Review of Wyong Drama Group’s “The Shoe Horn Sonata”

Wyong Drama Group’s production of The Shoe-Horn Sonata opened this weekend to standing ovations. This award winning play from the author of Harp on the Willow, John Misto, is based on actual events during World War II. It tells the story of two young women (an Australian army nurse and an English schoolgirl) captured by the Japanese following the invasion of Singapore, who reunite fifty years later to recall their experience. The Shoe-Horn Sonata tells a moving story with poignancy and humour. The women’s characters and relationship are the heart of the play. While painting a vivid picture of military bungling and political neglect on the part of the Allies, and the appalling hardships and abuses suffered by the women prisoners at the hands of their captors, they relive the experiences that enabled them to survive their ordeal: the humour, the resilience, the acts of kindness and sacrifice, and the enduring friendship and loyalty.

The women are brought to life by two of the CentralCoast’s finest actors, Pam Campbell and Pollyanna Forshaw.  Fully meeting the challenges of a play that is essentially a two-hander, they keep the audience engaged and absorbed from start to finish. Individually they give sensitive and nuanced portrayals of these distinct and memorable characters, and working together they recreate their bond with conviction.

They are supported by the voices of Marc Calwell as a TV presenter, Tamara Abbott and Madeline Parker as the young Sheila and Bridie, and Duncan Mitchell as a Japanese officer. WDG have adapted the stage with an intimate set that draws the audience into the women’s space and story. The atmosphere of their wartime experience is recreated with simple but effective lighting effects and a slideshow of photographs from the period.

This simply effective and emotional play has been receiving standing ovations from audiences every performance. Congratulations are due to directors Angie Bain and Laszlo Weidlich, to Joshua Maxwell for the set and technical design, and to the rest of the production team and crew who have helped to bring this story to life on the Memorial Hall stage.

The Shoe-Horn Sonata continues until August 18. To book your tickets for this unmissable production call 4353 4353. For more information visit

Images courtesy of WDG publicity. Please click on pictures to view full size.

About About the Central Coast

About the Central Coast is a personal blog celebrating the activities of our local amateur and semi-professional artists and entertainers. Readers will find photos I've taken of local attractions and beauty spots in and around the Central Coast of NSW, plus information and reviews on their favourite local theatre groups, bands and artists.
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