“To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived:
For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.” Shakespeare CIV
Campion Decent’s play THREE WINTERS GREEN still stands strong some 20 years after it was performed.
Set in the late eighties/early nineties, Decent’s play captures eight people, a tiny community if you like, all linked together either though friendship or family, who are torn apart by the scourge of AIDS.
Emotions run high with this play which peak at the unveiling of the stunning AIDS quilt at the end.
Les Solomon again directs, as he did with the other two main productions of the play in its premiere season in 1993, and in its tenth anniversary production in 2003.
Solomon wins strong performances from the cast.
Tom Sharrah is excellent in the main role as Francis who has such a big journey from being a naïve, 17 years old schoolboy to being a confident drag queen/cabaret artist with a reptilian wit.
Matt Young gives a deftly balanced portrayal as the schoolteacher who falls for him. This was a role that could have so easily been overplayed.
Gael Ballantyne exudes warmth and humility as mother Maxine who doesn’t quibble with her fate that her two progeny, one of each gender, are both gay.
Emily Kennedy impresses as her tomboyish daughter, Beck, and James Wright doubles up as her gay, AIDS inflicted son, Martin, as well as playing rough and ready country boy, Mick.
Diana Perini charms as the effervescent Jen, Beck’s girlfriend, who is always there to bolster everyone’s spirits.
Brett O’Neil gives a touching performance as a sensitive, twenties something gay man, stricken with AIDS.
A co-production of Lambert House and Emu Productions, THREE WINTERS GREEN is playing in repertory with the sixties American classic BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE at the King Street Theatre, Newtown until Sunday November 3, 2013.