10 years after Craig Silvey’s award-winning novel first burst onto the Australian literary scene, State Theatre Company South Australia will bring a brand new production of Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Jasper Jones to the Dunstan Playhouse stage this August.
Set in 1965 in Corrigan, a small WA town, Silvey’s thrilling whodunnit follows the story of 13-year-old Charlie Bucktin, who is woken one night by local outcast Jasper Jones. Jasper has just found the body of his girlfriend, Laura Wishart, and he knows that the residents of Corrigan will immediately place the blame for her death on him.
Eager to solve the mystery, Jasper enlists Charlie’s help. Together, they uncover the cruelty, racism and tensions that lay at the heart of their seemingly wholesome small-town.
Beautiful, big-hearted and life-affirming, Mulvany’s hit adaptation will blossom under the imaginative direction of Nescha Jelk (Terrestrial), with design by State Theatre Company Resident Designer Ailsa Paterson, lighting by Tony Award-winning Nigel Levings and composition from State Theatre Company Sound Designer Andrew Howard.
James Smith (Vale) and Elijah Valadian-Wilson (Long Tan) will play the teenage leads, Charlie and Jasper. Joining them on stage will be Rory Walker (After Dinner), Roy Phung (Suburban Samurai), Rachel Burke (former State Theatre Company Ensemble member) and Emma Beech (Australian Bureau of Worthiness).
A sensation when it was first published in 2009, Silvey’s novel has become a must-read piece of Australian fiction, often cited as our nation’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Since award-winning playwright and actor Kate Mulvany first staged her adaptation in Perth in 2014, Jasper Jones has been a critical success, making its way to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and now Adelaide.
“Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones has touched the heart and mind of the nation and Kate Mulvany has crafted a fine adaptation of the novel,” says Director Nescha Jelk. “Delving into the play and novel has been an enriching process and I am excited to share this remarkable story with Adelaide audiences.”
Director: Nescha Jelk Featuring: Emma Beech, Rachel Burke, Roy Phung, James Smith, Elijah Valadian-Wilson, Rory Walker Designer: Ailsa Paterson Lighting Designer: Nigel Levings Composer & Sound Designer: Andrew Howard Assistant Director: Anthony Nicola
Dunstan Playhouse – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Season: 21 August – 7 September 2019 (previews: 16 – 19 August)
Information and Bookings: www.statetheatrecompany.com.au
Image: Elijah Valadian-Wilson stars in Jasper Jones – photo by Sia Duff