Our February picks for tertiary study
Tom Healey - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
Hello, and here we are in 2017!! To kick it off I have chosen two very different plays. The first, SUNSHINE by Tom Holloway received its premiere at Red Stitch in Melbourne in late 2016, so it’s very fresh off the page. The second, FURIOUS MATTRESS by Melissa Reeves was commissioned and developed by Malthouse Theatre and also features in our Red Door series where you can read a more detailed introduction to the work.
Tom Holloway’s SUNSHINE continues a formal experimentation with dialogue structure that began with his fabulous RED SKY MORNING (also premiered by Red Stitch several years ago). In the pouring rain four characters, two men and two women, are searching the streets for very different reasons. Initially it seems as though the characters are entirely unconnected but as time goes by, it becomes clear that their past and futures are linked. This is a death-defying experience for actors, but as always, Holloway’s text is first rate and the ride is definitely worth it. This is hard-core acting – and would be a great choice for acting students seeking to flex their choral muscles.
FURIOUS MATTRESS by Melissa Reeves is a great favourite of mine. Very loosely inspired by the Joan Vollmer case (where a woman died in the course of an amateur exorcism) this is a bizarre and strangely beautiful text. It messes with time and features beautifully-drawn characters who are both eccentric and absolutely authentic at the same time. I regard this play as being shamefully under-produced (it has only had one production as far as I am aware). I think it’s time it became an instant classic and I place it in the hands of the university students of today to make it so! You have your challenge!! Enjoy.
Tom Healey, Literary Manager