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richard beynon’s ‘simpson j, 202’ @ casula powerhouse arts centre

My theatre highlight for this week was attending the Opening Night of Liverpool Performing Arts  Ensemble’s production of Australian playwright Richard Beynon’s classic play, SIMPSON J. 202.

Michael Giglio gave a stellar performance in the lead role, playing John Simpson Kirkpatrick, the brave young Anzac stretcher bearer who used a little donkey to save many Aussie soldiers injured on the battlefield. Giglio traverses well the different stages in his characters’ journey.

During the play the playwright fills in a lot of the back story to John Simpson’s heroism on the battlefield. We learn that he was a good natured but naive adolescent who had more love for his pets  and the local strays than he did for school work. Simpson desperately wanted to follow his father’s footsteps and become a merchant seaman.

After his father dies Simpson decides to follow his heart and head out to sea. He boards a ship heading for Western Australia and stays onboard for a year to provide for his family as well as having some wonderful adventures

Whilst on board he sends letters to his  mother Sarah Kirkpatrick well played by Micky Rose,  and his sister Annie Kirkpatrick played by Charlotte Robertson, a young actress with a melodic voice and a charismatic stage presence.  

I admired the set design. On the right side of the stage was the family’s house. The left side of the stage was divided into three environments- the school, the military camp and the battleship. The lighting and sound effects added to the play’s atmosphere.

Rosie Daly’s direction kept the action flowing well. The full cast comprised Michael Giglio, Charlotte Robertson, Micky Rose, Don Ezard, David Preston, Stephen Wheatley and Charu Ahluwalia.

Well worth seeing, the final performance of SIMPSON J, 202 will take place in the performance space at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre tomorrow, Saturday 27th May, at 2 pm.

Here are just a few more pics from the show-


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