An emotional holocaust drama is actor David Ritchie's latest role



NORTHBRIDGE actor David Ritchie will star in The Lucky One - a play by Tony Laumberg based on a true story.

Ritchie will play a Holocaust survivor whose son (Scott Agius) interviews him about his life as a Jewish doctor during the German occupation of Poland in World War 11.

"It's quite an extraordinary story about forced imprisonment, near-death experiences and survival" Ritchie said.

"Actually it's also quite humorous in some places too.
As with every true story, unbelievable things happen to people in real life, which is what makes this play unique."

David Ritchie and Scott Agius rehearse a scene from The Lucky One.

He should be so lucky

The play follows the protagonist on the run after fleeing the Warsaw Ghetto on to a new life in Australia.

"My character graduated as a doctor in 1939 and in his circle is the only one who survives," Ritchie said.
"It is truly an amazing story."

Tony Laumberg is also the author of two recent hit plays, Unsolicited Male and The Great Divide.

In this refeshingly positive new work - that lays bare his own family history - he throws light on one of the darkest periods in human history.

The Lucky One
will play at NIDA's Parade Studio at Kensington from March 3-28.

For Bookings, phone 9645 1611 or click on

North Shore Times
February 15th 2004

The Lucky One
Parade Studio

When Sydney lawyer Tony Laumberg was a successful career-minded professional in his mid-30s he learned something about his heritage which “blew (him) away”.
“My parents divorced when I was seven and I lived with my dad until I was about 27 so I thought I knew absolutely everything there was to know about the man." says Laumberg. "But then one day he told me that he had survived the Holocaust and it just blew me away."

I had no idea about it at all and, of course, it came as a total shock to me to find this out. I never knew my father was such a courageous man."
Laumberg became fascinated by the stories his father had to tell and over a six month period in the early 1990's he tape-recorded their conversations. "It was a very emotional time for both my father and I when he was telling me these stories and I knew straight away that I had to do something with them," says Laumberg.

Now, three years after his father Max passed away, Laumberg has turned those conversations into a script called The Lucky One which will be premiered next week at NIDA’s Parade Studio.

"I had these recordings and I thought it was so important that the story was passed on but I didn’t know exactly how I was going to do it," says Laumberg.

"I tried writing both a book and a screenplay but they just didn't seem to flow. But when I started writing this script it felt right, it just felt that I had finally found the right outlet."

"Theatre is so powerrful and there is this immediacy about it. The audience reaction is so important to me and obviously with a book or a screenplay you don't get that immediate, live feedback."

Max Laumberg was a young Jewish doctor during the German occupation of Poland who fled Warsaw to escape the Gestapo.

Although he has spent the majority of his working life as a lawyer, Laumberg has been writing scripts for the stage.

Two of his previous works are the comedies Unsolicited Male and The Great Divide which have both enjoyed successful seasons at the Tap Gallery and the Edge Theatre.

He says writing his father’s story was "somewhat easier" than writing a comedic play.

Holocaust Horror... David Ritchie (left) plays a young Jewish doctor who cheated death,
and Scott Agius plays his son Tony

"In a way when writing The Lucky One it was all there was for me," he says.

" I didn't have to make up any of the characters or anything like that," says Laumberg.

" But, writing this play has been one of the most emotional journeys I have ever been on."

"It's been a tremendous burden on my shoulders to make sure the story is told in the correct way - a way my dad would have been proud of. It will be a big relief for me when the play actually opens because I'll know the story is finally out there for people to hear."

The Lucky One is a two-hander performed by the actors David Ritchie (White Collar Blue, Rafferty's Rules) and Scott Agius (Young Lions).

Ritchie plays the character based on Laumberg's father both as a young man and an older man, revealing his history to his young son played by Agius.

During the course of the play Agius also plays more than 20 additional characters during flash back sequences that recreate certain times during the war.

"He's not playing me as such - just a character who is finding out all these things about his father for the first time," says Laumberg.

The Lucky One plays NIDA'S Parade Studio, Kensington, from Wednesday 3 to March 28. Tickets are $18 (previews only) to $33, bookings 9645 1611


Friday, February 27, 2004

Kingsford actor Scott Agius stars in a true story about humanity, hope and humour.


When playwright Tony Laumberg began interviewing his father, a Holocaust survivor, he discovered a dramatic and moving story of survival against impossible odds.

The result is The Lucky One, Laumberg’s third play and one which reveals his own family story.

The intensely personal play recreates the life of the young Jewish doctor during the German occupation of Poland. The story follows him on the run from the Gestapo after fleeing the Warsaw ghetto, to creating a new life in Australia and reflecting with his son on that dark period in history.

Starring in the role of Tony Laumberg is Kingsford actor Scott Agius, who for the first time found himself playing the role of someone he knew personally.

“There’s a fair bit of responsibility to get it right and make sure that they’re not misrepresented” he said. “I found it a bit unnerving that the people you are actually playing are watching you perform.”

David Ritchie and Scott Agius in The Lucky One

A student of London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, Agius believes audiences will have no difficulty relating to The Lucky One.

“What I found surprising was that there are some really strong parallels with what’s happening today, particularly as far as refugees are concerned,” he said.

“Those parallels make it very interesting and very current, and the story between father and son is universal and one which most people can relate to.”

The Lucky One will be performed at NIDA’s Parade Studio, Kensington, from March 3 to 28.

Bookings via MCA on 9645 1611 or online at

Tuesday February 24, 2004