29-Scenes-Hearth-photo-by-Chris-TomkinsSet during the Black Saturday bushfires, La Mama and 29 scenes present the world premiere of Hearth, Fleur Murphy’s compelling new drama about family and belonging, at the La Mama Courthouse from 18 May 2022.

Forged in the exploration of an environmental threat Australians know all too well – an approaching bushfire, Hearth brilliantly strikes the balance between pathos and humour, immediately drawing audiences in with its witty and lyrical dialogue, relatable characters and timely themes.

It’s the 7th of February 2009 – forever known in Australia’s history as Black Saturday. It’s also Tom Robinson’s 18th birthday. Celebrations kick off at the family’s Kinglake home and nothing seems out of the ordinary.

But tensions start to rise between Tom and his older brother Matthew, along with the temperature outside, and before the ice-cream cake has time to melt a deeply held family secret is revealed.

Will bringing everything out in the open finally give the Robinsons the peace and acceptance they’ve constantly struggled for – or will it tear them further apart and make them question the very
structure they’ve tried to uphold?

Urgent, heartfelt, at times hilarious, and achingly raw, this play investigates how good intentions can slowly erode away and reveal the cracks in the foundation of a family. It poses the questions: What makes a family? Is it love, blood or law? And, what breaks a family?

Directed by Tom Royce-Hampton, Hearth eatures a stellar cast including Geoff Paine (Neighbours), Sonya Suares (Melbourne Talam, MTC), Martin Blum (Boy out of the Country, Larrikin Productions), Carole Patullo (Button, La Mama) and rising star Kurt Pimblett (Hir, Belvoir and Because The Night, Malthouse).

“The play is inspired by a number of things: my own upbringing in a small country town, family secrets and the heartbreaking accounts from those involved in the Black Saturday bushfires,” said playwright Fleur Murphy.

“In the beginning it may look like a familiar family drama but it’s a play scorched in secrets and trauma. For me, Hearth is about striving for a sense of belonging and a desperate yearning to heal.”

Director: Tom Royce-Hampton | Featuring: Martin Blum, Geoff Paine, Carole Patullo, Kurt Pimblett, Sonya Suares, Eleanor Webster | Dramaturg: Emma Fawcett | Set & Costume design: Chantal Marks | Lighting design: Clare Springett | Sound design: Tom Royce-Hampton & Max Royce-Hampton | Producer: Fiona Stafford

La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Season: 18 – 29 May 2022
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au

Following its La Mama Courthouse season, Hearth will be presented at Riverlinks Westside, Mooroopna (7 June); and the Gasworks Theatre (10 – 11 June);  Kingston Arts Centre, Moorabbin (15 June); and Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey (17 June 2022).

Image: Kurt Pimblett and Martin Blum feature in Hearth – photo by Chris Tomkins