A scathing and hilarious look at Australia’s public housing system, that responds to policy developments and testimonies from residents, A Social Service plays at the Malthouse Theatre for a limited season from 13 August 2015.
Devised by maverick independent theatre artist Nicola Gunn and co-created with fellow independent artist David Woods, this new work takes a satirical look at these partnerships, and the developers and bureaucrats behind them.
Questioning who these safety nets are really there to benefit, A Social Service digs at a reality more concerned with replicating itself than improving the situation. When the people at the top have no understanding of ordinary worries, needs or wants, maybe their help is the kind, we’d be better off without.
The piece has been developed following onsite field work, including interviews with residents, and consultation with one of Australia’s leading academics in urban geography, Dr Kate Shaw.
“Much of my research looks at the role of arts and culture in encouraging social diversity,” says Dr Shaw. “A genuinely diverse city is an equitable city, and public housing must be part of this. Nicola and David’s work explores concepts of belonging and community in the interactions surrounding public housing in the gentrifying inner-city. A fascinating perspective.”
Together, Gunn and Woods take a meta approach to theatre, playing fictionalised versions of themselves on a mission to produce public art in a housing complex. Prepare yourself for an in-your-face look at systems that claim to help the needy, but only help themselves.
Original Concept: Nicola Gunn Creators & Performers: Nicola Gunn and David Woods
A Social Service
Beckett Theatre – The Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 13 – 29 August 2015 (previews: 11 – 12 August 2015)
Bookings: (03) 9685 5111 or online at: www.malthousetheatre.com.au
For more information, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Key Photography – Andrew Gough / Treatment – The Sisters Hayes