“I didn’t want any roles where someone would go ‘I’m just the butler with only a couple of lines’,” he said.
“I think everyone has a rich backstory and the idea is that all characters are established characters within this universe, so they’ve already interacted with each other.
“I’m really excited to put it in front of an audience. It’s a little macabre and a little irreverent so I think it will be interesting to see what people take from it.”
What: Dimity Smyth is Dead
Where: Dolphin Theatre, UWA
When: September 19 to 22