Weaving multiple stories of home, belonging, love and loss that span decades, continents and revolutions, Katherine Lyall-Watson’s Motherland tells the true stories of three very different women from different times, united in the heartache of exile from their homelands.
From the chaos of a Russian military coup, through the hell of Nazi-occupied France to a turbulent Brisbane in the throes of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, Brisbane playwright Katherine Lyall-Watson has penned a carefully researched historical drama about how world-changing events can ripple out and take a terrible toll on everyday lives.
Brisbane-born Nell traveled the world, marrying a Russian Prime Minister and helping him flee the Nazis in World War II. Feisty writer and academic Nina quit her native Russia for Paris, but has returned in her twilight years. And single mother Alyona is a Russian museum curator whisked away to Brisbane by an Australian businessman, in search of a brighter future that may just collapse before her eyes.
“Bringing Motherland’s extraordinary women out of the shadows of history and interweaving their stories needed great care and precision,” said director Caroline Dunphy. “Working closely together with a sensitive design team allowed us to explore the nuances of movement, sound, light and contemporary design to build the epic world and allow the rich and muscular writing to transport the audience.”
“I’m thrilled that Motherland continues to resonate on many levels and that these women’s intimate stories stand the test of time with courage and integrity.”
Motherland premiered in Brisbane in 2013 and won the Matilda Award and for Best Independent Production and the Groundlings Award for Best Overall Production. Actress Barbara Lowing was also awarded a Gold Matilda Award and the Groundling Award for Outstanding Conribution by and Actress for her performance.
The play was a finalist in the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award in 2013 and has been programmed in Queensland Theatre Company’s 2016 season as part of a tour made possible by Critical Stages and Ellen Belloo.
“Kathryn Lyall-Watson’s intelligent, cleverly constructed play, Motherland, deserves its accolades. Inventive and concise, it compresses huge complexities of time, history, plot and character, but renders them intelligible and intriguing.” – The Courier Mail
Director: Caroline Dunphy Featuring: Kerith Atkinson, Peter Cossar, Barbara Lowing, Daniel Murphy, Rebecca Riggs Designer: Penny Challon Associate Designer: Annie Robertson Lighting Designer: David Walters Composer/Sound Designer: Dane Alexander Dramaturg: Kathryn Kelly
Bille Brown Studio – QTC, 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane
Season continues to 30 April 2016
Information and bookings: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au
The Arts Centre Gold Centre, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Season: 6 – 7 May 2016
Information and bookings: www.theartscentregc.com.au
Glen Street Theatre, Corner Glen Street and Blackbutts Road, Belrose
Season: 17 – 22 May 2016
Information and bookings: www.glenstreet.com.au
Queanbeyan Performaing Arts Centre, 253 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan
Season: 25 – 28 May 2016
Information and bookings: www.theq.net.au
Image: Motherland (supplied)