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Jennifer Rogers debut play JIGSAWS was first performed at the Hole in the Wall theatre, Leederville, Western Australia in February 1988. Rogers is a journalist by profession. In an interview that she gave to promote the play she said, “I want to show women as they really are; as funny, bright, interesting, brave human beings who bring immense strength and compassion into one another’s lives.”

This is an optimistic comedy/drama play is about three generations of the one dysfunctional family. The setting is Gran’s house, the home of frail matriarch Emma, and her sister Nelly. Starting from Christmas afternoon, where they are joined by three other family members, JIGSAWS spans the course of the summer holiday season.  

The play has feminist humour with plenty of clever one-liners. The  conflicting personalities of the different family members  uneasily fit together, despite frustrations and secrets and hurt. The family ends up  coming to terms with changing circumstances and attitudes, and discover their deepening appreciation of and love for one another.

The predominant theme is about finding the freedom to express sexuality, and this play manages to demystify, some of the fears and insecurities which surround sexuality in relationships. This clever but poignant play is now somewhat of a period piece, but its many salient truisms remain relevant for a new generation, with its incisive insights into family relationships.

This is another fine production by The Rough Hewn Theatre Troupe, directed by Geoff Cartwright. The production features minimal set. The character and era were well reflected in the costume design.

THE ROUGH HEWN THEATRE TROUPE is based in Manly on the Northern Beaches, and has produced many plays over several years. Members of the Troupe, have gone off to attend acting schools such as NIDA, WAAPA, ACA, Central School London and Italia Conti.

Cast: Michele Conyngham, Annette Emerton, Abigail Honey, Ann O’Brien, Meg Shooter

JIGSAWS only had a brief season, from the 22nd to the 31st October, at the Star Of The Sea Theatre, Stella Maris College, corner Iluka Avenue and Collingwood Street, Manly.