Our November picks for tertiary study
Tom Healey - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
I have gone a bit off the beaten track for this, the last bulletin of 2016 in that, where I generally choose large cast plays and very often texts with a huge style demand, this time I have gone with two works that I think will appeal on the grounds of content, rather than form. They are Cut by Duncan Graham and Boy Overboard by Patricia Cornelius based on the book by Morris Gleitzman.
Boy Overboard is in some ways an odd choice for a tertiary recommendation. It is, after all, based on a children’s book. I chose it partly for Patricia Cornelius’ wonderful writing, but also because it seems to me that a knock-about play like this that humanizes the story of people-smuggling seems both timely and interesting. Of course it also contains some fantastic acting and directing opportunities. It contains all of Gleitzman’s signature tricks, in the sense that we understand the adult world through the eyes of a child, and, just as Two Weeks with the Queen was a huge hit for adult audiences, so I believe, could this be. If you’re looking for something with a bit of edge and bite, with politics and a great piece of entertainment – this is for you!!
Cut by Duncan Graham was premiered at the Downstairs Theatre at Belvoir a few years ago. This is a dark, psychological thriller, non-sequential and very demanding on the actress (Anita Hegh at Belvoir). It is the story, or perhaps a fantasy about a stalker, we are never quite sure. The central character, an air hostess seems very much on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and the action follows her over a 24 hour period. This is a lyrical and adventurous text, full of great monologues for the actor and enormous opportunities for the director and designer. I believe this is a piece that would go down really well in a university environment, particularly if you could find an alternative and spooky space for it!
Have a very merry Christmas in 2016 and a prosperous and brilliant 2017!
Tom Healey, Literary Manager