BLUE

AF24 STCSA BlueState Theatre Company South Australia, in association with Adelaide Festival, presents a Belvoir St production, Blue by Thomas Weatherall.

A fresh and breath-taking portrayal of a coming-of-age story, Blue examines family, masculinity, grief, love and loss through an honest and brutal lens.

When Mark moves out of home, he writes letters to his mum, also a writer, to stay connected. One day his mum’s letter brings news too painful to bear, and he seeks solace in the ocean – the source of his fondest yet most agonising memories – as well as in the words that have cascaded around him throughout his life.

This beautiful production shows at once the vulnerability and strength it takes to come of age when the unexpected hits you out of the blue.

Written by AACTA and Logie-Award winner Kamilaroi man Thomas Weatherall (Heartbreak High), Blue stars one of Australia’s most talented actors, Wiradjuri man Callan Purcell, fresh from his acclaim for his performance as Aaron Burr in the international tour of the hit musical Hamilton.

“I love how Thomas wrote this young man with such a burning desire to connect,” said Callan. “He shares the most fragile of things on his mind, in his heart. There’s a rigour to the way he dances around the truth and at other times, dives into the belly of memories. I’ve never done a role like this before or one that sits so close to home.”

Directed by Deborah Brown, Senior Artist for Bangarra Dance Theatre with video design by David Bergman, acclaimed for his ingenious film work on The Picture of Dorian Gray with set and lighting design by Jacob Nash and Chloe Ogilvie (both of At What Cost? success), this stunning production shows the fragility and beauty of a young life at its new beginning.

Writer Thomas Weatherall said he hoped the play encourages people to search connection with others and oneself. “Blue is, in its rawest form, a kind of unprescribed therapy. Mark is not me, the story you are about to see is not my life, but more so a very personal fiction,” he said.

“If nothing else, I hope this play makes you talk to your friends and family, love each other, set boundaries, read better books, swim in the ocean, and listen to music constantly!” said Weatherall.

State Theatre Company South Australia Artistic Director Mitchell Butel said he was drawn to the visceral writing and honesty Blue brings to the stage. “This is a truly startling playwriting debut resulting in a work both tough and tender,” he said.

“I had already been a fan of Thomas’s knockout acting prowess but have been bowled over to witness a piece of writing that contains such insights into family, purpose and love.”

“I know Ruth MacKenzie, AD of the Adelaide Festival feels the same. We are so thrilled to be bringing this work to Adelaide as part of the Festival and I know audiences will be enraptured by it,” said Butel .

Breathtaking visual transformations that move us beyond the capacity of words.” – Suzy Goes See


Blue
Scott Theatre – The University of Adelaide, Kintore Avenue, Adelaide
Season: 27 February – 16 March 2024 (previews: 23 – 26 February)
Information and Bookings: www.statetheatrecompany.com.au

Image: State Theatre Company South Australia presents Blue as part of the 2024 Adelaide Festival (supplied)