A new theatre work in English and Russian for one actor and one musician, Last Words is an excavation of stories of courage forgotten.
The son and the actor resurrect the forgotten lives and times of his parents from their birth in Stalin’s Soviet Union to their demise in Australia. The overwhelming impulse for this work is the tragedy of Alzheimer’s dementia and the realization of the miracle, mystery and vulnerability of memory.
Joseph Sherman has been involved in independent theatre making and performing for several decades whilst continuing his day job as a family doctor. Both of his parents developed Alzheimer’s disease. He was inspired by the humanity and the poetry that persists despite the tragedy of loss.
The realization of the broader aspect of cultural memory – and the need to defend it against oppression – is paralleled by his parents’ generation resistance and survival as Russian Jews in the face of the Soviet regime and Nazi occupation during the second World War.
John Bolton has been a local and international theatremaker, teacher, director and actor for many decades. His light touch brings to life this mix of storytelling, poetry, scientific discourse, comedy, music and movement. Brian Lipson also comes to this project with decades of design, theatremaking and performance experience. His sensitivity and unique design ideas will heighten the worlds inhabited in this piece.
Chris Bolton’s music composition and performance allows Last Words to fly into the territory of poetry. Shane Grant has had extensive lighting design experience and has collaborated with all of the above artists together in multiple projects. He has a great eye and the ability to find the perfect lighting fit that completes the theatre piece as a whole.
Director / Co-devisor: John Bolton Writer / Co-devisor / Performer: Joseph Sherman Composer / Musician: Chris Bolton Design: Brian Lipson Lighting Design: Shane Grant
La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Season: 24 July – 4 August 2019
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: Last Words – photo by Danny Blay