The next time someone mutters to you that there's nothing to do in Mandurah, please slap them across the back of the head with one of those wet newspapers lying in your driveway.
And then take them to see a show like The Three Musketeers at MANPAC.
We piled the kids into the car and hurried down to the foreshore to Mandurah's fabulous Performing Arts Centre. The building celebrates its 20th birthday this year but I would never have guessed it was that old. It's still such a great, modern looking facility.
And the production of The Three Musketeers had every bit of excellence a show on MANPAC's main stage would desire.
Energetic performances from articulate actors, amazing costumes, a good story, engaging soundtrack, and all at a length that left no audience member wondering "is that it?"
In general, one was left with a feeling that a lot of love and effort had gone into the production, and it felt a privilege to be one of the few who would get to see the performance. Unless I'm mistaken, the show won't be touring Australia.
That's because the production was put on by a local school, Austin Cove Baptist College.
As I watched the performers I wondered what they would find themselves doing later in life. I wondered if they would cherish this moment for what it is. I wondered if they realised how rare it was to be involved in such a high quality theatrical production at such a young age, and what an incredibly rare gift they'd received.
It would be fair to say it was a wonderful production, for a school. But the truth is I've paid money to see professional productions that couldn't hold a candle to Austin Cove Baptist's performance of The Three Musketeers.
I'm sure much of the audience for opening night were relatives of the performers, but my wife, children and I know no-one at the school, and enjoyed the performance immensely. It seems out of the shows we've seen at MANPAC in the last year or so, this one rated the highest in my kids' eyes.
As a parent it's wonderful to be able to expose my children to a broad pallet of entertainment. Sometimes it's nice to have a break from the PS4, Roblox and Minecraft, and share in something a little special.
I send my sincere thanks to those who were responsible for the Austin Cove Baptist College performance, and I implore you to check out one of the upcoming performances of The Three Musketeers at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.
There's a 12pm show on Friday 28 July,
a 7pm show on Friday 28 July,
and a 7pm show on Saturday 29 July.
Images courtesy of Kelly Doye Photography