Playhouse Theatre – Veronica Lake

Playhouse Theatre – No. 3 Pier Street, Perth.

Faint echoes of applause linger
in the vacuum where once there was a stage.
Now the twin masks, Comedy and Tragedy
sit enshrined in a glass case, marking its absence.

Gone is the proscenium arch, the sweep and fall of curtain.
Gone is this portico leading to enchantment.
Here young actors had their first roles, first recognition.
each performance rich with emotion.
Legends emerged: Metcalf, Hewett, Barry.
Their ghosts still drift in that space.

Beneath the boards, labyrinthine passages
lead to hot lights in greasy change rooms
and dark caverns, housing sets and props and lights.
In the foyer, before the magic began.
gathering crowds hummed with anticipation,
the very air charged with excitement.

The Playhouse is gone into memory
the building razed, all players departed.
Now, it is a new stage,
a statement of history, a commemoration.
without actors, scripts or performance.
Comedy and Tragedy grimace forever on casual passers-by.