AMERICAN playwright A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters shows the relationship between two people over the years, so it is ideal for a February 14, Valentine’s Day, dinner show at Wollombi’s Harp of Erin theatre restaurant in between Saturday shows at Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin on February 10 and 17.
The play is being staged by Bare Productions, a company that transferred from Sydney to Wollombi last year because two founders, Kath Perry and Annette Rowlison, now live in that area.
Kath Perry is appearing in Love Letters, alongside Alan Glover, with Annette Rowlison directing.
Love Letters has an unusual format, with the man and woman attracted to each other as teenagers moving around as they read from love letters they have sent each other for decades. They have rarely seen one another, as circumstances have often kept them apart.
While the nature of the play might sound like an unusual theatrical subject, Love Letters has been an audience-pleaser since it premiered in New York in 1988. The sentiments and happenings revealed in the correspondence have moved watchers and had them laughing, and the play was nominated for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for drama.
The two venues for this production are very different, adding to the demands made on the staging team. The new Harp of Erin Theatre, behind Wollombi General Store in the town’s main street, has the theatregoers enjoying a meal before the show begins. Shows at Kevin Sobels Wines are staged in the winery’s barrel room.
Previous shows at the venues have revealed that performers can keep audiences engrossed.
Kath Perry’s theatre career has included eight years in London and appearances at events including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with plays she helped to write among them.
In 2016, she put together Hunter Valley Summer Theatre, a nine-week program of six shows that were staged at Sobels Wines and attracted audience members from Sydney.
Alan Glover, who lives at Wollombi and was a founder of the town’s Valleys Artists Theatre Company, appeared in one of the shows. He has been in shows in Newcastle, including last year’s Stooged Theatre production Cock.
Love Letters at the Harp of Erin Theatre on February 14 begins with dinner at 6.30pm. The meal and show cost is $60. Book at Wollombi General Store or phone 4998 3230.
The February 10 and 17 shows at Kevin Sobels Wines, on the corner of Broke and Hall roads, Pokolbin, are at 7pm. Tickets, $30, include a glass of wine. Bookings can be made by email, email@example.com, or phone the winery, 4998 7766.