Living with cancer inspires new play

Jack and Millie cast members Alaine Beek (centre), Jennifer Vuletic (back) and Phil Cameron-Smith, in his character's many guises. (Supplied/David Mullins) 227305_01

By Alesha Capone

Werribee playwright Alaine Beek has drawn on her experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer as inspiration for her latest show.

Jack and Millie, which will premiere at the Saltwater Community Centre Amphitheatre this month, explores both the mental challenges and light-hearted moments of living with cancer.

Ms Beek said she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.

This Tuesday, she attended her 10-year medical check-up.

Ms Beek said she that other members of her theatre company, Essence Productions, collaborated on the script for Jack and Millie.

Some of the team have experienced cancer themselves, including director Nigel Sutton, who has recently completed treatment for prostate cancer.

Ms Beek, who is acting in and producing the show, said the play aimed to engage with people who have not experienced cancer or a loved one being diagnosed with the illness, as well as those who have been affected by the illness.

“It’s a positive perspective on dealing with cancer, it’s not a doom and gloom story,” she said.

“After your experience with cancer and the constant worry, you come out the other end and think, ‘It’s okay, I can do this’.”

Ms Beek said she wanted to raise awareness of the Saltwater Community Centre Amphitheatre, which has been designed especially for outdoor productions.

“I was quite excited when I came across an empty theatre – there are almost no performing spaces in Wyndham,” she said.

Jack and Millie will run Wednesday, February 17 to Saturday, February 27. The show begins 8pm at the Saltwater Community Centre Amphitheatre, 153 Saltwater Promenade, Point Cook. Tickets: $35. Bookings: