Geraldton play explores home theme

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Coast writer Chris Edmund, centre, and actors Grace Victoria, left, Felix Johnson and Abbie-Lee Lewis.
Camera IconCoast writer Chris Edmund, centre, and actors Grace Victoria, left, Felix Johnson and Abbie-Lee Lewis. Credit: Francesca Mann, The Geraldton Guardian

The world premiere of a play about Geraldton may still be a few weeks away, but the cast are already in the city soaking up the sights and immersing themselves in the community.

Set in contemporary Geraldton, Coast explores the concept of home through three different perspectives and the historical events that have shaped the city.

After a long absence Jack, played by Felix Johnson, returns to his hometown with his pregnant British wife, Victoria, played by Grace Victoria.

While Jack comes face to face with the things he left behind, his wife is enthusiastic about the sea change as she sets her eyes on Geraldton for the first time.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


A chance encounter with Geraldton-born and bred Lucy, played by Abbie-Lee Lewis, forces the couple to examine their relationship, their past and their future.

Last week the actors and writer Chris Edmund arrived in Geraldton to add the finishing touches to the play and explore the region they’ll be portraying on stage.

Edmund, who has spent nearly two years writing the play, said it was great to finally have everyone together.

“The actors are making contributions to the script and it’s an exciting stage of development,” he said.

“It’s great to hear the words out loud and see what needs to get cut.

“It was hard to give up some treasured lines that I slaved over, and there’s been quite a lot of changes ... but it’s slowly coming together.

“These lines have never been said before, and that is really exciting but it’s alarming as well — this is not Hamlet so we don’t know how it will be received.”

This isn’t the first time the team has worked together — all three actors studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts while Edmund was head of the acting department.

Despite studying just four hours down the road, this is the first time any of the actors have spent time in Geraldton.

But the cast have already been blown away by the coastal city; Victoria said she was amazed by the rich but relatively unknown Dutch history, while Lewis was shocked by the number of shipwrecks in the “treacherous but beautiful” water.

The trio said they were looking forward to mingling with the community at the local pubs.

Victoria, who hails from a country town in Tasmania, said she hopes people will not only enjoy the play, but inspire them.

“It’s great there’s more theatre happening in regional places,” she said.

“Where I’m from we had a youth drama festival and that’s how I got into acting. Someone could come along to the play here and go, ‘I could do that’.”

Lewis said the play was also a chance for community members to reflect on their place in Geraldton.

“It might make them think about how they view their home,” she said.

“I hope it makes people appreciate what they have.”

The premiere of Coast will be held at Queens Park Theatre Geraldton on October 19 at 7.30pm.

A matinee performance will be held at 2.30pm on October 20.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails