A glimpse behind the relationship veil

When it comes to relationships, the saying goes nobody knows what happens behind closed doors.

Gippsland director and playwright Phillip Mayer’s production ‘Couples!’ showing in Traralgon for one night before the Melbourne Comedy Festival, is an inside look at four archetypal couples, all with their own set of issues.

Based on real life events, his own experience of marriage and divorce and his observations of friends and family, Mayer’s play centres on the philosophy that you “never really know somebody else’s relationship”.

“It’s difficult to judge what works for one person and doesn’t work for you. All relationships are different, that’s the big message and we shouldn’t judge what isn’t in our backyard,” Mr Mayer said.

The slice of life production is set in an idyllic but non-disclosed Victorian region at the Paradise Valley Couples Retreat, promising to rejuvenate relationships and reinvigorate marriages that have been experiencing difficulties or gone stale.

Krissi Creighton and Lucas Thomas play Holly and Gary, a couple facing a hurdle in their relationship, which will either make or break their partnership.

Ash Kearns and Katie Lee play Mark and Rachael, a dysfunctional couple with serious communication and intimacy issues.

Phoebe and Steven, played by Shelby Fisher and Dani Capron, are cute newlyweds who are still in the honeymoon phase of their marriage, but already the cracks are starting to show and their differences are causing friction.

Brittany and Karl, played by Alice Krieger and Aeron Savige, seem to be the perfect pairing on the surface with success, money and good looks, but there’s something festering underneath that threatens to bring their married bliss undone.

Sharing their stories and situations and revealing their true selves, events unfold to explore their relationships warts and all, giving the audience a glimpse into the characters’ private worlds.

The show has toured Victoria garnering more than 30 award nominations while performing on the One Act Play festival circuit including trophies for Best Comedy, Best Australian Play, Best Ensemble, Best Director and various Audience Choice awards.

Mr Mayer said the play was also supported by Relationships Australia Victoria for its authentic portrayal of couples counselling.

“The cast are very excited about performing in the Comedy Festival and the opportunity to show original comedy theatre which originated from our region, and has gone on to become quite successful; it is an experience we’re all savouring,” he said.

Latrobe Performing Arts in conjunction with the Here There and Everywhere Theatre will present Couples! at the Latrobe Performing Arts Centre Traralgon tomorrow from 8pm. Tickets are available through the box office, phone 5176 3333 or visit www.latrobe.vic.gov.au/lpwhatson