A captivatingly surreal blend of wordplay, magic realism, and puppetry, Pear-Shaped is a deliciously dark new dramedy about growing up, growing down, and everything in between.
In it, 23-year-old theatre designer, Frankie, is struggling with their graduating design project. Not only is their director a Virgo, they’ve also been allocated an eerily personal childhood story – Alice in Wonderland.
Frankie hopes that a box of old costumes will inspire some ideas, but when their sister Kayla drops it off, they’re instead sent spiraling down a rabbit hole of memories they’d rather forget.
An entirely new story from Miranda Middleton and Ziggy Resnick, Pear-Shaped interweaves theatricalised excerpts of Lewis Carroll’s classic story to chart the relationship between two sisters, and the eating disorder that comes between them.
Told with humour, heart, and nuance, the production explores one Jewish family’s experience of what happens when food – a symbol of culture, tradition, connection, and love – becomes the enemy.
The idea for Pear-Shaped was born out of a 2020 lockdown walk between Ziggy and Miranda, as they dreamt about their next creative collaboration. Ziggy had previously starred as Amélie in Miranda’s original adaptation of the screenplay for her graduating production at NIDA.
“What emerged was a shared interest in theatre magic, puppetry, the delicate and sometimes difficult relationships between sisters, and the disordered eating patterns that afflict more people in our communities than we think.” said Miranda.
“As writers, Pear-Shaped has sent us down some weird, wonderful and mind-bending rabbit holes. We’re incredibly humbled and honoured to be bringing this personal and original story to life with an amazing group of creative minds.”
Selected for the By Theatre Works season, Pear-Shaped will be the first of four mainstage productions from the program to be presented in 2023. The play will be the second production at the theatre produced in partnership with the multi-award-winning Rogue Projects.
“It’s a thrill to be returning to St Kilda with one of our most ambitious and timely productions ever,” said Producer Robbi James. “Throughout Covid we’ve seen an explosion in disordered eating, and some of our team have experienced it in their own lives, so we’re setting out to tell a somewhat ugly story in a theatrically beautiful way.”
A warped and wonderful play about a very un-wonderful (and frighteningly common) turn of events, Pear-Shaped opens for a strictly limited season in April.
Director: Miranda Middleton | Featuring: Ziggy Resnick and Luisa Scrofani | Production Design: Grace Deacon | Lighting Designer: Aron Murray | Composer & Sound Designer: Oliver Beard | Stage Manager: Gin Rosse | Assistant Stage Manager: Cameron Steens | Technical Operator: Tim Dennis | Design Assistant: Natalie Petrellis | Voice Coach: Laura Farrell | Dramaturg: Brittanie Shipway | Writers: Miranda Middleton, Ziggy Resnick | Producers: Robbi James, Erica Lovell, Talia Meyerowitz-Katz
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Season: 6 – 15 April 2023 (preview: 5 April)
Information and Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au
Image: Luisa Scrofani features in Pear-Shaped – photo by Byron Martin