Recalling a past Australia that’s neither as simple nor as innocent as we’d like to remember, Craig Silvey’s award-winning novel, Jasper Jones comes to life in a rich and poignant Melbourne Theatre Company production, adapted for the stage by Kate Mulvany, and directed by Sam Strong at the Southbank Theatre until 9 September 2016.
Late one summer night in 1965, young Charlie is startled by fierce rapping on the window of his sleep-out. It’s Jasper Jones, the baddest kid in the wheatbelt town of Corrigan. Steer clear of him, parents say, he’s nothing but trouble. And now he’s outside Charlie’s window asking for help, begging him to come see something, something awful, something that’ll change his life.
Jasper Jones attracted widespread accolades upon its release in 2009 and is quickly becoming a quintessential Australian classic studied in schools across the country. Often described as Australia’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the thoughtful, funny and heartbreaking story about outsiders and what it really means to be a hero has been transformed for both the stage and screen, and a soon to be released feature film.
“After working with Kate on Masquerade, I’m thrilled to be teaming up with her again to give Jasper Jones a lavish mainstage production, says director Sam Strong. “Kate has a remarkable talent for imaginatively transforming novels into theatrical works of art in their own right, and in Craig Silvey’s novel she has rich material to play with.”
“Jasper Jones is a coming-of-age story for all ages, so it’s little wonder the novel has already captured the hearts of a generation of Australians. I can’t wait to create a production that is every bit as charming, haunting, playful, and tender as the story of Jasper Jones.”
Kate Mulvany is an award-winning writer and actor. Her plays include the acclaimed adaptation of Masquerade, The Web, The Wreath, Blood and Bone, Story Time, The Danger Age, Vaseline Lollies, and Naked Ambition. She also collaborated with Tim Minchin on the musical Somewhere at Q Theatre and with Pip Branson on Embalmer! – the Musical, produced by Tamarama Rock Surfers. For Bell Shakespeare, Kate adapted Julius Caesar and Macbeth, as well as an award-winning adaptation of Medea for Belvoir in 2012. In 2012, Kate played the role of Rose in MTC’s production of her play The Seed, which had previously won the 2004 Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award.
“A riveting tale, studded with laugh-out-loud and life affirming moments.” – Adelaide Advertiser
Director: Sam Strong Featuring: Ian Bliss, Nicholas Denton, Taylor Ferguson, Rachel Gordon, Guy Simon, Hayden Spencer, Harry Tseng Set and Costume Designer: Anna Cordingley Lighting Designer: Matt Scott Composer & Sound Designer: Darrin Verhagen Voice and Dialect Coach: Leith McPherson Assistant Director: Justine Campbell
The Sumner – Southbank Theatre, 140 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Season continues to 9 September 2016
Information and Bookings: www.mtc.com.au
Image: Jasper Jones – courtesy of Melbourne Theatre Company