A story about the harsh realities of growing up, Black Swan State Theatre Company is collaborating with The Blue Room Theatre to present a revival of Scott McArdle’s award-winning, cutting edge work, Playthings to Studio Underground from 29 April 2021.
A hit of The Blue Room 2019 season, Playthings is written and directed by one of Perth’s imminent independent creative artists’ Scott McArdle. We meet four characters who deal with mistakes of the past in this modern suburban coming-of-age story.
Playthings follows Arnold and Lucy – two 13-year-olds, crossing the threshold into adolescence, filled with hormones and sarcasm. Lucy is top of all her classes and Arnold is bullied daily. She has a calendar full of extra-curricular activities and he watches six hours of TV a night.
The two sneak off one afternoon, trudging deep into the bush on the edge of the suburb and when they emerge, they’re forever changed by the darkness they encounter out there.
Over the course of the next week, Arnold and Lucy’s friendship blossoms despite weariness from teachers and stepfathers, and peer pressure from their friends. But when buried family secrets come to life, their relationship takes a violent turn with fatal consequences.
“We hope that this pilot collaboration will mark an ongoing partnership with Black Swan, that creates more opportunities for local independent theatre makers to further develop their careers and to grow a wider audience and hunger for local productions and talent,” said The Blue Room’s Executive Director Katt Osborne.
Scott McArdle is a Perth-based writer, director, and lighting designer. He is currently shooting a short film, Work From Home, and is writing a feature film adaptation of his award-winning play, Playthings.
Playthings won the 2019 Blue Room Theatre Member’s Choice award, and the Performing Arts WA award for Best Supporting Actor (St John Cowcher). It was nominated for Best Production, Best Performer, Best Director, and Best Writing. His play Laika: A Staged Radio Play won the 2017 Performing Arts WA award for Best Independent Production, and the Blue Room Theatre Member’s Choice and Judge’s Choice awards.
Scott’s previous work includes Hail Satan (Murdoch University), Josephine! (The Blue Room Theatre & Second Chance Theatre), Chicken Rock (Murdoch University), The Room Downstairs (Murdoch University), Between Solar Systems (The Blue Room Theatre & Second Chance Theatre), Frankenstein, and Coincidences At The End Of Time (The Perth Theatre Trust & Second Chance Theatre).
“School smart doesn’t mean shit. You’re smart in a weird way. Like you think about robots everyone else has forgotten about and you make little stories about them and birthday cards and I… I wish I was like that. It’s… cute.” – Lucy
Writer & Director: Scott Mcardle Featuring: Daniel Buckle, St John Cowcher, Siobhan Dow-Hall, Courtney Henri Set & Costume Designer: Sara Chirichilli Lighting Designer: Kristie Smith Composer & Sound Designer: Rebecca Riggs-Bennett Choreographer: Shannon Rogers Dramaturg: Alexa Taylor Dramaturgical Support: Polly Low Stage Manager: Georgia Smith Assistant Stage Manager: Isabella Taylor Assistant Producer: Erin Lockyer
Studio Underground – State Theatre Centre of WA, William Street, Perth
Season: 30 April – 8 May 2021 (preview: 29 April)
Information and Bookings: www.bsstc.com.au
Image: Daniel Buckle and Courtney Henri feature in Playthings – photo by Duncan Wright