A semi-autobiographical fantasy that delves into the vivid imagination and often hilarious personal life of award-winning playwright Lally Katz, Belvoir presents the world premiere of her new play, Atlantis at the Belvoir St Theatre from 28 October 2017.
In her acclaimed one woman show Stories I Want to Tell You in Person, Katz recounted a childhood story of being newly arrived in Australia from the States, and her new Aussie playmates being horrified at her very American declaration that she loved herself. Showcasing the heartfelt and hilarious style of the idiosyncratic Katz, Atlantis is a declaration of self-love, taking self-exploration to a whole new level.
Belvoir’s Artistic Director Eamon Flack says the beauty of this playwright is “Lally mixes dreaming as a playwright and dreaming as a person – there’s no line between them. Atlantis is about travelling into a mess of love and America, refusing to accept the world is doomed,” says Flack.
“The whirligig of this latter-day Don Quixote is bursting with playfulness, with imagination – Lally seems to be saying that’s what will save us all and make this bleak world beautiful.”
Lally is on a journey familiar to many women. Now in her 30s, her personal relationships are disastrous, her career is in a shambles, she’s fast running out of money and everyone she encounters seems to be a charlatan or a shyster. A grand adventure through cynical times, Lally returns to the Miami of her past, a world threatened by rising sea levels and in the mind of Lally, transformed into the mythical city of Atlantis.
“The idea for Atlantis came from a conversation I had with an oceanographer in my grandparents’ retirement home in 2012 about rising sea levels, and something a taxi driver told me in 2011 about her belief in Atlantis,” says Katz. “This is a story made up of a lot of different characters and stories that were part of my life over the past five or so years. All of them changed me in some way and then became part of my life story.”
A stellar cast play the myriad characters of this brilliant woman’s life: Rosemary Myers (Artistic Director of Windmill Theatre Company) directs regular collaborators, set and costume designer Jonathon Oxlade and actor Amber McMahon (Twelfth Night or What You Will, Angels in America), Paula Arundell (Mother Courage and Her Children, Peter Pan), Lucia Mastrantone (Twelfth Night or What You Will, The Book of Everything), Matthew Whittet (Girl Asleep) and Hazem Shammas (The Tribe).
Traversing climate change, aging Jewish grandparents, the perils of dating, cynical prophets, unhappy pharmacists, imaginary friends, disappointing men, narcissists, angels – and, of course, Lally herself in an a fabulous honest story of the struggles faced by women today.
Director: Rosemary Myers Featuring: Paula Arundell, Lucia Mastrantone, Amber McMahon, Hazem Shammas, Matthew Whittet Set & Costume Designer: Jonathon Oxlade Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper Composer & Sound: Designer: Harry Covill Dialect Coach: Paige Walker Movement Director: Sara Black Stage Manager: Keiren Smith Assistant Stage Manager: Georgiane Deal
Upstairs Theatre – Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 1 – 16 November 2017 (previews: 28 – 31 October)
Information and Bookings: www.belvoir.com.au
Image: Lucia Mastrantone, Amber McMahon and Paula Arundell feature in Atlantis – photo by Daniel Boud