On a quiet suburban street, friends and family gather over dinner. ‘Almost failed’ academic, Imre has an announcement: after eight years of work, the book about his family’s Budapest history that will save his career and maybe his marriage – will finally be published.
His most profound personal and professional achievement is about to be realised… But the stories and the history don’t line up, someone is hiding something. Over the course of one night involving bad fish soup, day-old bread and a lot of red wine, Imre and his wife Sarah, push and prod his mother and her friends for answers.
As they do, the darkness of war-torn Europe seeps through the quiet night of an Australian suburb, as old refugees and their children try to find a way to love after horror. The Chain Bridge invites us to peer through the windows of this fraught suburban dinner party, and ask which secrets are too dark to share?
Political scientist and playwright, Tom Davis has written The Chain Bridge over a three year period, inspired by conversation with friends who are the children and grand-children of survivors of historical catastrophes. There are connections between how they grapple with their families’ histories and how the Australian community, our wonderful, messy immigrant society, struggles to locate its moral compass with regards to historical and current atrocities.
The Chain Bridge is Tom Davis’ fourth play, and the first to be produced by The Street. The production is epic in scope – five actors playing 23 characters across eight decades – taking us from the intimacy of a dinner table in Richmond, to the streets of Budapest in 1956, 1960’s dance halls of Melbourne, the synagogues of Nazi-occupied Hungary, Elsternwick, and The Chain Bridge itself.
Dropping audiences into a story that is humorous, sad, and complex this ensemble work moves through a kaleidoscopic succession of vivid images, memories, truths, lies, light and dark, and the unending deluge of history, Tom Wright describes The Chain Bridge as an effort to “write a play that I’d want to watch.”
Director: Caroline Stacey Featuring: Peter Cook, Kate Hosking, Zsuzsi Soboslay, Geraldine Turner, PJ Williams Set / Costume Design: Imogen Keen Lighting Design: Gillian Schwab Sound Design: Kimmo Vennonen
The Chain Bridge
The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, Canberra City West
Season: 21 – 29 November 2015
Bookings: (02) 6247 1223 or online at: www.thestreet.org.au
For more information, visit: www.thestreet.org.au for details.
Image: Geraldine Turner stars in The Chain Bridge (supplied)