By John Pratt
After our interview with Don Hughes, (Informer Issue 1022 ), we were eagerly anticipating the play, “When a Mighty Totara Falls.” As we expected, the play resonated strongly with the local audience. Based on the trials and tribulations of a “P” addict, the play tackles the tough themes of addiction. After just a single ‘experiment’ with the drug to overcome fatigue, the drug, and some degree of sexual addiction, took control of the lead character’s life. It’s a sad and sorry story that will be familiar not just to the 45,000 people thought to be addicted in New Zealand, but to their friends and families as well. Absorbing all his money, destroying his family and ending up in jail, were not the end of this man’s story however. He fought and overcame his addiction, redeemed his life and ended up in a senior position with international responsibility. Our correspondent tells us, this is an “amazing play which gives insight into the difficult situations arising after have once a smoke of P.”
This play was based on the experiences of psychologist and Coromandel resident, the late Peter Tryon. Sadly, Peter passed away before his script was dramatised, but thanks to Don Hughes, Liz Cameron and the Coromandel Players, the drama was finally presented last Friday night, with Peter’s family and friends in the audience. The play is a fitting tribute to both Peter, and to the Coromandel Players who brought it to life.