Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Gothic Melodrama ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ takes to the Ensemble mainstage

Ensemble Theatre is delighted to bring to the stage Tennessee Williams’ gothic melodrama, Suddenly Last Summer from 15th May to 10th June 2023. 

Taking audiences deep into the poetic world of redemption and love, shadowed by the dark secrets a family can hold, Suddenly Last Summer is a tale that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

We spoke to actor Valerie Bader, who plays the complicated Mrs Holly in this captivating production.

Tell us about your acting career.

I began my performing life as a singer, coming from quite a theatrical family, it was the family business.

I have been a professional actor for 50 or so years starting in big Musicals for a company called JCW who were the producers of the time.

I lived and worked overseas for 3 years. Upon returning, I began working with various theatre companies straddling Australian written musicals and plays till finally I concentrated on plays and have really worked with all of the major theatre companies in Australia. This is my fourth production with The Ensemble Theatre

In your opinion, what themes does Suddenly Last Summer explore and what message do you hope the audience takes away?

Suddenly Last Summer explores relationships within families – Mother and son, Mother and Daughter, greed, what everyone will do for money, and homosexuality in a time when it was illegal and shocking.

What aspects of your character did you find most challenging to portray?

I play Mother to Catharine who has been through a traumatic experience, and no one believes her, to the point she is institutionalised. The hardest aspect for me is to treat my daughter with no compassion, fearful that this storey will ruin my family and my financial security. Status and ‘face’ are more important than a daughter’s safety.

What characteristics of your character do you relate to most?

The thing I relate to the most in this play is finally when a truth is spoken, love and compassion abound.

Directed by Shaun Rennie, Suddenly Last Summer will take the audience into the poetic world of redemption and love, shadowed by the dark secrets a family can hold.

Dates: 15th May – 10th June 2023
Location: Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli 
Tickets: $38-80