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Home Issue 10 Covid shrank Totem from small to tiny: Now the crowd's back.

Covid shrank Totem from small to tiny: Now the crowd’s back.

By OSCAR PERRI

The tiny Totem theatre, squeezed into a tin shed dating back to WWII, is breathing a sigh of relief: Last year’s Covid restrictions have been relaxed and The Maids, opening tomorrow for a four night season, will again have room for its usual crowd.

Local cast and crew will stage Jean Genet’s psychological thriller set in 1949 Paris, about two maids who play out an escape from their lives of servitude through their imagination when they are left alone by their madame.

Crystal Pollit.

Assistant director and committee member Erin Human says last year only about 60% of the theatre capacity could be sold, but “people still came out and supported us which was fantastic, and so we still managed to sort of get through”.

Erin says she is constantly impressed by the depth of local talent who have taken part in productions over the years: “The transient nature of the community is always bringing in new talent.

“Everybody sort of has their day job, and then you discover that at the same time you have incredible singers, dancers, actors, and they come together in the evenings to do these performances, in this very tiny little space.

“It’s incredibly intimate, and if people come out, it’s just this wonderful sort of night out where you get to just sit in this beautiful space, and just see the hard work that’s gone into putting a play on for everybody.”

The theatre is a heritage listed building next to the ANZAC oval, built by the Australian Army in 1945, and operating as a theatre since it was remodelled in 1964. A play and a musical are produced annually by the group, with other special events throughout the year.

Performances of The Maids are on May 14, 15, 21 and 22.

PHOTO AT TOP: Kirryn Wilkinson and in the red dress, Betty Sweetlove.

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