Shedding male veneer

04. 8NEWS

• Nick Stevenson plays Abe, 17

FREMANTLE playwright Kerry Bowden didn’t know much about men’s sheds when she decided to set her latest play, Veneer, in one.

But after researching the subject she became so knowledgeable that Fremanshed Shed’s Bill Johnstone wrote: “I believe you must have spent many months crouched under workbenches…to be able to capture so beautifully the essence of what a community men’s shed is all about.”

He’d seen the play and was keen for a showing at the Fremanshed.

Flattery paid off and Veneer is set to show in the Nannine Street, White Gum Valley shed’s amphitheatre this Sunday, February 23, with a sausage sizzle and music at 6pm and the play at 7.30pm.

The play is about troubled 17-year-old Abe, who lights a fire that gets out of control and destroys a state forest. He’s ordered to do community service at his local men’s shed.

Bowden is a teacher and Abe is based on a young student she’d taught a few years ago.

“I’m always interested in teenagers’ stories,” she says.

Reluctant at first to attend the men’s shed, Abe finds himself forging unlikely friendships, with Tom, a 73-year-old widower and Samuel, a 35-year-old fly-in/fly-out worker.

There’s comedy and tragedy as the older men talk about mistakes they made in life, but ultimately it’s about camaraderie as men work with their hands.

For tix ($20) phone 9336 3959 or 0411 134 808.


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