The Gin Game

by D. L Coburn

2004 & 2006 National Tour

September 25 – November 13, 2004 – 7 week tour to 20 venues in VIC, NSW, ACT, TAS
Moonee Ponds, Dubbo, Taree, Tuggeranong, Wagga Wagga, Wangaratta, Sale, Geelong, South Morang, Launceston, Ringwood, Wonthaggi, Bendigo, Shepparton, Ballarat, Bayswater, Ararat, Horsham, Portland & Nunawading. 

October 26 – November 12, 2006 – 3 week tour to 7 venues in VIC &WA
Dandenong, Thornlie, Margaret River, Albany, Geraldton, Perth & Mandurah.

A production by Christine Harris & HIT Productions.

The 1978 Pulitzer Prize winning play The Gin Game, by American playwright D.L. Coburn, is a scathingly funny battle of wits between two older people whose lives have gone from ordinary to downright dreadful. The play is set in a rather run-down state run nursing home where the two characters, Weller and Fonsia, appear to have been abandoned by family, as they never receive visitors. Weller has been at the home for a few months and being a loner prefers to spend his time in the sunroom playing solitaire or reading. Fonsia is quite new to the home and the play begins with their first meeting.

Weller convinces Fonsia to join him in a game of gin and begins by teaching her the rules. She wins the first game and the battle of the sexes begins. The card game can be seen as a metaphor for their lives. Although Fonsia is lucky at cards, she has not been so lucky in love or life and Weller has obviously led a rather turbulent life in which the cards have been stacked against him. Perhaps their children have not abandoned them entirely by accident.

The wonderful stars and real life husband and wife from HIT’s 2004 production, Julia Blake and Terry Norris, will return for this 2006 remount production. Julia and Terry originally brought this piece to the attention of HIT Productions in 2003 as a potential 2004 touring production for the company. It is a play dear to their hearts and an excellent vehicle for these two enduring Australian actors. Following the decision to restage this production for 2006, they have since come forward with the desire to undertake the two week rehearsal direction of this remount. They will be ably assisted by the original Stage Manager Kevin de Zilva. Original Director Rhys McConnochie, Original Set and Costume Design is by Christina Smith and Lighting by Ean Grieve.


Together they are magnificent on stage, beautifully capturing this play’s complex mix of sympathy, toughness and comedy.
Helen Thomson, The Age, VIC, 09/2004

Rhys McConnochie’s [HIT] production relies on Blake’s ability to convey the awful grinding pain of the unstable relationship which she does with great subtlety and skill. That turns a rather dull and undramatic play into deeply affecting family drama that will strike a chord with most.
Chris Boyd, Herald Sun, VIC, 09/04


Fonsia: Julia Blake

Weller: Terry Norris


Playwright: D. L Coburn

Director: Rhys McConnochie 

Designer: Christina Smith 

Lighting Designer: Ean Grieve