A piercing satire about celebrity obsession, award-winning British playwright Simon Stephens’ Birdland is a sexy and revealing exploration of fame and stardom in the 21st century, playing at the Southbank Theatre until 27 June 2015.
With a week left on his sold-out international tour, rock star Paul is more famous than ever. Everybody looks when he walks into a room. They all know his name. They know he can have whatever he wants. He can screw anybody he wants. Buy anything. Eat anything. Drink anything. Smoke anything. Go anywhere. But the pressure is starting to get to him, and with the inevitable return home looming, Paul is set to implode at any moment.
“Birdland charts the unravelling of a man who seemingly has it all, taking us behind the glitter and glamour of rock & roll to reveal a victim of his own fortune,” says Director Leticia Caceres. “Simon Stephens does this with great wit and deft writing, resulting in one of the most innovative new plays to come out of London in the past twelve months. I’m thrilled to be collaborating with such a mesmerizingly talented cast and crew on this exciting Australian premiere.”
Following his hugely successful adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Simon Stephens wrote Birdland as an examination of fame, fortune and decadent disregard in our celebrity obsessed world. Mark Leonard Winter (Balibo) takes the lead as Paul, the damaged idol whose fame and fortune is at a catastrophic high. He is joined by a stellar ensemble featuring Michala Banas (Upper Middle Bogan), Bert LaBonté (The Mountaintop), Socratis Otto (Wentworth), Anna Samson (The Sublime), and Peta Sergeant (House of Hancock).
Simon Stephens has gained a reputation as one of Britain’s most important contemporary playwrights. His work includes Wastwater, Motortown, Herons and Bluebird (Royal Court Theatre); the Olivier Award-winning adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Harper Regan and Port (National Theatre); an adaptation of A Doll’s House (Young Vic); Punk Rock (Royal Exchange, Manchester and Lyric Hammersmith); Pornography (Edinburgh Festival); and On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange, Manchester and National Theatre).
He won the Pearson Award for Best New Play for Port; an Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World; and for Motortown German critics in Theater Heute’s annual poll voted him Best Foreign Playwright in 2007. Stephens has also written radio plays and adapted a number of works for screen. He is currently an Associate Artist at London’s Lyric Theatre.
Director: Leticia Caceres Cast: Michala Banas, Bert LaBonté, Socratis Otto, Anna Samson, Peta Sergeant, Mark Leonard Winter Set Designer: Marg Horwell Costume Designer: Adam Gardnir Lighting Designer: Andy Turner Composer & Sound Designer: Jethro Woodward Voice & Dialect Coach: Geraldine Cook
The Sumner – Southbank Theatre, 140 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Season continues to 27 June 2015
Bookings: (03) 8688 0800 or online at: www.mtc.com.au
For more information, visit: www.mtc.com.au for details.
Image: Birdland – photo by Jeff Busby