Finally, Australia gets its own superhero! But, knowing the work and activism of playwright Nakkiah Lui, it’s not going to be that simple. Following Blackie Blackie Brown along her quest for vengeance, this new Australian work is loud, provocative, bloody, and a lot of fun.
Troilus & Cressida is one of Shakespeare’s infrequently performed plays, most likely due to the ambiguous characterisation and plot. Set in the final years of the Trojan War, the play is largely a satire of the great legends from the Odyssey including Ulysses, Agamemnon, and Hector. Coincidentally, there’s the added interest of the love story between Cressida, Calchas’s daughter, and Troilus, son of Priam and Prince of Troy. Secret House’s most recent revival of the play argues for its contemporary relevance with questions of identity, love, and war.
Following middle-aged Sandra as she battles through the Sydney housing shortage after her housemates give her two weeks to leave, Brooke Robinson’s new work introduces a critical conversation to the Sydney stage. When we’re all familiar with the housing crisis on a macro scale through rising house prices and sales of car-sized land going for millions of dollars, Good Cook. Friendly. Clean. is a confronting portrayal of the personal cost for someone who slips through the cracks and is routinely denied basic human necessities.
Constructed as verbatim theatre out of interviews Catherine McGregor has given over her lifetime, Still Point Turning: the Catherine McGregor Story is less a narrative, or the ever popular trans narrative, and more a staged biopic, simply explaining what happened and what it felt like for McGregor to live through it. I had a lot of misgivings about this production when it was first announced; thinking that with her politics and position, McGregor didn’t have anything new to say to me. After reading assistant director Charles O’Grady’s Audrey Journal article about his experience within the production and considering McGregor’s impact on Australian discourse throughout her transition, I realised I was approaching this story all wrong.
During a drug trial for a new anti-depressant, two young participants begin to fall in love and threaten to derail the entire experiment. Meanwhile, the psychiatrists behind the trial are still unsure whether their experiment is proving anything at all. The Effect is a story about the boundary between the mind and the heart and whether the embracing of science and reason will destroy our conception of emotion or how we express love.
Adolescence is really, really hard but add on an unwell dad, struggling mum, burgeoning sexual relationship, and an absurd blueberry costume and it can all become overwhelming very quickly. Staged as part of Griffin’s Batch Festival, Ang Collins’s Blueberry Play is an emotional roller coaster through a 17-year-old’s life in small town Australia. Plus, there are some pretty schnazzy labrador animations.
Based on Eimear McBride’s 2013 novel of the same name, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing is a brutal and unrelenting portrayal of the life of a young Irish woman from before her birth into her early 20s. Seeming to move from trauma to trauma and diving deep into the horrors of poverty, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, illness and death, the protagonist understandably struggles to understand herself through the lenses that the surrounding world imposes on her.