Wonderful World

What happens when you take a friends-like sitcom and juxtapose it with a dark, comedic sub-text? The answer lies in the WA premiere of Wonderful World, written by Richard Dresser and directed by Geoffrey Leeder at Melville Theatre.

A close-knit New England family in the US is shaken to its core when a minor misunderstanding spirals out of control. Brothers Max and Barry find themselves at odds when Barry’s wife misinterprets a dinner invitation, feeling she was deliberately excluded, and then embarks on a full-scale policy of truth-telling. Max’s fiancée and mother are drawn into the fray as loyalties shift and relationships are ruthlessly examined.

“It’s a quirky, playful script that’s not to be missed,” Leeder said.

“Wonderful World is a play in two acts with eight scenes in different locations in the first act and then three different locations in the second act.

“The challenge is staging the play and ensuring the audience understands when we have moved on in time and place.

“This is achieved using minimal or no furniture, complemented by the lighting design.”

Involved in theatre for more than 30 years, Leeder has worked either as an actor or director with Rockingham, Kwinana, Melville, Harbour, KADS, 9 Lives and Turquoise Theatres, the Graduate Dramatic Society and Koorliny and Mandurah Performing Arts Centres.

In 2000, his production of Too Far to Walk was named best play at the annual Finley Awards—and he’s also a life member of the Independent Theatre Association.

“I was introduced to Wonderful World some years ago by my daughter while she was working at the WA Academy of Performing Arts,” Leeder said.

”’Dad,’ she said, ‘You would love this play’. I read it and she was right—I did love it.

“Since then it has been on my list of plays to do.”

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