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Free Public Play Reading: Kid Stakes


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Black Swan State Theatre Company is excited to present in collaboration with City of Perth the two other plays in ‘THE DOLL’ trilogy created by beloved Australian playwright Ray Lawler.

Lawler’s prequels Kids Stakes and Other Times are programmed as free public play readings in the lead in to the Heath Ledger Theatre season of the iconic Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. The prequels traced the same characters through the 1930s and40s but were actually written by Lawler much later. Kid Stakes,is a joyful portrait of the summer of the first doll, where a chance encounter brings Olive and Emma, Roo and Barney, into the shabby Carlton terrace in Melbourne to begin their journey of seasonal love. It also introduces Nancy, who is depicted as care-free and fun-loving but who turns out to be a strong and decisive character.

The bridging play, Other Times, is set during the Second World War when Barney and Roo are on leave from the army. Other Times is the fulcrum of the three plays in which the characters stop being kids and become adults. Middle age is looming, and life is no longer just a game. Nancy's decision to move on and get married changes things irrevocably, setting the scene for Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, where we see Olive ringing in Pearl in a desperate bid to continue the pairing with the boys for seasonal fun and frivolity.

Directed by Clare Watson and performed by Perth’s acting elite, this is a great opportunity to deepen your engagement with the characters and their journey through ages. A real treat for our City’s theatre lovers.