Playhouse stage set to ignite with Queensland Theatre’s Mouthpiece

Queensland-Theatre-Mouthpiece-Christen-O’LearyA bold collision of class, privilege, and power, QPAC and Queensland Theatre presents Kieran Hurley’s award-winning play, Mouthpiece, at the Playhouse from 31 October to 14 November 2020.

A cliff. Night. A woman stands on the edge. Her dreams crumble around her. But this ledge belongs to Declan. It is his only safe space. She’s trespassing. They should never have met.

Libby is a woman who has wasted her opportunities, while Declan is a young man who will never be offered any. He has a story, and she has the voice to tell it… but does she have the right to? When does inspiration become theft?

Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Lee Lewis said it was a bold play to restart theatre. “We are starting with a simple story, magnificently crafted by a talented playwright, brought to life by two extraordinary actors,” she said. “If you’ve missed live performance this year and the spark of post-show discussion echoing well beyond the theatre foyer, then you can’t miss this.”

Winner of the 2019 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, playwright Kieran Hurley looks theatre squarely in the face, and challenges audiences to question the kinds of stories told and the power of the people who get to tell them.

“The story may be political, but the play is all human. If you think you’ve seen the story of the power of unlikely friendships before, Mouthpiece is way ahead of you,” said Lewis. “This is the kind of play that makes you wonder at the sheer imagination and skill of great theatre writing.

Mouthpiece will challenge you, surprise you, and send you out into the night with so many things to talk to your friends about. We are thirsty for this kind of theatre. From its startling opening, through to its final devastating showdown, this remarkable play invites us to probe where the lines should be drawn.”

“It’s very funny, very moving and will have your head spinning with the knotty ethical issues it provokes long after you leave the theatre,” said Lewis.

Stage luminary Christen O’Leary and Jayden Popik, in his Queensland Theatre debut, are set to reignite the stage with Hurley’s startling, audacious and gripping play – a production that pushes past politics with humour, hope and fight.

Lewis said O’Leary will bare her theatre soul in the role of Libby as the play asks ‘why do we make theatre at all’? “It is the hardest of questions to face coming so baldly after six months of silence on our stages. But Libby will show us the simplest and most powerful of answers… theatre is how we connect with our fellow humans,” she said

“Joining her on the Playhouse stage will be Jordan Popik playing Declan. He hails from up Townsville way but has been working in Melbourne for the last few years and made it across the border just before it closed, deciding that surfing on the Sunshine Coast was more appealing than lockdown in Melbourne.”

“So, like a lot of artists, COVID-19 has brought him back home at a time when family has never been more important,” said Lewis.

Kieran Hurley is an award winning writer, performer, and theatre maker based in Glasgow. He is currently working on a number of projects across film, TV and theatre. His credits include: Square Go (with Gary McNair, Paines Plough Roundabout); A Six-Inch Layer of Topsoil and the Fact It Rains (Perth Theatre); Heads Up (Show And Tell); Rantin (National Theatre of Scotland); and Chalk Farm (with AJ Taudevin, ThickSkin).

Director: Lee Lewis Featuring: Christen O’Leary, Jayden Popik Designer: Renée Mulder Lighting Designer: Ben Hughes Sound Designer: Tony Brumpton Dialect Translation: Phil Spencer

Playhouse – Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Season: 31 October – 14 November 2020

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Image: Christen O’Leary stars as Libby in Mouthpiece – photo by David Kelly Photography