Following a mob of bumbling bureaucratic battlers as they debate the minute details of the national day and identity, New Theatre presents, as their final play for the year, Jonathan Biggins’ Australia Day from 14 November 2017.
In the fictional NSW coastal town of Coriole, preparations are underway for the annual Australia Day celebrations and the organising committee are thrashing out the details amidst disagreements over politics, patriotism and progress.
Whether it’s angst over a new development, the best snags to serve at a multicultural barbie, or the looming spectre of racism, throughout runs the theme of self-censorship. At what point do you abandon the politically-correct and say what you really think?
Jonathan Biggins (The Wharf Revue) is one of Australia’s sharpest satirists and in this very funny play he zooms in on the dynamics of small-town society with an unerring eye and ear for the humour embedded in everyday life.
Directed by New Theatre’s Artistic Director Louise Fischer, Australia Day features Les Asmussen (The Ritz, The HIV Monologues), Peter Eyers (The Real Thing, Harvest, Privates on Parade), Alice Livingstone (The Clean House), Lap Nguyen (making his New Theatre debut), Martin Portus (The Diary of Anne Frank), and Amelia Robertson-Cuninghame (After The Dance, The Heidi Chronicles).
Jonathan Biggins is a playwright and satirist, perhaps best known for co-creating the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue for the last fifteen years. He also wrote The State of the Tasmanian Economy; co-wrote the musicals Living in the ‘70s and The Republic of Myopia, and with Phil Scott wrote a new libretto for Orpheus in the Underworld for Opera Australia.
As an actor, Biggins has worked for all the state theatre companies, with credits including Travesties, Ying Tong, The Venetian Twins and The Mikado. As a director his recent credits include Noises off for STC, Orpheus in the Underworld for OA and the national tour of Australia Day. He also won a Helpmann Award for his direction of the musical Avenue Q.
Biggins has written several books, including The 700 Habits of Highly Ineffective Parents and iKevin, and was a regular columnist with Fairfax’s Good Weekend Magazine for seven years and still contributes when inspiration strikes.
Director: Louise Fischer Featuring: Les Asmussen, Peter Eyers, Alice Livingstone, Lap Nguyen, Martin Portus, Amelia Robertson-Cuninghame Set Designer: David Marshall-Martin Lighting Designer: Nicola Block Sound Designer: Mehran Mortezai Assistant Director: Michael Mitchell Production / Stage Manager: Douglas Cairns
New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
Season: 16 November – 16 December 2017 (previews: 14 & 15 November)
Information and Bookings: www.newtheatre.org.au
Image: courtesy of New Theatre