In a Brisbane first, multi award-winning playwright and actor, Margi Brown Ash performs a rare and compelling double act – the acclaimed He Dreamed a Train and her award winning Eve – at the Brisbane Powerhouse for a limited season from 29 June 2017.
“It is a unique and thrilling opportunity to share this double bill with you, two exciting stories that complement each other, about characters who refuse to accept the status quo,” says Margi. “First, in He Dreamed a Train, you will meet a woman trying to figure out her suddenly upside-down world.”
“Then, after intermission, you will meet Eve who finds unique ways of living despite tremendous obstacles. Two unusual women who, had they met in the same play, would have approved of each other’s creative strategies to construct their own sense of belonging.”
Fusing intensely poetic storytelling with multimedia, He Dreamed a Train is an intimately personal story of a family exploring love, loss, grief and remembrance. Margi plays a fictional version of herself while her son Travis Ash embodies a character inspired by her brother who has a degenerative neurological disease.
Set in a country Australian home, He Dreamed a Train is the heartwarming story of a woman and her sibling as they face his premature death, and is co-devised, directed and designed by Benjamin Knapton and written by Margi and Travis, with several excerpts borrowed from her brother David Brown’s book of the same name. It debuted in Brisbane in 2014 to wide acclaim.
The multi award-winning Eve is co-devised and directed by Leah Mercer with Travis Ash as performer and musician, and is inspired by the Australian writer, Eve Langley. Part memoir, part fiction, part homage to the sacrifice of the artist, Eve is revealed as a woman at odds with her prescribed position as wife and mother to three children who longs to be left alone to interpret the world through her viciously beautiful prose.
The real Eve Langley reacted violently to the stereotypical feminine role of the day and rather than defining herself as a female artist, adopted the masculine persona of Oscar Wilde. A brilliant yet troubled Australian writer, Eve Langley died in isolation just outside Katoomba, New South Wales, in 1974. Her prime writing years were spent locked away in a mental institution. Eve brings her brilliance back into the spotlight.
Margi’s attraction to Eve Langley began 20 years ago when she was a young mother of four. Her continued fascination with this character focuses on Eve as an artist who was ahead of her time. For Margi, Eve’s honesty regarding her mothering was heartbreaking. “I can relate to Eve’s story and her sense of isolation, I’m sure lots of parents will be able to relate to her struggle,” she said.
Presented by Force of Circumstance and Nest Ensemble in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse, He Dreamed a Train and Eve form part of Margi’s acclaimed Belonging series. This will be the first time two of these works have been performed concurrently. Both productions have been reworked for this season.
One of Brisbane’s most celebrated theatre makers, Margi Brown Ash has been creating/devising new theatre since arriving in Brisbane in 1989. Many or her original works were directed and co-devised with Leah Mercer, including three multiple award-winning shows, HOME, Joey: the Mechanical Boy and The Knowing of Mary Poppins.
He Dreamed a Train:
Writer/Co-Deviser/Performer: Margi Brown Ash Director/Co-Deviser/Set and AV Designer: Benjamin Knapton Writer/Performer/Sound Designer: Travis Ash Production/Stage Manager/AV System: Freddy Komps AV Content: Nathan Sibthorpe Lighting Designer: Geoff Squires Set Builder: Aaron Barton Pyrotechnician: Frans Vogel Producer: Verity Woodford
Writer/Co-Deviser/Performer: Margi Brown Ash Director/Co-Deviser: Leah Mercer Musician/Sound Designer/Performer: Travis Ash Stage Designer and Builder: Backwoods Original Lighting Designer: Geoff Squires Original Co-Deviser: Daniel Evans Original Lighting Designer: Gen Trace Original Costume Designer: Bev Jensen Producer: Verity Woodford
He Dreamed a Train / Eve
Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm (Brisbane)
Season: 29 June – 16 July 2017
Information and Bookings: www.brisbanepowerhouse.org
Image: Margi Brown Ash in Eve (supplied)