Seventeen is set in that time after high school graduation, but just before everyone moves away. It’s about the cusp of adulthood, the cusp of complete change. Sue is Mike’s girlfriend. Tom is Mike’s best friend, but he’s secretly in love with Sue. Edwina is Sue’s goody-two-shoes best friend and she’s about to get drunk for the first time.
Lizzy is Mike’s annoying younger sister. And Ronny, well no-one invited Ronny and no one’s quite sure why he’s there. As dawn approaches, through a fog of cheap beer, dreams are shared, insecurities aired and secrets spilled.
Written for a roll-call of the country’s great senior actors: Peter Carroll (A Christmas Carol), Maggie Dence (Once in Royal David’s City), John Gaden (The Seagull), Genevieve Lemon (Death of a Salesman), Barry Otto (Last Cab to Darwin) and Anna Volska (Unholy Ghosts – Griffin Theatre Company).
These venerables play a group of teenagers drinking, singing, dancing, gabbling, worrying and maybe even pashing their way through their last night of childhood and their first night of adulthood. Director Anne-Louise Sarks (Elektra / Orestes, A Christmas Carol) captures the joy, the heartbreak and exuberance of adolescence with her deft lightness of touch.
Matthew Whittet (Cinderella, Old Man) is a true original mind of Australian theatre – actor, writer, muse, scribe of human beauty and lover of oddity. Seventeen is the play he’s been getting ready to write for a long time. He spent several months interviewing several cast members to capture their voices, as well as seventeen year-olds to understand their concerns and motivations. His creation of believable teenagers play 70 year-olds is a delightful concoction.
Director: Anne-Louise Sarks Featuring: Peter Carroll, Maggie Dence, John Gaden, Genevieve Lemon, Barry Otto, Anna Volska Set Designer: Robert Cousins Costume Designer: Mel Page Lighting Designer: Paul Jackson Composer: Alan John Sound Designer: Nate Edmonson Dramaturg: Anthea Williams
Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 1 August – 13 September 2015 (Previews: 1 – 4 August 2015)
Bookings: (02) 9699 3444 or online at: www.belvoir.com.au
For more information, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details.
Image: Peter Carroll, Anna Volska, John Gaden, Maggie Dence and Barry Otto in rehearsal for Seventeen – photo by Brett Boardman