Following their incredibly successful and multi award-winning collaboration on SHIT, Susie Dee, Patricia Cornelius and Nicci Wilks have re-teamed to create RUNT – a play about the runts of the world: the lesser, the unwanted, the weak, those without clout, the insignificant; all the unders, at fortyfivedownstairs from 24 February 2021.
The idea sparked from Wilks’ idea for the title and an image she shared with Dee and Cornelius. They were immediately hooked. In a world that is dismissive at best and hostile at worst towards the underdog, the idea of the survival of the runt had great resonance.
“From the beginning, each of us bought many ideas, stories and images to build this work,” say Dee, Cornelius and Wilks. “We knew it would be a balance of text and the physical. We knew it would draw on the works we have shared in the past. And we knew we wanted it to be daring, far-reaching and fabulous.”
Runt (Wilks) is a small undernourished woman who has endured enough of the misery of being the runt of the litter. She toughens up and attempts to take power, to lead the oppressed, to rise up and fight for equality, for decency and what’s right.
She liberates sack after sack after sack of miserable runts. And she grows. She feels herself reaching eight foot or more. She gets a taste for what it means to be great. Trouble is, ‘greatness forgets runtness’.
RUNT is a collaboration that melds the experience and skills of each artist – the direction of Dee, the writing of Cornelius and the performance of Wilks. They are joined by a stellar creative team that includes composer Kelly Ryall, Lighting Designer Jenny Hector, Set and Costume Designer Romanie Harper and Choreographer Michelle Heaven.
“We’re tremendously proud of our long association with these three remarkable artists,” says fortyfivedownstairs Artistic Director Mary Lou Jelbart. “From Wilks’ unforgettable performances in The Long Pigs and SHIT, to Dee and Cornelius’ partnerships on Savages and LOVE, they are responsible for some of our greatest theatre memories and we’re sure RUNT will be no exception.”
Director/Co-creator: Susie Dee Performer/Co-creator: Nicci Wilks Composer: Kelly Ryall Lighting Designer: Jenny Hector Designer: Romanie Harper Choreographer: Michelle Heaven Stage Manager/Production Manager: Bec Moore Director’s Assistant: Katie Rowe Writer/Co-creator: Patricia Cornelius
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 25 February – 7 March 2021 (preview: 24 February)
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: Nicci Wilks stars in RUNT – photo by Pier Carthew