Former South West actor to star in Australian first premiere

Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
Former Bunbury resident Lliam Gregory is looking forward to starring in the Australian premiere.
Camera IconFormer Bunbury resident Lliam Gregory is looking forward to starring in the Australian premiere.

A former South West resident will pick up the baton when he takes to the stage for the Australian premiere of a play next month.

Lliam Gregory went to high school in Balingup and found himself in Bunbury for most of 2006, where both of his parents still live.

For his second theatre production, Gregory will star as one of the brutal prison guards and the prison chaplain in Not About Nightingales — a mid-1930s tragedy about prisoners revolting against their mistreatment.

The play was written by Tennessee Williams in 1938, but director Sarah Christiner said it was lost for about 60 years before it was rediscovered in the 1990s.

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“Williams was a quintessential American playwright with a lot of very famous works ... this one was actually a college assignment where they had to write a play based on newspaper articles,” she said.

It’s based on Philadelphia news articles about a prison scandal where prisoners went on a hunger strike due to poor conditions and were locked in a boiler room, where some died.

Sarah Christiner

Christiner said Gregory was an actor she felt could be cast in any role and he would do well — something she did not see a lot.

Gregory said the performance space was initially challenging, but he was now embracing it.

It’s always been a lifelong fantasy to be on stage ... it feels very rewarding.

James Gregory

Not About Nightingales will show at the Last Drop, Canning Vale from September 11 to 26.

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