HUNTERS and Collectors' sensual anthem Throw Your Arms Around Me places us right in the heart of rural Australia.
I will squeeze the life out of you
You will make me laugh and make me cry
And we will never forget it
You will make me call your name.
Emma Jackson (Phoebe) is relishing the lyrics and dancing like no one is watching.
She is comfortable in her own desolate back yard in the remote NSW town of Sunset Strip, which is also the title for the 2017 work by Suzie Miller now playing at The Butter Factory Theatre in Wodonga.
When Eloise Snape (Caroline) catches her younger sister Phoebe by surprise, it sets up a powerful dynamic between them, brilliantly executed throughout the critically-acclaimed 90-minute play.
Phoebe, a bird with a broken wing but ever-optimistic, and Caroline, a realist and lawyer from the city, are worlds apart.
They see things through different prisms.
Caroline sees nothing where a lake once was beyond their family home; Phoebe sees a natural playground just as soon as she gets her children back from DOCS.
This juxtaposition sets up myriad laughs.
After a spending spree in town, Phoebe presents her sister with a bag of organic food and supplies.
"I went to the health shop and got you a bunch of organic stuff so you can stop looking through the cupboards trying to find stuff we don't have," she says.
Bringing the sisters together is their dad, Ray, played by theatre veteran Lex Marinos.
Ray is battling dementia and training his goldfish to play the glockenspiel.
The tender-loving relationship between Ray and Phoebe is one of the many triumphs of this show.
Phoebe also finds love in Teddy (Simon Lyndon); a knockabout local lad, described by Caroline as "low-rent".
Caroline's own past with Teddy adds another complex layer to this story.
Sunset Strip will make you shift in your seat as echoes of your own home life ring true.
The simple set - a pier and beached fishing boat - frames a beautifully crafted story of love, family dysfunction and making the best of bad situations.
Sunset Strip will move you to laugh, cry and lament; just as excellent theatre should.
It is playing Wodonga in its final leg of its tour, which also marks the end of HotHouse Theatre's 2019 season.