No Ball Games Allowed explores the world near the bottom of a series of high rise towers, a world where a young woman disappears and her life is remembered, a life of moments and opportunities that were never fully grasped, that could have been different.
Kristen Smyth’s new poetic play speaks to regret and family trauma, encouraging us to examine our true selves, and ask how much do we really know of our loved ones and their inner lives?
Originally from London, Kristen Smyth started writing for stage after actor Tom Hardy suggested she take a stab during an improv night. A decade later and she has a Masters in Writing for Performance from VCA, her play Pin Drop was shortlisted for London’s Theatre 503 2020 International Playwright Award and recently Kristen’s play i got myself arrested because i didn’t feel safe was performed as a rehearsed reading as part of Melbourne Theatre Company’s Cybec Electric.
“I wanted to examine the ‘shutting down’ of truth that so often informs awakening and denial in trans families – where a parent hasn’t processed and accepted their own life lessons and sees the child transitioning as ‘suicide’ – a heartbreaking and destructive deduction,” said Kristen Smyth.
No Ball Games Allowed welcomes Kristen’s long-awaited return to the stage alongside Mia Tuco (Grace, Red Stitch 2022). Under the direction of Kitan Petkovski (The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven), Smyth’s poetic text is supported by a cinematic backdrop of archival family footage and original film, created by Pat Coyle, set and costumes by Bethany J Fellows (Archimedes War), lighting by Katie Sfetkidis (Touching the Void, Merciless Gods) and an epic score composed and played live by Robert Downie and Rachel Lewindon.
“Smyth has such an innate connection to the work and world, that the audience feels held in the arms of a caring friend or loved one.” – Australian Arts Review on The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven by Jo Clifford
Director: Kitan Petkovski | Featuring: Kristen Smyth, Mia Tuco | Compositions: Robert Downie, Rachel Lewindon | Set and Costumes: Bethany J Fellows | Lighting Design: Katie Sfetkidis | Lighting Associate: Harrie Hogan | Film: Pat Coyle, Kristen Smyth | Co-Producer: Lauren Bennett | Production Operation: Tom Ray | Writer: Kristen Smyth
No Ball Games Allowed
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Season: 1 – 9 April 2022 (preview: 31 March)
Information and Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au
Image: Mia Tuco and Kristen Smyth feature in No Ball Games Allowed – photo by Cameron Grant | Parenthesy