Australian woman Mary-Ellen Field was a successful business advisor in London when she was accused of being an alcoholic and leaking private information to the press, destroying her career in the process.
Several years later when it’s discovered that journalists and investigators from Rupert Murdoch’s News International have been hacking the phones of celebrities and other people of interest, Mary-Ellen sets out to prove that this was the source of the leaked information.
Meanwhile in Australia, veteran journalist Mark Colvin is covering the phone hacking story and reaches out to Mary-Ellen after hearing her interviewed. An unlikely friendship ensues and when Mary-Ellen learns of Mark’s medical condition she becomes set on a donation that offers them both a kind of salvation.
Mary-Ellen is a fascinating character. She’s deeply establishment while being wildly idiosyncratic. Her determination to do something beautiful in a time of cynicism and corruption is utterly compelling and Helpmann Award-winning actor Sarah Peirse brings her vividly to life.
Director David Berthold (Artistic Director of Brisbane Festival) returns to Sydney to direct this new play by Tommy Murphy following their highly acclaimed collaboration on Holding the Man.
“In plays like Gwen in Purgatory and Holding The Man, Tommy Murphy keeps finding these unlikely great theatrical figures, and Mary-Ellen Field is no exception,” says Belvoir Artistic Director, Eamon Flack. “I’ve become really enamoured of Mary-Ellen’s bizarre heroic quality and her optimism, it’s surprising, it’s original.”
Director: David Berthold Featuring: Peter Carroll, Kit Esuruoso, John Howard, Sarah Peirse, Chris Stollery, Helen Thomson Set Designer: Michael Hankin Costume Designer: Julie Lynch Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper Composer & Sound Designer: Nate Edmondson Projection Design: Vexran Productions Writer: Tommy Murphy
Mark Colvin’s Kidney
Upstairs – Belvoir Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 1 March – 2 April 2017
Information and Bookings: www.belvoir.com.au
Lennox Theatre – Riverside Theatres, Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Season: 5 – 8 April 2017
Information and Bookings: www.riversideparramatta.com.au
Image: Sarah Peirse stars as Mary-Ellen Field in Belvoir’s production of Mark Colvin’s Kidney – photo by Daniel Boud