THE misery suffered by prisoners of the Japanese during World War II is hard to convey.
But the Murwillumbah Theatre Company will do its best with the upcoming production of The Shoehorn Sonata.
John Misto's moving and uplifting play tells the story of two women whose lives were changed forever in February 1942, when the Japanese marched into Singapore.
For Bridie Cartwright, an Australian Army Nurse, and Sheila Richards, a fifteen year old civilian English schoolgirl, it was the beginning of three years as prisoners of the Japanese, when the boats carrying them to safety in Australia were bombed in Banka Strait in what is now Indonesia.
Reunited with other former prisoners in 1995 for an "Australia Remembers" documentary, Bridie and Sheila tell the story of their survival, both during the war and in the fifty years since their liberation.
"Neither is sure where this friendship is at, as no contact was made during the post-war years," said a spokeswoman for the theatre company.
"After almost fifty years, painful memories surface with the eventual reconciliation of their friendship and the resolution of the mystery of a shoe-horn.
"This is a story of love, courage, survival and forgiveness.
"It's an uplifting, life-affirming memorial to the army nurses and the women and children who shared their history."
Murwillumbah Theatre Company will perform the play at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre Auditorium on Friday, March 8, Saturday, March 9 and Saturday March 16 at 7.30 pm.
Sessions will also run on Sunday, March 10 and 17 at 2 pm.
Tickets (Adults $15 and high school students $5) will be available from Murwillumbah Music Shop (02 66725404) Destination Tweed Tourism and online at www.murwillumbahtheatrecompany.com.au.
Please note this play contains adult themes.
Due to staging restrictions seating will be in rows, so no food or drink will be allowed in the auditorium.
However, the Canvas and Kettle bar selling alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks will be open pre-show and during the interval.
There will also be a special high schools performance on Friday, March 15 at 10 am, as this play is on the HSC syllabus.
For bookings contact the Publicity Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org. )