• Rachel Thomson and Sophie Peacock

    Rachel Thomson and Sophie Peacock

  • Cold Light cast with author Frank Moorhouse and scriptwriter Alana Valentine.

    Cold Light cast with author Frank Moorhouse and scriptwriter Alana Valentine.

  • Bruce and Gillian McFarlane

    Bruce and Gillian McFarlane

  • Adele Chynoweth and Peter Cummins

    Adele Chynoweth and Peter Cummins

  • Sue Woolfe and Frank Moorhouse

    Sue Woolfe and Frank Moorhouse

  • Trevor Peacock, Pattie Tancred, Annie Byron and David Hilyard

    Trevor Peacock, Pattie Tancred, Annie Byron and David Hilyard

  • Stephen Cassidy, Cornel Platzer, Jane Ingall and Andrew Stuart

    Stephen Cassidy, Cornel Platzer, Jane Ingall and Andrew Stuart

  • Carolyn Papps. David and Vicki Williams and Bruce Papps

    Carolyn Papps. David and Vicki Williams and Bruce Papps

  • Bronwyn Hendry, Daryl Karp, Brendan Higgins and Peter Campos

    Bronwyn Hendry, Daryl Karp, Brendan Higgins and Peter Campos

  • Cold Light Director Caroline Stacey, Adam Stnakevicius and Karen Middleton

    Cold Light Director Caroline Stacey, Adam Stnakevicius and Karen Middleton

  • Lorraine Sanderson with Fay and Peter Martin

    Lorraine Sanderson with Fay and Peter Martin

Cold Light Premiere @ The Street Theatre

4 March 2017

A premiere of Cold Light at the Street Theatre didn’t have the red carpet, glamorous dressing or the lights cameras action of an invading paparazzi but it did have a memorable impact. It is a play that takes us back to a 50’s Canberra as Edith Campbell Berry returns with her cross-dressing husband Ambrose for his posting to the British High Commission and she expects after her work for the League of Nations it will augur well for an External Affairs ambassadorial posting.

It didn’t, but the story that Frank Moorhouse weaves around the known and created characters in the life of the bush capital at the beginning of its major growth spurt is intriguing when you and your family have been part of that lived experience in many of the aspects that Moorhouse uses to create this multi faceted and worldly wise woman ahead of her time.  

Yes bike handles were filled with boiling water for the long rides on freezing mornings, but putting cumquats in offices was unlikely from the then Parks and Gardens Yarralumla nursery. The Acton Peninsula was where some government offices were housed and The Gloucester Restaurant was considered the premier dining establishment with many a tale of dalliances from all echelons of the country town where wood fires and a glass of sherry lubricated the gossip and everyone knew everything about you and yours.  

It is an epic tale and the adaption by Alana Valentine is well concertinaed to portray the life of a complex and believable character played with restraint by Sonia Todd, and her early struggles with the politics of the time, the Menzies and Whitlam eras, the plans to build a unique city and the memories that we who love it can relive and relish.

The production and direction bring out the best in the actors playing multiple character with ease, set and lighting designers evoking ‘Mondrian meets Burley Griffin’ and fashion to make you remember your grandmother’s and mother’s dress up box but worn with style and the sexy slips of red and imagined garters and stockings of fine denier relegated to the boudoirs of yesteryear part of a story realised well in this production.

Thanks for the memories.