It’s my Party, and I’ll Die if I Want to: play opens in Rockingham this week


Helen Parish (Karen), Cherry Allen (Debbie), Peter Scarrott (Michael), Sue Walker (Dawn) and Peter Shaw (Ron) get up to darkly comic fun.
Helen Parish (Karen), Cherry Allen (Debbie), Peter Scarrott (Michael), Sue Walker (Dawn) and Peter Shaw (Ron) get up to darkly comic fun.

IT’S my party, and I’ll die if I want to starts at Rockingham Theatre next week.

Ron Patterson is a married man with three grown up children who, after taking some medical advice, firmly believe he has only 111 minutes to live.

He decides he can’t die with his affairs in a mess, so he invites his children around for party pies and pavlova in a desperate attempt to tie up the loose ends of his life.

However, all the juicy neuroses of this very dysfunctional family come out of the closet, and his well-planned final party completely unravels.

This comedy at Rockingham Theatre is inky black in its subject matter of imminent death, made hilarious by its absurdities and frustrations surrounding Ron and wife Dawn’s unrealistic yet steadfast belief that life is neat, tidy and measurable.

Playwright Elizabeth Coleman’s Aussie humour is a breath of fresh air to which we can all relate.

She doesn’t stand on ceremony when the sparks fly and they do fly as Ron’s bigotry is exposed.

Comic writers have understood for eons that putting ordinary people into situations that they are ill-equipped to deal with is grounds for hilarity, especially when you add a touch of arrogance to the mix. Ron fits this description to a T.

Director Kirstie Francis has selected an excellent cast with a good feel for off-beat humour.

Peter Shaw takes on the persona of Ron Patterson with a skill we have come to expect in his acting and he is well matched by Sue Walker playing his very droll, deadpan wife Dawn.

Michael, their high flying son, is played by Peter Scarrott, a favourite with Rockingham audiences.

Scarrott puts his own personal touch on the character.

Cherry Allen playing Debbie, the older sister, and newcomer Helen Parish, playing Karen, are perfect foils for each other. The sly comments and petty jealousies abound between the two, right through the play as each of them tries to prove they are better at life than the other.

Playing the part of Ted, the undertaker with an advance booking, is Kyle Binstead, a new member of the Rockingham family. Binstead has a natural flair for the stage.

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