From the unique imagination of Lally Katz springs a world of painfully recognisable characters. Ana is a battle hardened Hungarian-Australian veteran of the twentieth century. Catherine is her neighbour: a 20-something aspiring actress waiting for a better world.
As their unlikely odd-couple friendship develops, Catherine’s life is transformed by Ana’s stories of the traumas of war, the desolation of the refugee experience, and the struggle of settling in a foreign land. In turn, Ana is granted one last great friendship at a time when the journey to her life’s end was looking to be a lonely one.
This glorious comedy about hope, death and pets, takes on a sense of enormity in the midst of the ordinary, questioning whether we really know what’s out there in the ‘burbs’.
New Theatre decided to kick off their 2020 season return with the cancelled production of Neighbourhood Watch which was due to open in March just as they had to go into lockdown. The team has been back in rehearsals since early July, observing health and safety protocols.
Neighbourhood Watch is the perfect show to reopen with, given its emphasis on the importance of community, something we’ve all become very aware of over the past few months as we deal with these strange and challenging times.
Katz’s play has become a classic of contemporary Australian theatre, proving to be an audience favourite, and this revival will give people the opportunity to revisit this funny, heartwarming and deeply humane story – or encounter it for the first time.
New Theatre’s Artistic Director, Louis Fischer, has taken over the directorial reins. The set is being designed by New Theatre stalwart Tom Bannerman.
Other members of the creative team include lighting designer, Mehran Mortezaei (Pygmalion, My Night With Reg); costume designer, Claudia Lafoy, making her New Theatre debut; and sound designer Patrick Eades (The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Pygmalion).
Heading the cast is Colleen Cook as Ana (Pygmalion, The Clean House) and opposite her is Kelly Robinson as Catherine, most recently seen at New Theatre in The Angry Brigade last year. They are joined by a large ensemble cast of New Theatre ‘veterans’ and ‘debutantes’.
New Theare, 542 King Street, Newtown
Season: 9 September – 3 October 2020 (preview: 8 September)
Information and Bookings: www.newtheatre.org.au
Image: Neighbourhood Watch – courtesy of New Theatre
Note: New Theatre will be maintaining strict social-distancing practices in accordance with goverment advice – with a maximum capacity of 44 people in the audience per performance, contactless ticketing, deep cleaning of the venue and hand sanitising stations. They will also be encouraging patrons to wear masks for the protection of themselves and fellow audience members.