Boxing Day: Putting us in the mood for the season ahead

October 19, 2012

We know it’s coming; we might just not be quite ready for it yet.  In preparation for all the excitement and trepidation that Christmas brings, why not treat yourself to an early present with tickets to the wonderful stage production Boxing Day at The Roxy on Saturday October 27 at 8pm?

Boxing Day is a co-production of Sydney’s Tin Shed Theatre Company and Critical Stages, a production company committed to bringing exciting new Australian drama from the city to the bush.

A delightfully dark comedy, Boxing Day is about growing up, featuring a stunning performance from Holly Austin as a ten year old girl with too much time on her hands. Told with humour and heart, Boxing Day captures the imagination of youth for an adult audience.

It is the show’s cast that sets this production apart.  Holly Austin in the lead role beautifully captures the honesty of childhood as 10-year-old Freya.

A graduate of NIDA, Austin is a co-founder of MakeBeLive Productions and a former student of French clown-master Pierre Byland. Her portrayal of Freya is the perfect balance of young energy and cheeky liveliness that is both moving and captivating.

Annie Byron is one of Australia’s best-known character actors. Brought to live in Inverell at the age of six weeks, she went to school at St Mary’s Ross Hill, then Sacred Heart Primary. For some of her high school years she was a boarder in Armidale, at St Ursula’s College. The remainder were spent at Inverell High.

Byron graduated with a scholarship that took her to the University of New South Wales, where she gained an Arts Degree, with honours in Drama. From there she went to NIDA where her class mates included Steve Bisley, Judy Davis and Mel Gibson.

Within a year of finishing NIDA she was the second Mrs Harry Sullivan in what was, at the time, the most popular and successful Australian TV series, The Sullivans. In between, there have been 32 years of stage, film, television and radio work with many of Australia’s leading writers, directors, designers and actors.

She has appeared in guest roles on most of the on-going TV series that have come and gone over the years: G.P., A Country Practice, Neighbours, Flying Doctors, All Saints, Stingers, Murder Call, Home and Away, to name just a few.

Some of the films she has appeared in include  Muriel’s Wedding, and Fran, which won her an A.F.I. award.  In 2009 she appeared opposite Cate Blanchett in Sydney Theatre Company’s Hedda Gabler which toured to New York.

In Boxing Day, Byron switches flawlessly between playing Freya’s 9-year-old best friend and 70-year-old grandmother.

The superb cast is complimented by Alan Flower playing Freya’s dad. Familiar to television audiences through numerous appearances in shows such as Home and Away, All Saints, Rake and A Country Practice, Alan’s role creates the kind of tension you could cut with a knife.

In Boxing Day, audiences can expect a blend of mystery within a rich story that cleverly mixes comedy and drama. Director Scarlett McGlynn notes “In any of those high points in life where there is tragedy, comedy is also present and I think that’s very true of this piece as well.  It will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.”

Don’t miss it when it comes to The Roxy on Saturday 27th October.  Book now at the Bingara Tourist Information Centre tel:  (02)6724 0066.