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The Glass Menagerie - Reviews

Kimberley Shaw in Stage Whispers:

"An interesting experiment that gives us pause for thought and throws new ideas on a familiar and much-loved text. A good choice for those who really like to think about theatre and style..."

Lucy Eyre in Theatrepeople:

 "...the commitment of all involved created a seamless production that was refreshing.

Myles Wright’s haunting sound design, particularly the main theme composed by Wright, is beautifully poignant and wistful..."

Gordon the Optom in WA Theatre Reviews and Database:

"...The chemistry between all the actors was impeccable...

"As expected from GRADS, this play is top quality, powerful and outspoken, yet sensitively handled.
This is a ‘must see’ production of a modern international masterpiece..."

Photographs by Myles Wright

The Glass Menagerie - book now!


We are delighted to present a special offer for the first night of The Glass Menagerie, in the Dolphin Theatre, UWA, on Wednesday 16 October at 7:30pm.

$20 tickets - that's almost half the full price - and free drinks and finger food after the show!

Book online through TicketsWA and quote the code GMR19 to receive your discount:

We would love to see you there!

Special thanks to the Business Development Alliance, which is a proud sponsor of this GRADS production.

Notice of Annual General Meeting - 31/3/19

The Annual General Meeting of the Graduate Dramatic Society will be held on

Sunday 31st March 2019 at 2 pm 
At the Shakespeare Garden, University of Western Australia.

The Shakespeare Garden is the Arts Department courtyard at the rear of the New Fortune stage, where we are currently performing our acclaimed production of The Merchant of Venice. It is an attractive and appropriate venue in which to consider our future.

We encourage you to attend and help us follow through on our successful year returning to the University as the home of Grads. We have had three successful seasons and look forward, with your help, to many more. If you are not currently a member, you can join on the day.


Reviews - The Merchant of Venice

Kimberley Shaw, Stage Whispers

The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare
Directed by Lucy Eyre

New Fortune Theatre, University of Western Australia. March 7-16, 2019

The Merchant of Venice is perhaps one of the less frequently performed Shakespeare plays, mostly because of the obvious anti-Semitic feeling. This production is set in Venice, but in 1938, and is set alongside anti-Jewish policies in Mussolini’s Italy, the visit of Hitler to Italy and the looming shadow of the Second World War. Played in the beautiful outdoor New Fortune Theatre, which mimics the dimensions of the 1600 Fortune Theatre, on a warm Mediterranean-like evening, it is the perfect setting for some good Shakespearean Theatre.

Judd Milner (R) as Shylock, with Eddie Stowers as Tubal
Lucy Eyre is an intelligent and thoughtful director, and she has chosen a cast that are strong and effective, many of whom might be termed Shakespeare Specialists. Leading the cast are Barry Park, as the complex, likeable but flawed, Antonio, an excellent rival to the conniving but very sympathetic Judd Millner as Shylock - in a very strong performance. Catalyst character Bassanio is given Latin charm and lovely depth by (a largely unrecognisable) Thomas Dimmick in an impressive Shakespearean debut.

Grace Edwatds (R) as Portia, with Melissa Merchant as Nerissa
Particularly impressive are Grace Edwards, as a very clever and admirable Portia and Melissa Merchant as her maid and companion Nerissa. Lovely comedic work from this pair, with expertly layered performances. The other women, especially Abbey McCaughan’s beautifully poignant Jessica, and Solange Burns’ - in a fascinating interpretation of Launcelot, also deliver strong performances.

Barry Park (L) as Antonio and Thomas Dimmick as Bassanio
Steven Hounsome (L) as Lorenzo with Abby McCaughan (centre) as Jessica
Other standouts include Steven Hounsome’s earnest and genuine Lorenzo, Eddie Stowers’ delightfully obnoxious Prince of Arragon, and Neale Paterson’s excellent doubling of Old Gobbo and The Duke. Strong support from Patrick Downes as Salarino, Malek Domkoc - a stunning Prince of Morocco, Sarah Thillagaratnam, dancers and members of the entourage.

Solonje Burns (L) as Launcelot with Neale Paterson as Old Gobbo
Eddie Stowers (R) as the Prince of Arragon
Malek Domkoc (centre) as the Prince of Morocco

Patrick Downes (L) and Mark Fitzpatrick as Solanio and Salarino
Gary Wetherilt’s set design complements the venue well, and Mark Nicholson’s lighting is impressive in a temporary rig. Costumes, by Merri Ford, are thoughtfully created, are true to the era and are instrumental in setting the scene.

A must-see for Shakespeare lovers, but Grads’ The Merchant of Venice is a great choice for anyone who loves intelligent, thought-provoking theatre. The lovely setting is a great bonus.

Kimberley Shaw


Jarrod Buttery (from Facebook)

Every so often you see a play that punches you in the guts and takes your breath away.  The Merchant of Venice (Graduate Dramatic Society) is masterfully put together but still a dark, confronting story.  Judd Millner is superbly sympathetic as Shylock, who, after a lifetime of being vilified, sees an opportunity for retribution -- and is crushed in the attempt.  The ferocity of the forces arrayed against him is heartbreaking.

Another surprise is that the nicest man in Perth Theatre, Barry Park, so chillingly portrays one of Shakespeare's nastiest characters -- a diametric opposite to his good self -- effortlessly done with Barry's innate skill of delivering difficult text as if it was day-to-day language.  He is well supported by an authoritative Thomas Dimmick as Bassanio.

But if the play belongs to anyone it is Grace Edwards as Portia.  One disadvantage of the outdoor New Fortune Theatre is the occasional echo, but Grace's powerful delivery and commanding stage presence dominated every scene.  Again, Grace was intimately supported (in more ways than one) by the voluptuous Dr Melissa Merchant as handmaid Nerissa, who also provided much of the meagre comedy in this very dark play.

Everyone was fabulous!  I believe there was a cast of 23!  I counted 14 men alone in the courtroom scene!  Quick mentions to the delightfully wicked Eddie Stowers as a cheeky suitor, and Solonje Burns in one of Shakespeare's trademark eccentric roles perfectly suited to her compelling voice and physicality.

Yes, it's a dark play, but it's a subject that should not be ignored or forgotten.  And if you make it along to this exceptional production -- it won't be.  Congratulations to director Lucy Eyre and everyone involved.

Jarrod Buttery

The Merchant of Venice - 7-10 & 13-16 March at the New Fortune


or call 6488 2440 between 12pm and 4pm weekdays.

When: 7-10 March and 13-16 March 2019, 7.30pm

Where: The New Fortune Theatre, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, 6009.

Who will win Portia's hand? The heiress to a large fortune is forced into marriage by an unorthodox method, stipulated by her late father, attracting suitors from all over the world, including Bassanio, which sets in motion a fateful transaction. The merchant, Antonio, must default on the large loan from Shylock, the Jewish moneylender he abused, but instead, the vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment. A thrilling climax that tests the laws of Venice at a time when the rise of fascism in Europe threatens to quash the bohemian lifestyle of Venetians, and to embolden anti-Semitic attitudes that are waiting to surface.

Adapted and directed by WAAPA graduate Lucy Eyre, this contemporary production of “The Merchant of Venice” is set in 1938. Don’t miss one of Shakespeare's most important plays performed on a unique stage: The New Fortune Theatre at the University of Western Australia, which is a reconstruction of the Fortune Playhouse built in London in 1600.

Photography by Myles Wright

Merchant of Venice - Extra Audition Times

If you were unable to book a time on Saturday 10th or Sunday 11th of November, we have added extra times between 7pm and 10pm on Monday the 12th:


Note that the venue is different: Subiaco Community Centre, 203 Bagot Road, Subiaco.

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