The Bleeding Tree

BSSTC The Bleeding Tree Actor Ebony McGuire photo by Frances AndrijichThe successful collaboration between Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA and The Blue Room Theatre will continue for its third year with the revival of Ian Michael’s production of Angus Cerini’s Helpmann-Award winning play The Bleeding Tree, opening at the Studio Underground on 29 April.

The Bleeding Tree is a gripping revenge thriller that’s swept up almost every award in its path, including four Performing Arts WA Awards (2022), six Blue Room Theatre Awards (2021), three Helpmann Awards (2016) and the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Award.

In the dead of night, in the dusty Australian outback, you could hear a pin drop. And as the rumour mill churns in a restless town, can three women bury their dead weight of a secret? A lot can happen in three days…

Reborn with a cast of First Nations women leading the charge, Ian Michael (co-writer of York) is making his mainstage directing debut, and takes this compelling tale to thrilling new levels of darkness and humour with its fast-paced, unconventional poetic dialogue.

The talented Karla Hart (Yirra Yaakin’s King Hit) takes on the role of the mother. Joining her are Ebony McGuire (Barracking For The Umpire, Cloudstreet) and Stephanie Somerville (Sydney Theatre Company’s Chalkface and Julius Caesar) as her daughters.

“We are pleased to welcome back former Black Swan resident and associate Wilman/Noongar artist Ian Michael with this contemporary, award-winning Australian work that is destined to become a classic,” said Artistic Director Kate Champion.

“The partnership with The Blue Room Theatre is much valued, as it provides the best of local independent and emerging artists with larger scale company and stage experience, while introducing their work to an appreciative Black Swan audience,” said Champion.

The Blue Room Theatre’s Executive Director Katt Osborne is thrilled that the collaboration that began with Scott McArdle’s acclaimed Playthings in 2021 and continued with Liz Newell’s TOAST in 2022 is returning for a third year.

“In 2023, audiences will be lucky enough to see a return season of The Bleeding Tree in the Studio Underground. It’s an affecting and dramatic production, with three powerhouse performances by a cast of all First Nations women,” said Osborne.

“The brutal, visceral detail, dark humour and compassion of the writing is matched by performances of steely depth, directed with control and sensitivity.” – Post Newspapers

Director: Ian Michael | Featuring: Karla Hart, Ebony McGuire, Stephanie Somerville | Set & Costume Designer: Tyler Hill | Lighting Designer: Chloe Ogilvie | Composer & Sound Designer: Rachael Dease | Independent Producer: Melanie Julian-Martial | Voice Coach: Julia Moody | Stage Manager: Sophia Morgan

The Bleeding Tree
Studio Underground – State Theatre Centre of WA, William Street, Perth
Season: 2 – 14 May 2023 (previews: 29 April – 1 May)
Information and Bookings:

Image: Ebony McGuire – photo by Frances Andrijich