GACCI players perform Five Finger Exercise

Hard at work: Rod Burrows, Dave Keen and Maureen Hjorth are getting prepared for the show by having rehearsals twice as week as opening night approaches. Picture: Anne Keen
Hard at work: Rod Burrows, Dave Keen and Maureen Hjorth are getting prepared for the show by having rehearsals twice as week as opening night approaches. Picture: Anne Keen

GACC players have been known for a long time for their satire and comedic performances on the Gloucester stage.

The group’s family friendly pantomimes and Shakespearean spoofs have been a favourite among audiences, both young and old.

But this year, they are performing something different.

Five Finger Exercise by Peter Shaffer is a family drama that uncovers the Harrington family’s deep-seeded tension.

The catalyst is the arrival of the charming German tutor, Walter Langer (played by Dave Windred), who comes to their Suffolk cottage to help the family’s young daughter with her schooling. He inadvertently brings their underlying resentments out into the open.

Self-deluded mother, Louise (played by Maureen Hjorth) plays favourites to her troubled and sensitive son, Clive (played by Dave Keen) while working class father, Stanley (played by Rod Burrows) dotes on their feisty daughter, Pamela (played by Katheryn Smith).

Shaffer may have be best known for Equus (1973) and Amadeus (1979), however it was Five Finger Exercise (1958) that virtually launched his career. The play is said to be written about Shaffer’s own childhood, growing up wanting to be a playwright.

In the Gloucester Arts and Cultural Council Inc. (GACCI) version, the actors stay fairly true to the original script, bringing to life a family story that is as true today as it was in the era in which it was written.

The performance takes place over three days at the Gloucester Citizen Centre at 30 Hume Street.

Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 are evening shows with doors opening at 7pm and show starting at 7:30pm.

Sunday, May 7 will offer a matinee with doors opening at 12.30pm, with the show starting at 1pm.

Theatre style seating will be offered during the performance with areas set up for the audience to enjoy their BYO nibbles and drinks before the show and during the intermission. 

Tickets are now on sale at Gloucester Health Foods or via phone on 0425 203 877 for $20 non-members and $15 GACCI members.