It’s Toby Ackland’s birthday party down near the surf club – and that means heaps of grog, drugs and good clean fun. But by the morning a young girl is dead – raped by three boys and bashed with a rock. Who is responsible? The boys? The girl? Or the whole town?
A confronting piece of work when it first premiered in 1995, Blackrock is an intimate and strongly shaped human drama which examines the social forces behind the impulse to violence in individual lives.
Written by award-winning Australian playwright Nick Enright (A Man With Five Children, Cloudstreet, The Boy From Oz and the Academy Award-nominated screenplay, Lorenzo’s Oil), Blackrock was adapted from his original play, A Property of the Clan, and was inspired by the 1989 murder of Leigh Leigh in Stockton, near Newcastle.
In a time where it’s become far too common to hear of another woman murdered in a public place and where male fragility is so week a Gillette commercial about toxic masculinity can grind some gears, EbbFlow Theatre has decided to bring back this intricate look into a world of victim blaming, guilt and mateship under the helm of Director Nicola Bowman.
“Blackrock is a story that contemporary Australia desperately needs to hear,” says director, Nicola Bowman. “It is as terrifyingly relevant now as it was when first performed in 1995. The expertly penned words of Nick Enright illuminate the destruction left in the wake of toxic masculinity. We want to bring female voices to the forefront and take charge of the narrative.”
The females in this story are screaming to be heard and for change, much like the youth of today, having risen up against violence against women, pay gap, and even climate change. The women of Blackrock have strong wills and producer Dean Robinson cares a lot about telling their story.
Nick Enright (1950-2003) trained for the theatre at New York University School of Arts after early experience in Australia including with Nimrod and MTC. He was an actor, director and teacher as well as a writer. His plays include On the Wallaby, Daylight Saving, St James Infirmary, Mongrels, A Property of the Clan, The Quartet from Rigoletto, Blackrock, Good Works, Spurboard and A Man with Five Children. With Justin Monjo he adapted Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet for the stage.
He has also written for film and television, including co-writing with George Miller the screenplay for Lorenzo’s Oil which was nominated for an Oscar. He has written a number of musicals including The Venetian Twins and Summer Rain with composer Terence Clarke. He also wrote the book for the Australian production of The Boy From Oz.
Among his many awards are two Green Room Awards for Best Play, four Gold AWGIE Awards, the 1998 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award and the NSW Premiers’ Special Award. As well as being a prolific writer, Enright was a noted acting teacher, particularly at NIDA and WAAPA.
Director: Nicola Bowman Featuring: Monty Burgess, Joanna Halliday, Alexander Lloyd, Callum Mackay, Henry O’Brien, Jayden Popik, Karl Richmond, Michelle Robertson, Kate Schmidli, Luisa Scrofani, Sophie Stewart, Jessica Tanner Set and Costume Design: Jac Antcliff Lighting Design: Adelaide Harney Sound Design: Rachel Lewindon Fight Choreographer: John Reed Stage Manager: Kyra von Stiegler Assistant Director and Production Manager: Dean Robinson
St Martins Youth Arts Centre, 28 St Martins Lane, South Yarra
Season: 25 July – 3 August 2019
For more information, visit: www.ebbflowtheatre.com for details.
Image: Luisa Scrofani and Karl Richmond – photo by Cameron Taylor