High Line Productions and Citizen Theatre are proud to announce a new collaboration – When The Light Leaves – a play that deals with issues surrounding the new Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws soon coming into effect in Victoria on 19 June. These laws will allow Victorians access to VAD and coincide with the play’s season at La Mama Courthouse, Carlton from 12 – 23 June 2019.
When The Light Leaves is a new Australian play by emerging writer Rory Godbold. The play is a fictional story that stems from Rory’s autobiographical experience surrounding the circumstances of his father’s death in 2015.
His story drew the attention of the media when he was featured acquiring the life ending drug Nembutal in The Age, and was subsequently interviewed for Andrew Denton’s Better Off Dead podcast.
When The Light Leaves is told through the fragmented memories of people trying to reconcile their grief. The final act is told through bursts of memory, smatterings of text and interspersed action during the wildness of the main character’s death.
As Victoria moves towards a future where people have a choice at the end of their lives, When The Light Leaves explores different voices, values and ideas within the complex public debate, giving people an understanding of what is at stake when someone is making an end of life choice.
It also brings a young, queer voice into the conversation, with the play’s central relationship taking place before and after the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
“Death is highly personal; for the person dying but also the witnesses,” says Writer Rory Godbold. “The play looks at how we use control to protect ourselves, but the unpredictability of death challenges this notion of control for all involved. In witnessing Dan’s death, the audience is confronted with their own mortality and question what a ‘good death’ looks like for them.”
To inspire conversation in the community, a Q&A will be held on the evening of 19 June, immediately following the performance. A panel of different stakeholders will discuss the issue and what it means for Victorians moving forward.
Citizen Theatre Artistic Director, Jayde Kirchert, says the timing of this story and Q&A will play a pivotal role in the community discussion around VAD, “The play doesn’t tell audiences what’s right or wrong, but rather presents the different sides of the story so people can make up their own minds about what they believe is right for them,” she says.
Citizen Theatre is an independent Melbourne theatre company that has been producing new and existing works since 2013. Notable original productions include Nude (Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2014 and Alex Theatre 2015), Alexithymia (2017 Poppy Seed Festival) and Forgotten Places (Chapel Off Chapel).
“I know from close observation that Rory Godbold understands the brutal nuances of this issue in ways that very few can claim. He brings a perspective to it, both as creator and as witness, which has the unmistakable ring of truth. Nothing in performance is more powerful than the truth.” – Andrew Denton
Director: Jayde Kirchert Featuring: Tomas Parrish, Michelle Robertson, Leigh Scully, Veronica Thomas Designer: Stu Brown Costumes: Aislinn Naughton Sound Design: Imogen Cygler Lighting Design: Gina Gascoigne Assistant Director: Kayla Hamill Stage Management & Sound Operator: Teri Steer Lighting Operator: Jamie Turner Associate Producers: Steph Clare-Cover and Alexandra Suttie Writer: Rory Godbold
When The Light Leaves
La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Season: 12 – 23 June 2019
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: When The Light Leaves – photo by Stu Brown