Bathurst Theatre Company [BTC] president and local playwright Vince Melton first wrote Blokes Don't Talk as a series of monologues based on personal stories men would share at their local pub over a few drinks.
And after a host of live performances over the years in Sydney, Canberra and Bathurst, Blokes Don't Talk, a seven-part series, made its radio debut on Tuesday evening via community station 2MCE, with further episodes to air from 6pm over the next six Tuesdays.
Mr Melton hopes the radio format of Blokes Don't Talk will resonate with men who may not always feel comfortable to address personal concerns, as well as women who desire a greater understanding of the men in their life.
"One of my past jobs was working behind a bar, where I was privy to many conversations with blokes facing significant difficulties in their lives," he said.
"The monologues invoke relatable, complex issues all men face, and as radio is purely between the performer and listener, it's a perfect medium to express these stories."
Subjects include a patriarch about to lose a family farm, a young boy who goes off the rails into a life of crime and a new father confronted with fatherhood for the first time.
Blokes Don't Talk director Brett Van Heekeren, who is heavily involved with both BTC and 2MCE, said the production features a stellar host of talent, and will encourage members of the community to discuss each part following its airing.
"Prior to each monologue, Vince and I will provide a bit of background on the performance in question, as well as introduce the featured actor and how they've approached the character," Mr Van Heekeren said.
"After each performance, we invite listeners to join us on the BTC Facebook page to continue the conversation after each episode, and we'll release the entire series as a podcast after all episodes have aired."
Mr Van Heekeren said the production was made possible through a small grant from Arts OutWest, and highlights the strength of community collaboration.
"This production features a radio station, a local writer and a local theatre company working together to provide a meaningful project," he said.
"The stories involved are timeless, and really play on those emotions men are prone to bottle up inside, and we hope men [and women] in the Bathurst community draw plenty of meaning from these performances."
Mr Melton also hopes the broadcast will help address the serious issue of mental health among men.
"Nine people take their lives in Australia each day; seven are men, who are 30 per cent less likely to address their mental health," he said.
For more information, visit the BTC Facebook page.
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