The Peppercorn Tree

The Peppercorn Tree is an intriguing new Australian drama by Melbourne writer Alison Campbell Rate.

The play is both humourous and deeply moving, dealing with ideas of mateship, love, regret and reconciliation.

Set in 1993 suburban Melbourne, The Peppercorn Tree tells the story of Jonah Cloake who, during an early morning raid in World War II Tobruk, made a split second decision with repercussions that grew to overshadow his life and future relationships.

Burying his guilt under a veneer of jibes and humour, Jonah succeeded in avoiding his past for decades until, fifty years later, he reluctantly agrees to record his memoirs with a biographer and, in the process, is forced to confront his demons.

The Peppercorn Tree was first performed in 2010 in a professional production toured by Helen Ellis Productions with Alan Hopgood, Margot Knight and Kevin Harrington in the cast.

FAMDA Performance Season: 23 October – 1 November 2015

Jonah Cloake (a World War II veteran) – Bruce Grainger
Grace Cloake (his second wife) – Margaret Rudge
Zoe Pilgrim (a biographer) – Joanne Street
Michael Cloake (son) – Graeme O’Connor
Evie Walker Cloake (Jonah’s first wife) – Yasmine Watsford

Director – Bernadette Grainger
Set Design – Geoff Davey
Costumes and Set Décor – Judy Barnard
Lighting Design – Robert Paragreen
Sound Design – Chris Dickins
Make-Up Design – Tania Pell
Production Manager – Peter Clyne
Stage Manager/Director’s Assistant – Chris Dickins
Set Construction Manager – Peter Clyne
Set Construction and Painting – Bert Fabel, Judy Barnard, Arie Bos, Peter Clyne, Robert Paragreen
Tiered Seating Installation – Arie Bos, Peter Clyne, Bert Fabel, Bruce Grainger, Graeme O’Connor, Alan Rudge, Joanne Street, Mike Street
Stage Manager/Sound Operator – Chris Dickins
Props Manager – Judy Barnard
Lighting Operator – Robert Paragreen
Front of House Manager – Dianne Paragreen
Ticket Sales – Deborah Harris, Main Street Revelations
Venue Box Office – Jennifer Paragreen
Programme Photography – Robert Paragreen
Production Photography – Yianni Banikos
Publicity, Marketing and Programme – Jennifer Paragreen

Gippsland Associated Theatre Awards – Nominations

Most Outstanding Support Actor Male – Graeme O’Connor
Most Outstanding Ensemble – the cast of The Peppercorn Tree
Most Outstanding Costume Design – Judy Barnard
Most Outstanding Lighting Design – Robert Paragreen
Most Outstanding Hair and Make-Up Design – Tania Pell

Gippsland Associated Theatre Awards – Winners
Most Outstanding Drama or Comedy – FAMDA, The Peppercorn Tree
Most Outstanding Director of a Drama or Comedy – Bernadette Grainger
Most Outstanding Lead Actor Male – Bruce Grainger
Most Outstanding Set Design – Geoff Davey

Gippsland Associated Theatre Awards – Judge’s Award
Ann Roffe – emotive stage business in clearing the bed after Jonah’s death

Victorian Drama League Awards – Nominations
Best Sound Design – Chris Dickins
Best Actor in a Drama Production – Bruce Grainger