State Theatre Company

Dunstan Playhouse

November 13 to Dec 5

Carmel Johnson is ready to fight for a view in State Theatre Company’s eagerly awaited comedy, Ripcord.

The much-loved Adelaide actor will star opposite Aussie theatre legend Nancye Hayes in David Lindsay-Abaire’s acclaimed comedy about two old ladies battling for a window bed in a nursing home.

State Theatre Company will present the play at the Dunstan Playhouse from November 13 to December 5 with artistic director Mitchell Butel at the helm.

Set in the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, Hayes plays Abby, the incumbent who has everything she wants and needs.

“Abby has a personal paradise: books to read, peace and quiet, a spare bed and a window view,” she said.

“She’s just happy to be there.

“Enter Marilyn (Johnson) … who loves to chat and go skydiving, but what she wants more than anything is the bed with the window view.

“Then they make a bet and that’s when the real battle begins.”

Johnson said she was loving working with Nancye Hayes.

“I have always admired Nancye, but working opposite her is just wonderful,” he said.

“Apart from her being a marvellous Abby I just love the chance talk theatre and life with her.

Johnson said Ripcord was a “terrific buddy play with big laughs and an even bigger heart.”

“It’s really about human beings coming together and learning from each other,” he said.

“They’re each dealing with their own situations, and they’re poles apart on many things.

“But there’s no judgement just lots of heart and we eventually meet in the middle.”

Johnson said the show was even more topical with COVID19 preventing families from seeing their loved ones in nursing homes.

“It’s been tough for everyone but there’s no-one tougher than Abby and Marilyn,”

“You soon learn not to mess with an old lady.

“Mitchell Butel has done an incredible job as director, and we have a tremendous ensemble of Nathan Page, Jennifer Innes, Chris Asimos and Ezra Juanta playing a range of roles from family to staff.”

Johnson said the lockdown of theatre had been a tough time for the theatre world.

“Everything was just cancelled it hit us all very hard,” she said.

“The nature of the business has always been luck of the draw but now we were all out of luck.

“We had to be patient and now after all those months of waiting and uncertainty, we are on the way back.”

Johnson said the return of theatre has been “a great joy for all of us.”

“I got to go and see State Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Gaslight at the upgraded Her Majestys,” she said.

“Loved the show but it was so great to see an audience again.

“So happy that Ripcord will be at the Dunstan Playhouse, so we’ll be back on home soil.”

Ripcord runs at the Dunstan Playhouse from Nov 13 to December 5. Book at BASS.

Woman holding a grenade like a teacup – Ripcord State Theatre Company