Exploring prejudice and sibling rivalry, acclaimed Melbourne performer Michael Dalton is set to reveal a completely new side of his talents in Jimmie Chinn’s unique family drama, A Different Way Home at Chapel off Chapel in an Australian premiere from 6 October 2015.
An exceptionally touching play written by UK playwright Jimmie Chinn, A Different Way Home conveys the need for families to communicate and how, in an ideal world, love and affection would transcend prejudice. Through their dysfunctional relationship the siblings teach us how love, laughter and loss are what bind us together as family.
In this deeply moving and astutely observed play, we hear two monologues from two members of a family in a small, closely-knit, North of England town. In Act One, Leslie, who has lived with his mother all of his life, narrates the events leading up to her death, unwittingly revealing the extent of his loss and the bitterness towards his sister, Maureen, who lives nearby but is not in touch.
In Act Two, we learn from Maureen that Leslie succumbed to his grief and excluded her, and we hear her side of the story – feeling rejected by her family and friends because she married a Jew, she feels betrayed for not being asked to help when needed. The play although poignant and touching, also gives us a great deal of laughter. It also asks, how do we cope with losing a loved one?
“It has been a few years since I tackled something quite so in depth and challenging, it’s an exciting time and I intend to grab it with both hands,” says Michael Dalton. “This will be the first time one actor has portrayed both characters and I am geared up to portray these two very diverse people under the direction of Zoe Warwick.”
Jimmie Chinn (1940 – 2011) was an English actor, teacher and most notably, a playwright. His early years in Oldham and Manchester were to shape his writing in future years. He came to London in 1959 where he trained as an actor at the RADA and worked in many aspects of the theatre.
His short and very undistinguished career as an actor led him eventually to train as a teacher at Whitelands College, Putney, where he gained an honours degree in English and Drama. He taught and became a senior teacher and housemaster at Dormers Wells School in Middlesex from 1979 until becoming a full-time writer in 1984.
His works include: In Room Five Hundred and Four, Pity About Kitty, To the Island, After September, Albert Make Us Laugh, Sylvia’s Wedding, Take Away the Lady, Too Long an Autumn, Audrey and Me and Straight and Narrow. His television credits include Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and A Different Way Home.
Director: Zoe Warwick Performer: Michael Dalton Production Manager: Gavin Macleod
A Different Way Home
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Season: 7 – 11 October 2015 (preview: 6 October)
Bookings: (03) 8290 7000 or online at: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au
For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/ADifferentWayHome for details.
Image: Michael Dalton as himself (centre) and as Leslie and Maureen (supplied)