Jasper Jones

Belvoir Guy Simon as Jasper Jones photo by Brett BoardmanA coming-of-age story for a generation, and a nation too, Jasper Jones will kick off Belvoir’s 2016 season from 7 January.

The backblocks of Western Australia. It’s summer, 1965. Overseas there’s war in Indochina, Civil Rights marches, the stirrings of women’s liberation – but at home Charlie Bucktin dreams of writing the Great Australian Novel.

Charlie’s 13 and smart. Perhaps too smart. But when blamed-for-everything Jasper Jones appears at his window one night, Charlie’s out of his depth. Jasper has stumbled upon a terrible crime in the scrub nearby, and he knows he’s the first suspect – that goes with the colour of his skin.

He needs every ounce of Charlie’s bookish brain if the truth is to emerge before the town turns on Jasper. As the boys negotiate the secrets of a small town, the winds of change blow… But how do teenage Australians solve the riddles of a changing world?

Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Craig Silvey’s award-winning novel is like Dorothy Hewett riffing on Harper Lee. It’s funny and it’s wise. Mulvany collaborated with director Anne-Louise Sarks on their astonishing production of Medea in 2012; this production sees them reunited. Sarks and Mulvany have just returned from London where Medea enjoyed an acclaimed and extended season at The Gate Theatre.

Sarks has demonstrated an uncanny knack for crafting productions that resonate across generations, as demonstrated with A Christmas Carol and Seventeen. Jasper Jones sees her return to this world – just this side of magic – that appeals so broadly.

Guy Simon will take on the role of Jasper Jones, while Tom Conroy (Mortido) stars as Charlie Bucktin with Charles Wu (Samson) as Jeffrey, along with Alfie Gledhill (Gods of Wheat Street – ABC1) and Matilda Ridgway (Hamlet – Bell Shakespeare) making their Belvoir debuts. Kate Mulvany joins the cast for her first on-stage role at Belvoir since 2008, along with Steve Rodgers (A Christmas Carol) as Mr and Mrs Bucktin.

Director: Anne-Louise Sarks  Featuring: Tom Conroy, Kate Mulvany, Matilda Ridgway, Steve Rodgers, Guy Simon, Charles Wu  Set Designer: Michael Hankin  Costume Designer: Mel Page  Lighting Designer: Matt Scott  Assistant Lighting Designer: Daniel Anderson  Composer & Sound Designer: Steve Toulmin  Fight Choreographer: Scott Witt  Choreographer: Sara Black  Cultural Consultant: Jada Alberts

Jasper Jones
Belvoir Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 7 January – 7 February 2016 (previews: 2 – 6 January)
Bookings: (02) 9699 3444 or online at: www.belvoir.com.au

For more information, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details.

Image: Guy Simon as Jasper Jones – photo by Brett Boardman