In a new translation, Bertolt Brecht’s morality play about the exploitative power of capitalism will erupt as a cross-cultural, and entirely contemporary, theatre experience at the Malthouse Theatre for a limited season from 27 June.
The Good Person of Szechuan is a prostitute, poor but optimistic, and is kind to three homeless strangers, taking them in when no one else would despite her own poverty. After the strangers reveal themselves to be gods, they reward Shen Te for her altruism with a small tobacco shop – an opportunity to turn her life around.
But soon the shop is overrun with mooching townsfolk all wanting their piece. Too sweet to defend herself and her assets, Shen Te develops an alter-ego, Shui Ta – her pushy male ‘cousin’. As ethics dissolve, goodness is defiled and wickedness rewarded.
Directed by celebrated avant-garde Chinese theatre maker Meng Jinghui (Director, National Theatre of China) as part of Malthouse Theatre’s Directors Exchange Program, The Good Person of Szechuan features an exceptional cast including burlesque sensation Moira Finucane, with music performed live by THE SWEATS.
This new production of Bertolt Brecht’s realist parable is rich in moral complexity, questioning one person’s ability to remain good when she is tested by fortune.
“Meng’s works, each more stunning than the last, all bear the mark of a Meng-style passion about life, rebellion, humor and satire. His achievements have earned him the reputation of being both popular and avant-garde, a rare feat in the world of art.” – Beijing Review
Direction: Meng Jinghui Cast: Aljin Abella, Moira Finucane, Daniel Frederiksen, Genevieve Giuffre, Bert LaBonté, Emily Milledge, Genevieve Morris, Josh Price, Richard Pyros Assistant Direction: Felix Ching Ching Ho Set and Costume: Marg Horwell Composition and Sound Design: THE SWEATS Lighting: Richard Vabre Translation: Tom Wright
The Good Person of Szechuan
Merlyn Theatre – The Coopers Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 27 June – 20 July 2014
Bookings: (03) 9685 5111 or online at: www.malthousetheatre.com.au
For more information, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.
Image: by Brett Goldsmith