A riveting portrait of a marriage performed by a real-life couple, Queensland Theatre presents Joanna Murray-Smith’s fiery adaptation of the Ingmar Bergman classic, Scenes from a Marriage in the Playhouse – QPAC from 11 November 2017.
Scenes from a Marriage is a story of what seems to be an ideal marriage – perfect from the outside, two daughters, glittering careers and a lovely home. However as they say, you never know what goes on behind closed doors.
When Johan, a college professor, admits to wife Marianne, a successful divorce lawyer, that he has slept with another woman, he detonates the first bomb in what will become a ferocious and savagely comic battle. The now troubled couple are set to endure a spiralling series of conflicts and home wars.
Originally written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, Scenes from a Marriage was a Swedish 1973 TV miniseries which was the subject of controversy for its supposed influence in increasing divorce rates throughout Europe. Now this classic battle lands itself on the Queensland Theatre stage, with the reunion of much-loved playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and Director and Queensland Theatre Associate Artistic Director Paige Rattray.
“Marriage is a complex thing and this play explores all facets of it. Especially the ugly ones. Audiences can also expect powerhouse performances from our actors, they are all theatrical beasts, it’s going to be a wild ride,” said Rattray.
“If anyone has seen the original Bergman TV series or the theatrical cut I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised as to how true to the original Joanna’s adaptation is. She has masterfully theatricalised the text, adding drama without losing the intimacy and complex psychology of the piece.”
Starring real-life power couple and Helpmann award-winners Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King, Jack Irish, A Place to Call Home) and Ben Winspear (The Babadook), they are joined by two multi-award-winning stage stars Christen O’Leary (Ladies in Black) and Hugh Parker (Noises Off) and Tropfest Best Actress Loani Arman (The Picnic).
Known for her role as Sarah Adams in A Place to Call Home, and her 2009 Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (as Queen Margaret in Benedict Andrews’ The War of the Roses with the Sydney Theatre Company), Dusseldorp has a stunning body of work, and will make her Queensland Theatre debut in this Australian premiere production.
Ben Winspear has performed with Queensland Theatre previously in Faustus. He won the 2009 Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Play for his role in Baghdad Wedding for Company B and has an extensive list of outstanding credits on stage and screen.
Joanna Murray-Smith is one of Australia’s most prolific playwrights. With more than 20 plays to her name, they have been performed by some of the world’s greatest leading actors including: Annette Bening, Meryl Streep, Laura Linney, Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Diana Rigg, Corin Redgrave, Sam Waterston, Iain Glen and John Slattery.
Murray-Smith’s plays include American Song, Switzerland, Pennsylvania Avenue, Fury, True Minds, Songs for Nobodies, Day One. A Hotel. Evening, The Gift, Rockabye, The Female of the Species, Ninety, Bombshells, Rapture, Nightfall, Redemption, Flame, Love Child, Atlanta, Honour, and Angry Young Penguins.
Director: Paige Rattray Featuring: Loani Arman, Marta Dusseldorp, Christen O’Leary, Hugh Parker, Ben Winspear Designer: David Fleischer Lighting Designer: Ben Hughes Composer/Sound Designer: Kelly Ryall Associate Sound Designer: Tony Brumpton Assistant Director: Julia Patey
Scenes from a Marriage
Playhouse – Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cultural Precinct, South Bank
Season: 16 November – 3 December 2017 (previews: 11 – 15 November)
For more information, visit: www.queenslandtheatre.com for details.
Image: Marta Dusseldorp and Ben Winspear feature in Scenes from a Marriage (supplied)