A gritty, song-filled chronicle giving voice to the personal impact of modern warfare and the costs that are born by families, Canberra’s The Street Theatre teams up with The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium for the March world premiere of The Weight of Light.
With words and music from acclaimed writer Nigel Featherstone in collaboration with composer James Humberstone, this new Australian story situated in the Southern Tablelands of NSW is a suspenseful production where song cycle meets theatre and absolution is sought by all.
Having completed his latest tour of Afghanistan, an Australian soldier is on leave and taking the opportunity to return to his family’s farm in Crookwell – he is looking forward to resting. However, as he makes his way home he is confronted by news that is both life-affirming and devastating, which pushes him to reveal a dark secret that clings like a ghost. Ultimately he must question everything he knows.
Commissioned by Goulburn Regional Conservatorium with further creative development by The Street Theatre, The Weight of Life has been three years in the making with James and Nigel brought together specifically for this project.
“The text was only the start of the creative process, that there had to be room for the music; more importantly, there had to be room for the words and the music to dance,” says librettist Nigel Featherstone. Composer James Humberstone adds “I hope to have written some music that balances being beautiful, affecting, with being new, original, of a singular voice.”
Produced by The Street Theatre, The Weight of Light puts a focus on how a country like Australia sends its young people to war, and the challenges those men and women face when they return home.
The Soldier is brought to life by Michael Lampard, a leading interpreter of new art music with acclaimed vocal repetiteur Alan Hicks as The Pianist, and an award-winning creative team of director Caroline Stacey and designers Imogen Keen (production) and Linda Buck (lighting).
The Weight of Light is an intimate portrayal of man and soldier that pulls the audience into the cracks of human relationships and masculine identity in the 21st century mixing up theatre and music and voice along the way.
Director: Caroline Stacey Featuring: Michael Lampard, Alan Hicks (pianist) Composition: James Humberstone Libretto: Nigel Featherstone Production Design: Imogen Keen Lighting Design: Linda Buck
The Weight of Light
The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, Canberra City West
Season: 3 – 4 March 2018
Information and Bookings: www.thestreet.org.au
Goulburn Regional Conservatorium, 160 Bourke Street, Goulburn
Performance: Saturday 10 March 2018 – 7.30pm
Information and Bookings: www.trybooking.com
Image: Artwork by Katy Mutton