Following an acclaimed premiere season in 2016, Merrigong Theatre Company in association with Canberra Theatre Centre returns the critically acclaimed Letters to Lindy by award-winning playwright Alana Valentine to Australian stages as part of a national tour from 22 June 2018.
Filled with humour and heartbreak, this stunning work explores the public’s relationship with one of 20th Century Australia’s most iconic figures. The story captivated a nation. A mother accused of murdering her child, her claim – that the baby was taken by a dingo – denied and discredited by zealous police and a flawed legal system. The media circus, the rumours, the mob mentality, and a nation’s prejudices laid bare.
Over three decades, from baby Azaria’s death to the final coroner’s report, the public wrote more than 20,000 letters to Lindy Chamberlain. From sympathy to abuse, letters from children and letters from those who have lost a child, these letters traverse the gamut of human response to Lindy’s story.
Letters to Lindy draws on this correspondence, as well as extensive interviews with Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton herself, to create an enthralling, moving, and long overdue dialogue between Lindy and the nation.
Commissioned by Merrigong Theatre Company and directed by Darren Yap (Diving For Pearls, Miracle City), Letters to Lindy features Jeanette Cronin (Crownies, Janet King, Rake) as Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, alongside Glenn Hazeldine, Phillip Hinton and Jane Phegan.
Touching and authentic, Letters to Lindy provides a deep insight into one of the most compelling legal and human dramas of our times. It paints a singular portrait of the heartbreak, wisdom and resilience of a grieving mother and her 30-year fight for justice.
Alana Valentine is a multi-award winning playwright and songwriter. Her many plays include Ladies Day, Parramatta Girls, Run Rabbit Run, Head Full of Love, Letters to Lindy and Barbara and the Camp Dogs (co-written with Ursula Yovich). Valentine is again working with Bangarra Dance Theatre as dramaturg on Dark Emu, after her successful collaborations on Bennelong, Patyegarang and ID.
In addition to Letters to Lindy, Belvoir recently presented The Sugar House, and Sport For Jove will present Ear to the Edge of Time in 2018. Currency Press has recently published Bowerbird: The art of making theatre drawn from life. Valentine is currently the co-recipient of a writing fellowship at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney.
“… a fascinating collage depicting Australian attitudes to grief, justice, celebrity, and to women who do not conform to expectations…” – Sydney Morning Herald
Director: Darren Yap Featuring: Jeanette Cronin, Glenn Hazeldine, Phillip Hinton, Jane Phegan Designer: James Browne Co-Composer/Sound Designers: Max Lambert, Roger Lock Lighting Designer: Toby Knyvett
Letters to Lindy plays at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong (22 – 23 June); Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (26 – 27 June); and the Capitol Theatre, Tamworth (30 June); before touring to selected venues in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland from 3 July to 2 September 2018. For more information and performance schedule, visit: www.artsontour.com.au for details.
Image: Letters to Lindy – photo by Lisa Tomasetti