A first for Red Stitch, this double-bill will see the Australian premiere of the highly-lauded Sea Wall by Olivier award-winning Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Motortown, Birdland), and a new work specially commissioned from one of Australia’s most bourgeoning playwrights, the world premiere of Dead Centre by Green Room and AWGIE award-winning Tom Holloway (Red Sky Morning, Beyond the Neck).
Directed by Julian Meyrick, these two beautifully written companion monologues bring two of the best writers of the modern stage together to engage a shared dramatic experience.
In Dead Centre, we meet Helen – played by Red Stitch ensemble member Rosie Lockhart. Inspired by a Fosters ad that seems to follow her on one particularly sad Tuesday, she books a flight from the UK and heads for sunny Australia in the hope of starting again. Haunted by her past, an ex-husband and a missing father, her search for solace is interrupted by a confronting range of emotions. Slowly she begins to face her past and attempts to move on with her future.
In Sea Wall, Alex – played by Red Stitch ensemble member Ben Prendergast, invites us into his life and all that he cherishes. Beginning full of possibility he speaks about his wife, having a daughter, photography, and the bottom of the sea. But his contentment falls away into deep and heart-breaking grief, crumbling to pieces with a striking vividness.
Bound together but living thousands of miles apart, Dead Centre and Sea Wall explores the stories of Helen and Alex whilst asking some of the larger questions of life in unexpected and heart-rending ways.
Simon Stephens has gained a reputation as one of Britain’s most important contemporary playwrights. His works include the Olivier Award-?winning adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2013); Punk Rock – nominated for Best New Play at the TMA Awards (2010); Pornography – winner of Best New Play at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (2008); Motortown – presented by Red Stitch in 2007, and more recently Birdland – presented by Melbourne Theatre Company.
Tom Holloway is one of Australia’s leading playwrights of our time. His works include the AWGIE Award-winning stage play Beyond the Neck (2008) – one of ten plays chosen to be part of the Royal Court Theatre’s International Young Playwrights’ Festival in London and presented by Red Stitch in 2012; Red Sky Morning commissioned and produced by Red Stitch Theatre, won the 2008 Green Room Award for Best New Writing for the Australian Stage; Don’t Say The Words (Griffin Theatre/Tasmania Theatre); Love Me Tender (Company B Belvoir St/Griffin Theatre Company and Thin Ice); Gambling (Soho Theatre) and more.
Director of many award-winning theatre productions, most recently Angela’s Kitchen, which won the 2012 Helpmann Award for Best Australian Work, Julian Meyrick was Director of the inaugural production of Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? and winner of the 1998 Green Room Award for Best Director on the Fringe. Julian makes his directorial debut for Red Stitch with this exciting double bill.
“The Ensemble are passionate about presenting work by Australian and international playwrights alongside one another and we are thrilled to have Tom return to the company. Ensemble members Rosie Lockhart and Ben Prendergast are relishing working on these rich texts” – Ella Caldwell, Artistic Director
Director & Dramaturg: Julian Meyrick Featuring: Rosie Lockhart and Ben Prendergast Set & Lighting Designer: Matthew Adey Composer & Sound Designer: Ian Moorhead Digital Designer: Katie Cavanagh Stage Manager: Melissa Place
Dead Centre / Sea Wall
Red Stitch Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel Street, St. Kilda East
Season: 17 July – 15 August 2015
Bookings: (03) 9533 8083 or online at: www.redstitch.net
For more information, visit: www.redstitch.net for details.
Image: courtesy of Red Stitch Actors Theatre