By Lindsey Turnbull
Many people will remember the 1981 movie ‘On Golden Pond’ that featured Jane Fonda alongside her father Henry Fonda, as well as Katherine Hepburn, for which Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn both won Oscars. It was a brilliant portrayal of family relationships and was nominated for a best movie Oscar. Cayman Drama Society will be bringing that story to life with their next show, On Golden Pond, to open at the Prospect Playhouse on 14th March and which will run for three weeks.
The movie was actually adapted from an award-winning Broadway play and focuses on ageing couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend each summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. During the year the story takes place, they are visited by their daughter Chelsea with her fiancé and his son in tow. The play explores, with both humour and pathos, the often-turbulent relationship the young woman shared with her father growing up, and the difficulties faced by a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage. For the CDS production, they have enlisted the acting talents of Peter and Mary Anne Kosa in the lead roles, supported by Agata Kalicki as their daughter Chelsea, Martin Campion as her fiancé Bill, and also features Michael McLaughlin and Tyson Line. The play is directed by Malcolm Ellis and produced by Beverly Edgington.
Director Malcom Ellis said Peter and Mary Anne Kosa were so wonderful together performing the play ‘Love Letters’ in 2016 that they wanted to find another opportunity for them to work together on stage.
“We considered several different scripts, but none had the appeal of On Golden Pond as a great fit for them,” he confirmed. “The more we read it and especially when we started rehearsals, we realised a number of parallels in their on-stage and off-stage personalities and relationships. This proved to be both fun and challenging at the same time!”
Malcolm said that the play is quite distinct from the movie.
“While the movie is very entertaining, it did add a number of scenes that did not exist in the original. The playwright, Ernest Thompson, wrote a very good script, and the stage version has all of the elements of the film, but distilled into the interior of summer home in the woods. It has a slightly sharper edge to it also, and while satisfying, is not purely sentimental,” he stated.
He believed the play would appeal to a wide-ranging audience because it is about familiar themes that affect everyone in our family and social relationships.
“There are three generations of characters, from the aging Norman and Ethel, their daughter Chelsea with her fiancé Bill, and his 13-year-old son Billy. The humour is solid with plenty of laughs, but the more serious moments are heartfelt and moving. Ultimately, it’s a love story,” Malcolm said.
Cayman Drama Society would encourage everyone to purchase tickets early as possible as CDS show tickets sell quickly.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see an awarding winning play, performed by very talented actors,” Malcolm said.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students and are now on sale on the CDS website www.cds.ky.