Our November picks for tertiary study
24 Nov 2015
John Kachoyan - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
The two plays I have chosen for the final bulletin of 2015 are both by women and both have a strong connection to South Australia, and in particular to State Theatre, SA, a company that has a long and proud history of producing Australian premieres. The first, Mortido by Sydney-based playright Angela Betzien is still in its first-run season, having just transferred to Belvoir Street from Adelaide and the second, The Good Son, is by Adelaide-based actor Elena Carapetis (a regular at STSA) and was premiered at The Bakehouse by independent theatre company the Other Ones in 2015.
Mortido was initially developed with Playwriting Australia where it received a full workshop in 2014. Betzien is one of our best playwrights – political, sharp and deeply theatrical, she has carved herself a firm niche in the Australian theatrical scene. The play focuses on the drug trade, specifically Cocaine and takes place in a variety of exotic (and grungy) locations. It is chock full of delicious roles (it requires some serious Hispanic acting) and is action-packed. This is a stylish and seriously accomplished piece of writing, well worth more than the usual one production Australian plays generally receive. Get on to it!
Elena Carpetis’ The Good Son is set amongst the working class Greek-Australian community in Torrensville, Adelaide. Gritty and tough, it examines an extraordinary relationship between a mother and son, in the particular cultural context of the Greek diaspora. This is a four-hander (two women, two men) with wonderful plotting, great chunky dialogue and an intense and vivid inner-life. As reviews at the time noted, this is less a play about being ‘Greek’ than it is about the universal nature of family – the ties that bind. There is a lot to get the teeth into here – great opportunities for actors, directors and designers.
All good wishes for a happy Silly Season, and a safe and prosperous New Year. See you in 2016!
Tom Healey, Literary Manager