Saturday, August 26, 2023


 Adapted by Tim McGarry from Colleen McCulloch’s novel

Directed by Darren Yap

The Q Theatre, Queanbeyan to August 26


Reviewed by Len Power 25 August 2023


Collen McCullough’s popular 1970s novel, “Tim” has been adapted by Tim McGarry who has set his play in the present day when issues surrounding disability and appropriate sexual behaviour are often the subjects of lively debate.

A chance meeting between Mary, a career-driven business executive in her mid-50s, and Tim, a handsome 25 year old labourer with an intellectual disability, leads to a relationship developing between them. Tim’s sister, Dee, has a deep suspicion that Mary is just interested in Tim sexually while Mary is concerned at the way society may view their relationship as she struggles with her growing feelings towards him.

This is a story of love, embracing differences and opening up to life’s opportunities. It also shows the cruelty that can exist for disabled people in the workplace and the over-protectiveness of family members.

“Tim” has been given a lavish touring production. The substantial and attractive set with a double revolve, designed by James Browne, enables the show to flow through multiple scene locations with ease. Sound design by Max Lambert and the lighting design by Ben Hughes add considerable atmosphere to the show.

Jeanette Cronin as Mary gives her role a touching sensitivity in her scenes with Tim and his family but she is a force to be reckoned with when she berates Tim’s workmates for their unthinking abuse of him. Ben Goss is fully believable as Tim, child-like in a man’s body. His non-verbal behaviour as well as his vocal delivery are completely convincing.

Jeanette Cronin (Mary) and Ben Goss (Tim)

Andrew McFarlane is very real as the warm and caring husband and father who gambles more than he should but is concerned for Tim’s future. He also gives a vivid performance in a second role as Tim’s abusive work boss. Julia Robertson is appropriately strong as the over-protective sister who is suspicious of Mary’s motives.

Valerie Bader gives a warm portrayal as Tim’s mother and also shines in a second role as Mary’s feisty down-to-earth neighbour.  The scenes between them where Mary confides her concerns about her growing relationship are touching and unexpectedly amusing.

Akkshey Caplash plays three roles as Dee’s well-meaning partner, Tim’s abusive workmate and the trusted friend that Mary turns to for advice. All three characters are nicely distinctive due to Caplash’s skilful playing.

Darren Yap, the director, has produced a warm and sensitive show that is quite touching, enjoyable and leaves you thinking.


This review was first published by Canberra CityNews digital edition on 26 August 2023.

Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at