Three old friends and a neighbour. A summer of afternoons in the back yard. Tea and catastrophe. Red Stitch presents Escaped Alone, the latest work from acclaimed British playwright Caryl Churchill in an Australian premiere season from 1 June 2019.
In a sun-drenched suburban backyard, three older women: Vi, Sally and Lena are joined by Mrs Jarrett, a passing neighbour, as they meet and reflect on their lives. Together they discuss everything from the everyday to the absurd, the sublime and the ridiculous, constructing, over the course of a number of summer afternoons, what appears to be the ordinary labyrinth of a middle-class female life.
However, what unravels is a profound and confronting expression of our deepest human fears, as the quiet but surprising newcomer, Mrs Jarrett, reveals that she is privy to something far more catastrophic than we could have imagined.
Churchill’s surreal evocation of the mundane teetering on the edge of the apocalypse will be directed by Jenny Kemp (Splendour) and will feature Ensemble member Caroline Lee (Dance Nation, Colder, Suddenly Last Summer) alongside guest actors Julie Forsyth (The House of Bernardo Alba – MTC, The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man – Malthouse Theatre), Marta Kaczmarek (The Honey Bees, Uncle Vanya) and Margaret Mills (Blue Heelers, Angels in America).
A multiple Obie Award winner, Caryl Churchill has written over 40 plays, including Love and Information, Top Girls, and Cloud 9 – she is known for her theatrically poetic meditations. Mixing domestic comedy with dystopian horror, Escaped Alone was written at the age of 77 and stands out as one her funniest plays to date.
“Caryl Churchill follows Beckett and Pinter into the field of fertile minimalism… This is Churchill at her best, observing with wry compassion how people actually talk.” – The Guardian (UK)
Director: Jenny Kemp Featuring: Julie Forsyth, Marta Kaczmarek, Caroline Lee, Margaret Mills Set & Costume Design: Dann Barber Lighting Design: Rachel Burke Lighting Design Assistant: Christopher Maxwell Composer: Elizabeth Drake Sound Engineer: Justin Gardam Stage Manager: Jackie Mates Assistant Stage Manager: Rachel Patterson
Red Stitch Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel Street, St Kilda
Season: 1 – 30 June 2019 (previews: 29 – 31 May)
Information and Bookings: www.redstitch.net
Image: courtesy of Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre