The play Seeing Things and its director Darrin Redgate have endured something of a two-decade relationship, which comes full circle with the new production opening in the coming weeks.
Back in 1986, Redgate remembers sitting in an Oxford Street caf?reading excerpts of the play and laughing out loud at its stories of a young gay man finding his way in the world.
Six years later, Redgate not only produced the premiere season of the play but also played the lead role -“ a double feat he repeated in the 1995 production.
It is now 11 years later, and Redgate is still not done. For the new season of Seeing Things opening 12 October at PACT Theatre, Redgate has again produced the work, but this time is directing it as well.
It seems the chord, which struck him 20 years ago, still resonates today.
I remember the first time I read the play, I laughed myself silly, and it still makes me laugh, he admits.
I just kept thinking that the main character is me. It is about a young fellow, just moved out of home, who has all these wide-eyed ideals that a fantasy love is possible.
These days, I guess I am older and a little more jaded, but I still like to have my dreams. What I am trying to do this time around is do the ultimate version of the play.
I have seen what has worked well in the other productions, and so I am attempting to bring all that together and make this play as good as it can be.
Seeing Things was written by Barry Lowe, one of the most prolific writers of gay-themed theatre in the 1980s and 1990s.
It tells of Clarrie, a young man who moves into his first apartment, only to discover it is the former home of his favourite porn star, who has just died in an accident.
When the ghost of the porn star returns, he and Clarrie fall into an unconventional relationship, which threatens all the other relationships in Clarrie’s life.
Rodney Dean stars as Clarrie, with Mark Inwood as his porn star spirit lover Randy. Matt Cater, Jimi Goninan and Mona Kanaan complete the cast.
The play contains full nudity and graphic sex scenes, which Redgate says do not include strategically placed sheets or jocks. The sexuality is pretty intense, and the guys in the play look spectacular -“ I never had a body like theirs when I was doing the play, he laughs.
Seeing Things is a bit of fun, a romance and a comedy, so people should not try to see too much in it, but it does have a big romantic heart to hang onto, Redgate says.
Not taking it too seriously is all part of its charm.
Seeing Things opens Friday 13 October at PACT Theatre, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville. Bookings on 9990 3246 or at the play’s website.