Comedy delivers inheritance saga worth its fair share

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Equally Divided actors Gino Cataldo, left, Rosalyn Anderson, Christine Smith and Andrew Govey.
  • Due to a cast member becoming a close contact of a Covid case and having to isolate, all remaining performances of Equally Divided have had to be cancelled. All current ticketholders will be contacted by Limelight Theatre in relation to receiving a refund.

AN all-too-human comedy about doing the right thing – set in a converted railway carriage – is the latest offering from Wanneroo’s Limelight Theatre.

Written by Oscar-nominated playwright Ronald Harwood and directed by Gwen Browning, Equally Divided is a wry, humorous tale of two warring sisters squabbling over their mother’s estate.

Edith has always been the dutiful daughter who looked after her bedridden mother, while her rich and selfish younger sister Renata attracted all the attention and various husbands but never lifted a fingernail to help.

When the will is read, their childhood rivalries re-emerge and Edith is sure Renata will come out on top yet again.

But their eccentric mother’s tempting collection of antiques may prove a tipping point with questions soon emerging about whether honesty, like beauty, only runs skin deep.

Ronald Harwood is best known for his British stage plays, such as The Dresser and Quartet, which he also adapted into films, along with other screenplays that earned him Oscar nominations.

Browning said she was a real fan because he had a gift for pin-pointing human weaknesses and dilemmas.

“His dialogue has a particular rhythm which often reveals more than the words themselves,’’ he said.

“The play is set in a converted railway carriage and we need to create a wide set with a shorter depth than usual to create a feeling of claustrophobia.

“We also need a great many antiques to dress the set.”

Involved with Limelight Theatre since 1983, Browning has performed in “too many productions to remember”.

She was named best actress at Limelight Theatre in 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2006, also scoring the accolade at the 1995 State Drama Festival.

Last year she directed her first pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk and she has directed the plays Hotel Sorrento, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Life x 3, Quartet and Talking Heads (winner of best production in 2012).

“Equally Divided is a rather extraordinary play,” she said.

“It’s about inheritance, disappointed lives, loneliness and rejection but they are all dealt with in a humorous way.

“The story is part-comic, part-tragic and questions important social and moral dilemmas.

“The play also argues that justice is sometimes reached only by taking the law into your own hands.”

Equally Divided plays at Limelight Theatre, Civic Dr, Wanneroo at 8pm on April 6, 7, 8 and 9 with a 2pm matinee on April 10.

Tickets are $23, $20 concession – book at www.limelighttheatre.com.au or call 0499 954 016 between 9am and 12pm, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.