A magnificent pageant of humanity, full of celebration and bastardry in equal parts, and burning with love and disgust for the human race, Mother Courage and Her Children will play at the Belvoir St Theatre from 10 June 2015.
Its author, the audacious troublemaker of the dramatic canon – an entertainer, a liar, a communist and a libertine whose appetite for the exuberant variety of life is only surpassed by Shakespeare, Mother Courage is Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece.
Anna Fierling is a refugee. She has three children, a shop in a cart, and buckets of chutzpah. She buys and sells her way through a massive and pointless religious war – gulling, lying, charming, inveigling. Will those great capitalist qualities save her from the common fate?
Mother Courage is a deeply unsettling character. When the play was first performed, Brecht was enraged that people found ways to sympathise with her. He wanted audiences to be horrified by her indifference to suffering and her profiteering from war – so much that he is said to have altered the play to make her less sympathetic, yet she is still a figure who it is hard not to admire, even grudgingly.
As Mother Courage, an actor of Robyn Nevin’s extraordinary breadth will bring even more nuance, conjecture and intrigue to the role. Joined by a cast of 10, some well-loved Belvoir veterans, others making their Belvoir debut – a big cast to tell an epic story, reflecting the pageantry and diversity of life.
This production will be made from a new translation by Michael Gow (Once in Royal David’s City) with new music by Stefan Gregory (A Christmas Carol), directed by Eamon Flack, who proved with his masterful production of Angels in America (Helpmann Award – Best Play) that the epic can be moving, this 20th century colossus about a 17th century war is a vision of the 21st century – of globalisation, religion, violence, capitalism, love and pity.
Director: Eamon Flack Featuring: Paula Arundell, Tom Conroy, Lena Cruz, Michael McStay, Alex Menglet, Arky Michael, Robyn Nevin, Anthony Phelan, Richard Pyros, Hazem Shammas, Emele Ugavule Translation: Michael Gow Music Composition: Stefan Gregory Set Designer: Robert Cousins Costume Designer: Alice Babidge Lighting Designer: Benjamin Cisterne Fight Choreographer: Scott Witt
Mother Courage and her Children
Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 10 June – 26 July 2015 (Previews: 6 – 9 June 2015)
Bookings: (02) 9699 3444 or online at: www.belvoir.com.au
For more information, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details.
Image: Robyn Nevin and Cast in rehearsal for Mother Courage and her Children – photo by Lisa Tomasetti