A new Australian work exploring addiction, love, family, grief, loss, trauma and reality, Breaking The Castle, written and performed by Peter Cook, will be presented at The Street Theatre, Canberra from 29 February, before touring to HotHouse Theatre, Wodonga from 24 March 2020.
Breaking The Castle unlocks a sometimes jobbing actor’s descent into the hell of dependence. Days and nights are lived through a thick haze of drugs and alcohol and this bender could be his last, but he doesn’t care – there are worse things than death.
Devoured by the back streets of the city David is thrown an unlikely lifeline. Finding himself in the mountains of South-East Asia he is offered a chance at redemption – but he will need to confront his inner demons, traumas and secrets long buried in his psyche.
“I like to make theatre that entertains people, makes them laugh, makes them cry and that changes them,” says Peter Cook, who is making his professional debut as a playwright. His new work exploring the complexity of men’s mental health concerns is timely as these issues are at the forefront of the Australian national conversation.
Cook’s work captured Artistic Director Caroline Stacey’s attention during creative development at The Street. Watching it with First Seen audiences, who connected with the work and found “it raw and revealing with an utterly compelling performance from Peter” – Stacey said that she knew it had to go into production and the 2020 season.
A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Peter Cook has lived and worked in Canberra over the past decade. He has appeared on The Street stage in The Eisteddfod, Breathing Corpses, and The Chain Bridge.
Cook participated in Street development programs including First Seen in 2019 when he had the opportunity to fine-tune the writing and performance language for Breaking The Castle. Peter’s performance credits include work for the Stage, TV and Film.
Cook has extensive experience in Theatre in Education, as head of acting at the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts in Brisbane and as an arts educator across the country for major theatre companies, writing, devising and directing numerous plays with students across Australia.
Visceral, fierce and uplifting, Breaking The Castle brings a gripping performance from creator Peter Cook as a man yearning for connection. Directed by Caroline Stacey with The Street’s award-winning creative team this exquisitely rendered heartbreaking story opens the line between the seen, the unseen and the importance of belonging.
Director: Caroline Stacey Featuring: Peter Cook Dramaturgy: Shelly Higgs Design: Imogen Keen Lighting Design: Gerry Corcoran Sound Design: Kimmo Vennonen
Breaking The Castle
The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, Canberra City West
Season: 29 February – 14 March 2020 (preview: 28 February)
Information and Bookings: www.thestreet.org.au
Butter Factory Theatre, Lincoln Causeway, Wodonga
Season: 24 – 28 March 2020
Information and Bookings: www.hothousetheatre.com.au
Image: Peter Cook – photo by Shelly Higgs