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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

SHOWBIZ: Jack and Millie


Returning this March as a part of the 2022 VCE drama playlist, writer Alaine Beek shares a new Australian work based on her personal experience of traversing a cancer diagnosis on March 2 and 3 at the Wyndham Cultural Centre and March 16-19 at The Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne.
The black comedy Jack and Millie brings together Beek, Phil Cameron-Smith and Ross Daniels with director Nigel Sutton in a story that celebrates life, love, and turning lemons into wine.
Centring on Millie, a 50-something professional at the peak of her career, Jack and Millie explores how quickly a life can unravel with an unexpected cancer diagnosis.
We all respond differently to life’s changing moments and Millie deals with her shocking news by creating an imaginary friend, Jack. Someone to help her make sense of a world that has been completely turned upside down.
“We were delighted to realise, with the premiere season of Jack and Millie, that the play opened up dialogue amongst friends and family about cancer in a very positive and real way, including my own son,” explains writer/actor Alaine Beek.
“He was 14 when I was diagnosed, and we hadn’t really ever had a full conversation about it.
“Audiences were also very surprised how much they laughed, and even though there are poignant moments they left with a feeling of positivity. This is exactly what we wanted to achieve.
“Being on the VCE Drama Playlist is a first for me and I was so excited with this outcome. Not just for the work to be recognised but to know that high school students will be studying this play.
“I have worked with youth for many years and the feedback from those that saw it last year was fantastic. I know they’ll be engaged with this play and can’t wait to interact with them.”
Running since 2003, Essence Productions was founded by Alaine Beek with a focus on bringing Australian stories to life.
They are the resident theatre company at Werribee Park, entertaining audiences from across the globe every weekend for the past two decades.
Performed by Alaine Beek, Ross Daniels and Phil Cameron-Smith. Sound Design by Mike Withers and Kevin Hopkins. Stage Manager: Chris de Zeeuw
Performance Details: March 2 and 3 at Wyndham Cultural Centre, Werribee; March 5 at the Potato Shed, Drysdale; March 16 – 19 at The Athenaeum, Collins St., Melbourne.
Tickets: $45 – $20
Bookings: online via www.essence
productions.com.au/jackandmillie
Enquiries: 0439 690 091

  • Cheryl Threadgold