The Drawer Boy is a beautifully crafted piece of theatre that speaks volumes in any language.
It is no wonder that playwright Michael Healey has won a string of awards including Canada’s top playwrights’ award, and that it has been performed throughout Canada and the US. Healey’s touching and funny play has also crossed cultures and has been translated into German and Japanese.
It is a simple yarn set in a farm kitchen and telling the story of two farmers’ intertwined lives. While the story is unique, the emotions reach out and touch the heart. Such is the power of true story telling, the type that needs no modern-day techno toy embellishment.
The Bakehouse Theatre Company has moved the tale out of the Canadian farm kitchen and placed it fairly and squarely in a 1980s South Australian one.
The story unfolds in an authentic farm kitchen as a young visiting actor proves to be a catalyst upsetting the regularity of the lives of two farmers.
Both Peter Green and Roger Newcombe are outstanding as the typical Aussie blokes on the land, more comfortable with tasks than emotions. The relationship between these two old mates is pivotal and Green and Newcombe successfully depict the rock-solid bond, the nuances of long-term friendships and the cracks that can appear when the status quo is threatened.
Newcombe is exceptional as Angus, who struggles to remember anything beyond the current moment in time. Green is equally excellent as the man-in-charge Morgan. Both successfully portray the metamorphosis that occurs when this duo is inadvertently challenged by a young visiting actor intent on researching farming for his play.
Russell Hutchinson holds his own in this three hander, as he portrays the young and witless Miles. Hutchinson manages to provide much of the humour while also depicting a likeable and increasingly empathetic young man.
Director Dee Easton has ensured that the simplicity of the story is maintained, and that each character tells his own account with dignity. The result is a touching and intimate theatrical performance which quietly wraps its emotional tendrils around the heartstrings.
The Bakehouse Theatre Company presents
The Drawer Boy
by Michael Healey
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas St Adelaide
Dates: October 2 to 18 (Wed to Sat) at 8pm
Tickets: Adults $25, Conc $18, Groups (10+) $15
Bookings: (08) 82270505 or by email on