Plotting an action-packed season

WHAT do a cleaning lady, an order of nuns, a well-to-do English family and Bette Davis have in common? Not much, except the stage they will be sharing this year.

The Peridot theatre has announced four major productions and a range of one-act plays for its 2013 season.

Artistic director Robyn Kelly says this year's line-up is diverse.

"We have quite a full program," she says.

From February 8, residents can visit Peridot Theatre in Mount Waverley to see Busybody, a comedy about an office cleaning lady who finds a dead body on her rounds.

"When she rings the police and the police arrive, the body is missing. There's lots of twist and turns. It's got suspense as well as humour."

In May, the theatre will take on Nunsense, a musical comedy about the Little Sisters of Hoboken who raise money to bury their colleagues by putting on a talent show.

"It's not very often that we take on musicals but Nunsense is hilarious. It requires five very experienced actors," Kelly says.

By the end of winter, the theatre will be showing The Wisdom of Eve, a drama about New York's theatre world that was made into a film starring Bette Davis.

The year will be rounded out with Easy Virtue, a play about a well-to-do English family who discover their son has married an older woman with a past.

"The family, especially the mother, is absolutely horrified and is frightened of all the scandal that it's going to bring," Kelly says.

This year locals wishing to further their stagecraft can take part in an acting workshop held by theatre veteran Helen Ellis. Plans for a director's workshop are also in the works.

In September, Peridot will also be holding a drama festival, including a competition with trophies and cash prizes.

"We have up to about 20 plays from companies all over Victoria and interstate who come into the city of Monash and present their one act plays," Kelly says. "It's open to the people of Monash to come along and see what we can provide for their community."

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