Small and Tired

Luke Mullins Small and Tired by Brett BoardmanOrestes has come back to bury his father. He has been away a long time. His mother is hardened, his sister is strangely ill. He will see them, he will bury his father and then, in all likelihood, he will drift away again. But in a bar one night, slightly drunk, he meets a gentle soul called Pylades.

Kit Brookman‘s Small and Tired sets up a brilliant moral challenge for its characters: to love in spite of all the shit. The play springs from the myth of Orestes and the House of Atreus, but Brookman has completely dissolved the myth into the contemporary world.

Orestes, Electra and their mother Clytaemnestra are what remains of a family that has be rendered inpieces by the big tragedies and small disappoints that make up life.

Since the death of Orestes and Electra’s sister, Iphigenia, they have been estranged from their father, Agamemnon. Electra has married Jim, but she is quietly losing her mind. Clytaemnestra is distracted by a new boyfriend, but is struggling to hold on to her children as they grieve for their father.

The result is a small play which echoes large – about restlessness and modern love, about the rootlessness of the times, about the brokenness of our sense of family and humanity. At its heart is the startling idea that love is an ancient thing we have to learn and re-learn from generation to generation.

Brookman wrote Small and Tired during his tenure as associate playwright at Belvoir, part of a program run with Playwriting Australia. His plays have something special going on: gentle, wise, oddly funny, very human and very smart.

Luke Mullins, fresh from his stunning performance in the grand and epic Angels in America, offers a very different performance in this intimate, delicate play. This will be an opportunity to witness a remarkable performer in thrillingly close confines. He has just finished directing Brookman’s night maybe in Melbourne, which also starred Tom Conroy.

Writer & Director: Kit Brookman  Cast: Tom Conroy, Paul Gleeson, Sandy Gore, Luke Mullins, Susan Prior  Set & Costume Designer: Mel Page  Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson  Composer & Sound Designer: Tom Hogan  Dramaturg: Anthea Williams  Stage Manager: Edwina Guinness

Small and Tired
Belvoir St Theatre – Downstairs, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills
Season: 26 September – 20 October 2013
Bookings: (02) 9699 3444 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Luke Mullins in rehearsal by Brett Boardman