The relationships that bind modern journalism, the justice system and the political establishment all come under acerbic scrutiny as Sydney Theatre Company presents the world premiere season of Jonathan Biggins’ Talk at the Sydney Opera House from 7 April 2017.
John Behan is a radio talkback host with a city in the palm of his hand. He fills Sydney’s airwaves with biting wit and easy answers, hard facts be damned. Yesterday, he overstepped the mark. Today, the police have come knocking and a trial-by-media threatens to get out of control.
Locking himself in his studio and broadcasting live, Behan is not going to go quietly, even if a man’s life is on the line. Twitter explodes. The court of public opinion seems firmly on his side. He has control of the airwaves and ratings are through the roof. Fuelled by the controversy, newsrooms all over town are chasing this sensational story. Will they reveal the truth? Or will they toe the line for the sake of their jobs?
In this brand new Australian play, writer and director Jonathan Biggins (The Wharf Revue) sets his eyes squarely on modern journalism, social media and the 24-hour news cycle. In a world where ‘alternative facts’ threaten to trump due process, the questions posed by Biggins in Talk are more urgent than ever. Are journalists still looking for the truth? When everyone has a megaphone at their fingertips, is anyone actually listening?
John Waters, fresh from a villainous turn on ABC’s Rake and his national tour of Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, is back at Sydney Theatre Company for the first time in over a decade. With him on the Sydney Opera House stage is a wonderful cast including: Valerie Bader (Children of the Sun), Helen Christinson (A Flea in Her Ear), Peter Kowitz (ABC’s Janet King), and Andrew Tighe (Travelling North).
With plenty of surprising twists, Talk is laugh-out-loud funny as well as blisteringly topical. An incisive tale that is sure to fire up thoughtful and vigorous debate.
Jonathan Biggins has long been a significant player at STC, not least as one third of the brains behind The Wharf Revue. As playwright, he mercilessly lampooned local councils in Australia Day. As director he brought to life the manic behind-the-scenes antics of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off.
As performer, Biggins has had roles in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, Andrew Upton’s adaptation of Bulgakov’s The White Guard and Roy Smiles’ Ying Tong – A Walk with the Goons. His many accolades include the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Avenue Q.
Director: Jonathan Biggins Featuring: Valerie Bader, Helen Christinson, Paige Gardiner, Peter Kowitz, Lucia Mastrantone, Kenneth Moraleda, Andrew Tighe, Hannah Waterman, John Waters, Ben Wood Designer: Mark Thompson Lighting Designer: Trent Suidgeest Composer & Sound Designer: Steve Francis
Drama Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Season: 7 April – 20 May 2017 (previews: 3 – 6 April)
Information and Bookings: www.sydneytheatre.com.au
Glen Street Theatre, corner Glen Street and Blackbutts Road, Belrose
Season: 24 – 27 May 2017
Information and Bookings: www.glenstreet.com.au
Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Canberra
Season: 31 May – 3 June 2017
Information and Bookings: www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au
Image: John Waters as John Behan in Talk – photo by James Green