Variation on a Theme

by Terence Rattigan
Directed by Dave Simms

19 February - 5 March 2016

A beautiful sunny deck in the French Riviera is the setting of The Stirling Players’ opening production for 2016. Enchanting socialite Rose, has her next millionaire husband lined up and is enjoying the entertainments on offer in this delightful location. After a spot of bother at the casino, dashing young ballet dancer Ron comes to her rescue, and presents an alternative direction for Rose’s life to take. As she sips her way through another brandy, will Rose be won over by the allure of the younger man, or will the realities of her life bring everything crashing down?

Based on Alexandre Dumas’ La Dame aux Camelias, Terence Rattigan’s self-professed variation on this theme originally debuted in London in 1958, but has rarely been performed over the intervening half-century. Director Dave Simms will apply his distinctive flair in bringing this story of desire, deception, and disenchantment to the Stirling Community Theatre. While the production retains the original 1950’s setting of Rattigan’s adaptation, the themes continue to resonate in a world where those with money have the power, and those with aspirations may be willing to put the attainment of wealth and social standing above all else.



ROSE - Allison Scharber
RON - Nick Duddy
HETTIE - Julie Quick
KURT - Jonathan Pheasant
SAM - Alan Crawford
FIONA - Kate van der Horst
MONA - Rebecca Kemp 
M. ANTONINI - Peter Bleby
Mme - ANTONINI - Jane Bleby

DIRECTOR - Dave Simms



"Ms Scharber's exchange with Alan Crawford at the start of Act Two is some of the finest acting I've seen on an amateur stage"

"An outstanding 'unmissable' production. Bravo!"
John Overnden
Weekender Herald
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"That Adelaide company The Stirling Players is prepared to stage the controversial play’s Australian premiere says much for the company’s confidence in local Director Dave Simms. Stirling’s faith in Simms has been rewarded with a fine production"

"Stirling has excelled once again with the show’s set, lighting, sound and superb costumes"

"By the time the unpredictable plot reaches its conclusion everyone in the audience has experienced fine acting and a top level community theatre experience"
Lesley Reed
Stage Whispers
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"Stirling has excelled once again with the show’s set, lighting, sound and superb costumes.

"The Stirling Players have done it again... Following up on their award winning show of 2015, The Beaux’ Stratagem, their first offering for 2016 is a delightful play"     

"Director David Simms has gathered a talented cast of performers"

"The stand out performance for me was Alan Crawford... his characterisation and delivery were superb amongst an extremely talented cast"  

Jacqui Wall   
Encore Magazine  

"The Stirling Players are well known for their consistent, high-quality shows, and "Variation on a Theme" is no exception"

"Allison Scharber makes an excellent Rose"

"The set was one of the stand-out elements of the performance – the aesthetic is perfect for the French Riviera in the 50’s"

"It may be the only chance to see this play performed in Australia for quite some time"
Paige Mulholland
Adelaide Theatre Guide
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