THEATRE: Timothy, a comedy by Newcastle playwright Tristam Baumber to air on ABC for Mental Health Week

TRISTRAM BAUMBER
TRISTRAM BAUMBER

TIMOTHY, a 30-minute comedy by Newcastle playwright and television scripter Tristram Baumber (The Cleanists), will be screened by the ABC on October 8, in ABC’s Mental As... a week-long initiative backing Mental Health Week (October 5 to 12). 

Mental As... aims to encourage Australians to start talking about mental illness and to donate to mental health research.

Baumber’s comedy, produced by Quail Television and directed by Erin White (At Home with Julia), has Timothy (Stephen Curry), the 35-year-old son of Melinda (Denise Scott) and Colin Garrett (Peter Rowsthorn), returning to Wollongong. 

His homecoming is under less than stellar circumstances, the result of bankruptcy and a mental breakdown in his former life as a corporate high-flyer in Hong Kong.

Apart from permanently sporting an old dressing gown, Timothy doesn’t show many signs of the breakdown but his therapist  insists he is very fragile. 

He drives his mother up the wall, rearranging her entire household, practises martial arts on the clothes line and eats only freshly killed silver carp which has to be procured on the Asian black market. 

As much as Melinda would like the therapist to be wrong, she discovers that whenever she tries to gently ‘‘nudge’’ Timothy to change his ways, he is indeed delicate. 

The road to recovery is long. That is, if recovery ever comes at all. And the road is paved with relapses, murdered silver carp and grandchildren who may never be able to visit again.

Timothy can be seen on the ABC on Wednesday, October 8, at 9.30pm.