Friday, September 14, 2018


Written by Nathan Maynard
Directed by Isaac Drandic
A Tasmania Performs Production
The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre to 15 September

Reviewed by Len Power 13 September 2018

They always say ‘write what you know about’.  In ‘The Season’, writer Nathan Maynard has produced a love letter to his own people in north-east Tasmania that is both enlightening and entertaining.

The Duncan family has returned to Big Dog Island in Bass Strait for the annual mutton-bird harvest.  They’re a lively lot with a down-to-earth zest for living.  They possess a wicked sense of humour from which nothing or no-one is immune and their language is salty and direct.  Despite all of the shenanigans and point-scoring, they are held together by a deep love for each other.

This year, however, sees some changes happening.  Younger family members are asserting themselves and questioning the way things are done and government regulation of the harvest is becoming an irritant.

This slice of life play looks at an unfamiliar community of people who, like all of us, have to face up to the challenges that a changing world brings.  The strong family ties give them an enviable strength to meet and deal with the changes.

Author, Nathan Maynard, writes excellent characters and has a good ear for dialogue.  It’s very funny as well as warmly appealing.  By the end of the play you feel that you know these people very well.

The company of  'The Season'

The seven performers give fine, believable performances of great depth.  Trevor Jamieson is very funny in his role as the horny Neil and balances it nicely with his second role as the nervous Government ranger.  Lisa Maza is a formidable presence as Aunty Marlene and every other performer has their moment to shine.

Trevor Jamieson (Neil) and Lisa Maza (Aunty Marlene)

The sea-side set designed by Richard Roberts creates a great atmosphere and is complemented by Rachel Burke’s fine lighting design.  Ben Grant’s sound design is especially notable.

Director, Isaac Drandic, has given us a fine production with strong performances from his actors.  You need to be prepared to listen carefully at the beginning as the actors’ rapid fire delivery and unfamiliar accents take a bit of getting used to.  I felt a bit impatient with the show until I realized it was a study of characters in a community slowly changing with the times.  Keep that in mind and you’ll have a good time with this play.

Photos by James Henry
Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in his ‘On Stage’ performing arts radio program on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3.30pm on Artsound FM 92.7.