Our June Picks for Community Theatre
John Kachoyan - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
This month I am featuring work by two of Australia’s best-known ‘personalities’ in the playwriting world: Joanna Murray-Smith and Eddie Perfect. In so many ways you could characterize them as opposites and yet… when I put these two plays side by side I begin to see some remarkable similarities. They both have crack ears for dialogue and both appreciate the essentially ridiculous qualities of life.
Joanna Murray-Smith’s SWITZERLAND was commissioned by the Sydney Theatre Company where it was performed to great acclaim by Sarah Pierse and Eamon Farren, directed by incoming Melbourne Theatre Company Associate Sarah Goodes. For fans of Patricia Highsmith (and there are lots of us!!) this is a fabulous treat. Without giving too much away, it is all set in Highsmith’s chalet in Switzerland where she receives a visit from a young man, apparently a publisher, who bears an uncanny resemblance to her great creation, the anti-hero Tom Ripley. This is a delicious two-hander and an enormous crowd-pleaser.
Eddie Perfect – actor, singer, composer, comedian, cabaret bad-boy turned festival director and playwright! I have written more extensively about this play in my introduction to the Red Door edition, but it is an absolute treat for a company looking for that elusive combination; funny with a bit of punch – Eddie’s formula from way back! THE BEAST is set in the outskirts of Melbourne in the leafy and tranquil Yarra Valley; home of wine, cheese, good living and middle-class, mud-brick tree changers. The story is actually based on somewhat of a real event where a bunch of 30-somethings (Eddie and his partner amongst them) decided to have a dinner party for which they will slaughter and eat (nose-to-tail) their own meat. This is one of the greatest comedies in the repertoire and I hope will receive productions across the country.
Tom Healey, Literary Manager