Ballarat National Theatre



Production Dates

29th March to 5th April


Hardy Trevor Day
Penny Elizabeth Wood
Laura Lesley Hale
Emma Liesl Vanderkley
Max Peter Nethercote
Livago John Daykin
Dale Lincoln Hunt


Director & Design Julian Oldfield
Stage Manager Sally Reed
Crew Lincoln Hunt & Kate Peachey
Lighting Design Liam Mudge
Lighting Assistant Marshall Woolfrey & Jackie Wood
Costume Coordinator Peter Nethercote
Sound Recording Michael Zala


Breath Of Spring Fainxt
LL 1


Reviewer: Gail Sjogren

Ballarat National Theatre is this year celebrating 70 years of bringing quality theatre productions to the Ballarat stage. Their current production, The Edge of Darkness, certainly maintains the high standard established over those years.

Playwright Brian Clemens has a list of writing credits a page long, including many well known film and television scripts and stage plays, so it is little wonder that this play is tightly scripted and keeps our interest to the last moment.

Set in the early years of last century, the plot centres around Laura and Max, who are bringing home to their isolated residence their long-lost daughter Emma, discovered in a Dublin convent three years after she disappeared and suffering from total amnesia. Or is she? And are they what they seem? The plot twists and turns; each time I thought I had figured it out, a new twist moved me in another direction. There are some welcome touches of dry humour, mostly at the hands of Penny the maidservant, played delightfully by Elizabeth Wood, and Hardy the enigmatic manservant, deftly portrayed by Trevor Day.

As the parents rediscovering their lost daughter, Lesley Hale and Peter Nethercote are totally convincing, with subtle body language which hints to us that all may not be as it seems. Liesl Vanderkley is their daughter, by turns charming and vulnerable. John Daykin is forceful and menacing in a small but crucial role.

The excellent acting is played out on a detailed and authentic set, where little touches like the wind blowing the curtains add atmospheric impact and Julian Oldfield’s direction keeps the action moving swiftly. I can fully recommend this production and do hope that it will be really well supported.