Welcome to Dapto ladies and gentlemen.
Bets are closed and they're ready. Boxed. Set. Racing.
Angela's Legs out in front followed by Paddy Wagon …
HELLO good thing.
HotHouse Theatre has a reputation of backing winners and the 2016 season opener The Dapto Chaser is on the money.
In the middle of last century, Albury was NSW’s biggest greyhound racing centre outside Sydney.
The dogs haven’t run on the Border for more than a decade but there will be many who could relate to the honest logic of Jimmy Sinclair (Jamie Oxenbould, All Saints, Home and Away) and the desperate motivation of his brother Cess (Richard Sydenham, House of Hancock, Rake).
Award-winning playwright Mary Rachel Brown takes us to a familiar place. It is laugh out loud and confronting in equal parts.
Brown has accurately captured the language of the dog track – a sport fast disappearing from modern Australia – and those who frequent it.
It is a focus on family relationships and overcoming life’s hurdles.
Cess is sure his dog Boy Named Sue will turn the battling family’s fortunes around.
But the pressure is telling.
“Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy I'm getting that pain in my chest, the one the doctor said 'look out’ about,” Cess warns his brother, who is studying the family accounts as closely as Cess and his father Errol (John McNeill) studied the form guide.
Jimmy and Cess fill the stage with emotion. Their talent well-tapped and targeted by director Glynn Nicholas.
Antagonist Arnold Denny (Albury-raised Noel Hodda) manages the Dapto coursing track and can also see the potential in Boy Named Sue.
He rubs people the wrong way and his arrogance grates on the audience.
Throw in the dominating stage presence of larger-than-life McNeill (Candy, Underbelly Tale of Two Cities and The Golden Mile) and you are assured powerful theatre.
"All the guys are not only good actors but are really intelligent in their thinking and they bring a lot to the stage,” Nicholas said recently.
“And I think the relationship, particularly between the brothers, is one of the key driving forces of the piece.”
The Dapto Chaser, which made its debut at Sydney’s Griffin Independent Theatre last year, opened to a full, appreciative (and very hot) house on Tuesday.
Its run at the Butter Factory Theatre finishes Saturday – it will be over quicker than the group 1 Golden Easter Egg final at Wentworth Park on March 26 – so if you haven’t already, get a ticket because it will be a winner.
Visit hothousetheatre.com.au for information.