Foreigners From Home

L. P. Hartley’s novel, The Go-Between, begins with the words ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’

This is also the theme for the play Foreigners from Home, the story of the Kidd family struggling through the hardships of the 1930s Great Depression in country Australia.

The story has a more recent context by being told through the eyes of a now aged family member who, in 1990 while recalling her childhood, is able to look at past events from a different perspective.

Foreigners from Home was written by Chris Dickins, who now lives in Foster.

Foreigners from Home is ‘an unashamedly Australian play in its idiom, setting, characters and plot. In its depiction of the past, it reminds us that history can indeed repeat itself and, though advances in technology may have altered some parts of our lives, the essential human qualities, fears and strengths remain’.

The play was first performed in 1991 and has received many accolades from audiences young and old. It has even been translated into German for a successful season in Frankfurt.

FAMDA staged Foreigners from Home under the direction of its playwright, Chris Dickins, at Foster War Memorial Arts Centre from 27 September – 6 October 2013.

Older Elizabeth – Dianne Paragreen
Arthur – Norm Willoughby
Young Elizabeth – Harley McDonald-Eckersall
Fitzgerald – Leuca Maclean
Marion – Joanne Street
Walter – Bruce Grainger
Bronwyn – Sarah Maclean
Harold – Mike Street
Stan – Jason Midwinter
Other characters played by various cast members

Director – Chris Dickins
Production Manager – Edwin Coad
Stage Manager – Annette Walker
Set, Lighting and Sound Design – Chris Dickins
Costume Design – Anda Banikos
Lighting Technician – Andrew Oldroyd
Sound Operator –  Brian Paragreen
Lighting Operator – Larry Giddy, James McIntyre
Set Construction Manager – Edwin Coad
Set and Props Construction – Bruce Crowl, Bert Fabel, Graeme Green, Ray Jones, Geoff Montague, Phil Nightingall, Bill Park, Don Roberts, Mike Street, The Mens Shed, Norm Willoughby
Set Painting – Kate Crowl, Leuca Maclean, Peter Maclean, Joanne Street
Costumes – Rhonda Burke, Nicole Roberts
Hair and Make-Up – Nicole Roberts
Foyer Presentation – Rhonda Burke
Tiered Seating Installation – Edwin Coad, Bruce Crowl, Bert Fabel, Larry Giddy, Jason Midwinter, Phil Nightingall, Brian Paragreen, Robert Paragreen, Don Roberts
Front of House Manager – Edwin Coad
Ticket Sales – Deborah Harris, Main Street Revelations
Venue Box Office – Linda Giddy, Jennifer Paragreen, Jocelyn Town, Mohya Davies
Publicity, Marketing and Programme – Jennifer Paragreen
Photography – Rhonda Burke, Yianni Baikos
Video – Robert Paragreen

Victorian Drama League Awards – Nominations

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama – Bruce Grainger
Best Lighting Design – Chris Dickens
Best Sound Design – Chris Dickens

Gippsland Associated Theatre Awards – Winner
Most Outstanding Male Supporting Actor in a Drama or Comedy – Bruce Grainger (this achievement was even more remarkable when you consider that he stepped into the role less than two weeks before the play was due to hit the stage)
Michelle Linahan Judge’s Award – for the ‘beautiful creation of a river using fabric, lighting and sound’

Gippsland Associated Theatre Awards – Nominations
Most Outstanding Drama or Comedy – Foreigners from Home
Most Outstanding Director – Chris Dickens
Most Outstanding Lighting Design – Chris Dickens
Most Outstanding Female Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy – Harley McDonald-Eckersall
Most Outstanding Male Supporting Actor in a Drama or Comedy – Norm Willoughby
Most Outstanding Youth Performance – Leuca Maclean