An Aussie modern classic gets a fresh start

Posted Friday 5 October, 03:42pm

Hotel Sorrento is arguably the best-known work by multi-award-winning playwright Hannie Rayson.

In 1990 when it was first staged, it won a prestigious AWGIE award (Australian Writers Guild), a NSW Premier's Literary Award and a Green Room Award for Best Play.

It has since enjoyed 50 tours in Australia and around the world, was critically acclaimed on London’s West End, was made into an award-winning film screened internationally and has been translated into many languages including French, Japanese and Swedish.

Now the much-loved story is getting a new lease of life with some of Australia’s most respected actors transporting audiences to the normally quiet seaside town of Sorrento, to witness the comedy and the drama of a family brought to the brink.

A very honest, very Australian look at what happens when three sisters reunite after 10 years apart and they bring new perspectives on old issues that bubbled ‘under the surface’ until now!   

Hotel Sorrento will be staged at Ararat Town Hall on Wednesday, October 17 and features a large cast of well-known faces including Joanne Booth (Neighbours; House Husbands), Ruth Caro (Home & Away; The Glass Menagerie), Dennis Coard as Wal (Australia Day; Home & Away), Kim Denman as Meg (All My Love; West Side Story) and Mike Smith (The 39 Steps; Billy Elliot – The Musical).

Veteran actor and former Home and Away star Dennis Coard said he and the cast are excited at the prospect of coming to Ararat.

“Bringing Hotel Sorrento to Ararat is something I know the whole cast is looking forward to. This is such a funny yet moving show and we are really enjoying the challenge of giving it a new energy and sharing that with the locals,” he said.

“While the story is set in Sorrento in Victoria, it could just as easily reflect a family story from Ararat or Lake Bolac where the secrets and the stories of the past suddenly become issues to face here and now.”

The show is produced by Christine Harris and her company HIT Productions, which over the last two and half decades has brought many shows to the local area.

“I’m incredibly proud to be able to bring Hotel Sorrento to Ararat," Ms Harris said.

"This is the 100th tour HIT has undertaken and I couldn’t think of a better play to celebrate that milestone. It’s heartwarming, funny with a touch of dramatic mystery creating a classic Aussie story.”

Award winning director, Denny Lawrence heads the production team after his recent success including tours of All My Love, Glorious!, Shirley Valentine, Always... Patsy Cline, and Educating Rita.

Tickets are available by visiting www.ararattownhall.com.au or call 5355 0900.