Following the success of Intoxication (Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe, 2017-18) and Home Invasion (Old 505, 2018), award winning playwright Christopher Bryant joins forces with frequent collaborator and Green Room nominated director Daniel Lammin (Master Class, Awakening and Strangers in Between) to present the Australian premiere of Sneakyville at fortyfivedownstairs this August.
“Sneakyville is one of the most thrilling and uncompromising plays I’ve read in years,” says Lammin. “It left me breathless on my first reading, and determined to see it reach the stage. This production is the culmination of several years of development, passion and belief in the work, and I can’t wait for audiences to discover Chris’ original and vital take on the Manson mythology.”
Sneakyville unearths the lives of Charles Manson and the Manson family, detailing the key moments surrounding the infamous Tate Murders in August 1969, and envisioning the final days of a wretched and imprisoned Manson.
“The genesis of the play sprang from my own fascination with the subject matter, and opened up from there as a way to question: why do Australians care about this man, and why is the world so captivated by violent acts,” says Bryant, who began writing the play during his NIDA Masters degree in 2015, over two years before Manson’s death last November.
“We’re very conscious of the fact that our season coincides with the 49th anniversary of the murders,” says Lammin. “It’s important to us that the play is not seen as a celebration of Manson’s legacy, but a critique of that legacy, how we fetishise men who do terrible things and turn them into pop-culture celebrities, and the consequences of that on us as a society, even in Melbourne.”
A darkly funny and theatrically daring new Australian work, Sneakyville tears down Manson’s cult status as a Christ like figure, exploring where the worst parts of us come from and why the rest of us fall in love with them.
You have to be sneaky to find the truth. Charlie Manson knew this. His Family knew this. The person next to you probably knows this. Maybe even you do. Come down to Sneakyville. It’s a hell of a trip.
Director: Daniel Lammin Featuring: Kristina Benton, Julia Christensen, Wil King, Patrick Durnan Silva, Grace Travaglia Kathryn Yates Production Design: Nathan Burmeister Lighting Design: Alexander Berlage Sound Design: Kellie-Anne Kimber A/V Design: Justin Gardam Assistant Director: Jessica McLaughlin Cafferty Production Manager: Kathryn Yates Stage Manager: Beth Paterson Producer: Morgan Little
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 2 – 11 August 2018 (preview: 1 August)
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: Grace Travaglia features in Sneakyville (supplied)