Acclaimed Australian actor Colin Friels will star in British playwright Justin Butcher’s brilliant one-man play Scaramouche Jones in the Fairfax Studio at Arts Centre Melbourne for a limited season from 15 August 2018. This will be the first time Friels has performed a solo theatre piece in his long and celebrated career.
Scaramouche Jones is the tale of an ancient clown who, after his last performance at 11pm on Millennium Eve, retires to his dressing room to wait alone for the stroke of midnight and his own centenary. Reflecting on the extraordinary fortunes of his life, his journey spans the furthest reaches of crumbling empires and the darkest episodes of the 20th century in his quest for a father and a homeland.
He strips away his seven comic masks and reveals the heart buried deep within: his final confession. By turns bizarre, comic, epic, tragic – laced with the consummate wit of the circus clown – his tale unfolds as an enchanting fable of poignancy and laughter.
The world premiere of Scaramouche Jones was held at the Dublin Theatre Festival in October 2001 where it was performed by eminent English actor, the late Pete Postlethwaite. Its UK premiere the following year in Bristol broke box office records for a piece of new writing and Postlethwaite went on to tour the work through the UK and internationally.
Colin Friels is known for his award-winning work in theatre, television and film. His accolades include Best Actor awards (Film Critics Circle of Australia and Lexus IF) for the film Tom White; a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in the Sydney Theatre Company production of Copenhagen; a Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor in television series Water Rats; and AFI Awards for 1986 cult film Malcolm and television series Halifax f.p. (Hard Corps). Recently he performed in the Belvoir St Theatre production Faith Healer and appeared in the Australian drama series The Secret Daughter.
Director Alkinos Tsilimidos has been described as one of Australia’s most important contemporary film directors. His début feature film, Everynight… Everynight (1994) was awarded Best First Film (Prix D’Montreal) at the Montreal World Film Festival and was in Official Selection at the Venice International Film Festival.
His second feature, Silent Partner (2001) was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the AFI and Film Critics Circle Awards and was in Official Selection at Toronto, Montreal, Newport, Athens, Singapore and Bangkok film festivals. In 2004 his film Tom White received thirty-one Australian feature film award nominations. Alkinos made his theatrical debut with John Logan’s Red for the Melbourne Theatre Company in 2012.
“If it takes 50 years to make a clown, and another 50 to be a clown, I believe the same is true of an actor. That makes Colin just ripe for this.” – Alkinos Tsilimidos.
Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 15 – 25 August 2018
Information and Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Image: Colin Friels to star in Scaramouche Jones (supplied)