Former Hamilton Hill local Belle Toy is among a cast attempting to strike that balance. Toy’s latest production is Colder than Here, a comedy about a woman dying of bone cancer and her family’s struggle to accept the inevitable.
While Myra (Sharon Menzies) is determined to plan her own funeral, her husband (Phil Lord) moves to bury his emotions. Her two daughters also struggle to concede to an unpredictable future.
‘Obviously it is not a happy or lively time, but we can’t all be drenched in misery all the time can we? The cast in Colder than Here show us what people do to cope with death and the concept of death and how humour can come out of that, as well as bonding and unexpected changes in our close relationships,’ the former Packed to the Rafters actor said.
Toy plays daughter Jenna, the spoilt, insecure and fragile baby of the family.
‘In the play, Jenna’s having a hard time coming to terms with her mother’s terminal diagnosis while also dealing with her own boyfriend problems and new, strange family dynamics,’ she said.
‘The character is tricky but her insecurities and cattiness are a good challenge for me because the role is quite different to others I’ve played in the past.’
Toy, who spends her weekdays as a counsellor, believed people could learn a lot from the show.
‘The themes presented in Colder than Here are so common and realistic to our own families and relationships,’ she said.
‘The play embodies the strength families have when faced with grief and death and also the humour, love and connection that can come from this.’