Shortlisted for the 2012 Rodney Seaborn Playwriting Award, Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) presents the world premiere of Gloria by Brisbane’s award winning playwright Elaine Acworth at the Bille Brown Studio from 24 July.
Gloria Clare has led an extraordinary life. With a searing intellect and boundless talent, she ran from small-town Australia to Europe in her reckless youth, became a diva and found love. She’s been chanteuse and composer, rebel and romantic. But these things are dim and distant for her. In her fifties and having recently suffered a stroke, Gloria’s memories are slipping away.
Now, Gloria uses the language of her heart to remember things – she sings. Music is the sextant by which she navigates her stormy memory. Singing helps her recall the painful episode in her past when, as a young unmarried mother in ’70s Australia, she was shamed, cowed and harassed into giving up her child for adoption.
Before Gloria’s mind deserts her completely, she has one mission: reconnect with Ned, the boy she lost so long ago, get to know his family, and make some kind of amends. But as you’d expect from such a strong-willed, independent woman, she’s going to do it her way, by her rules.
Gloria is a play about grace and grandchildren, about memory – and for anyone who’s ever stumbled over putting a face to a name, or called an object a ‘thingamy’. It’s a play where music takes centre stage, weaving together Gloria’s rapidly fraying memories.
Commissioned by Queensland Theatre Company, Gloria is a new Australian work that brings together an all-Brisbane cast led by Matilda Gold Award winner, Christen O’Leary – taking on this powerfully emotive role after star turns in End of the Rainbow and Bombshells.
Joining O’Leary is fellow Matilda award winner and Brisbane’s girl-of-the-moment Naomi Price who thrilled audiences just last month on stage as Miley Cyrus in Wrecking Ball and prior to that as Adele in Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele.
Kevin Spink who was recently part of the record-breaking and critically acclaimed Macbeth together with the always-outstanding Anthony Standish (QTC’s Trollop, End of the Rainbow,The Removalist) complete the cast of Queensland acting royalty in the play, while stage newcomer Elijah Wellsmore from the Gold Coast makes his debut with the company.
This Brisbane production is directed by multi-award winning David Bell (End of the Rainbow, The Threepenny Opera, The Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Don Giovanni).
Director: David Bell Cast: Christen O’Leary, Naomi Price, Kevin Spink, Anthony Standish, Elijah Wellsmore Set & Costume Designer: Bill Haycock Sound Designer/Composer: Andrew McNaughton Lighting Designer: David Walters Dramaturg: Louise Gough
Bille Brown Studio – The GreenHouse, 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane
Season: 19 July – 16 August 2014 Opening Night: 24 July 2014
Bookings: 1800 355 528 or online at: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au
For more information, visit: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Christen O’Leary as Gloria