Tackling urban violence, racism, and the lengths families will go to save their own, Steam Productions will stage Dennis Kelly’s ground-breaking play, Orphans at The Mechanics Institute for a limited season from 8 August.
This emotionally-charged play was written by London playwright Dennis Kelly, who is best known for writing Matilda for the Royal Shakespeare Company (with songs composed by Tim Minchin). Orphans was first presented as part of the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it garnered rave reviews and won the Fringe First and Herald Angel awards.
Orphans is a psychological thriller that opens with a couple, Helen and Danny, sitting down to a celebratory dinner, having just found out she’s pregnant with their second child. Suddenly Helen’s brother Liam arrives on their doorstep, covered in blood and raving about a young man he discovered, beaten and badly injured, on the street.
When Helen and Danny try to calm Liam and piece together the events they realise things aren’t what they seem, and the situation threatens to jeopardise their family’s safety and fragile stability. Their attempts to resolve the situation themselves, and protect their family, escalate into an unexpected and brutal denouement.
Director Douglas Montgomery, sees Orphans as a study of fear, familial bonds, and life-changing choices. “When Helen rebukes Danny —“These days that is exactly what the world comes down to. Who we know, and who we don’t know.”— she speaks of the fear that holds you hostage in yourself, in your own home, in your neighbourhood,” says Montgomery.
“What makes it so compelling is that it draws audiences into a questioning of their own behaviour under similar stresses. Helen and Liam were orphaned as children and their experiences in the ‘system’ bonded them seemingly forever, but being suddenly dropped into a crucible of terrible events tests the strength of that bond.”
The play’s themes of racially-motivated violence, ‘damaged’ families and moral dilemmas make it a potent, relevant and thought-provoking piece that will appeal to all adult theatre-goers.
Director: Douglas Montgomery Cast: Shian Denovan, Pat Moonie, Gavin Williams, Ethan Oppy, Beau Pierson-Cooper Videographer: Christian Dell’Olio Technician: Rhys Purdey
The Mechanics Institute, 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Season: 8 – 23 August 2014
For more information, visit: www.steamproductions.com.au for details.
Image: courtesy of Steam Productions