Spilled popcorn. Unspoken passions. Dusty projectors. Three unsung, underappreciated employees banter about life, love and longing… Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Queensland Theatre breathes new life into The Flick, Annie Baker’s hit production by Melbourne ensemble Red Stitch, at the Cremorne Theatre from 10 February 2017.
On a break from college, young film buff Avery takes a minimum-wage job as an usher at crumbling Massachusetts movie palace, The Flick. His thirty-something colleague Sam seems resigned to a dead-end life of sweeping up stale popcorn and his unrequited love for Rose, the achingly cool, free-spirited projectionist.
As one late night blurs into another, and this trio of painfully ordinary people bond over movie trivia, low-level embezzling and shared ennui, the play evolves into a deeply moving, funny and delicate examination of the millions of tiny dramas that make up everyday life.
Importantly, The Flick highlights the tradition of film and the inevitably lost elements in the transition to digital. It reminds us that in our enthusiasm for digital’s benefits, we must take care that something valuable about the audience experience is not being destroyed – both for film and theatre.
In 2014, the Australian premiere of The Flick saw Red Stitch collaborate with Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) for the very first time under the direction of Nadia Tass who also directed Baker’s sell-out Season of The Aliens with the company in 2011, and Out of the Water early in 2014.
One of Australia’s most iconoclastic directors of both stage and screen, Tass’ other theatre credits include: e-baby, The Book Club, Extinction, Disgraced, Uncle Vanya, Promises Promises and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, just to name a few.
Tass’ directorial feature film debut Malcolm won her an AFI for Best Director, plus 23 other international awards. For Matching Jack (2011) Tass was awarded Best Director, Best Film, Best Screenplay at the Milan International Film Festival. Her film credits include: Ricky and Pete, The Big Steal, Pure Luck, Mr Reliable, Amy, Samantha: An American Girl Holiday, Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, Fatal Honeymoon, and the mini series Stark for the BBC.
The Flick features Ngaire Dawn Fair (Rush, Satisfaction, Neighbours, The Slap), Kevin Hofbauer (Rush, Offspring, Mr & Mrs Murder), Dion Mills (Killer Elite, Stingers) and Ben Prendergast (Predestination, The Last Dance, Dr Blake Murder Mysteries) as the central protagonist, Sam – a man shackled to his own existence, searching for an out.
Annie Baker is an award-winning American playwright. Her plays include: The Antipodes, John, Body Awareness, Circle Mirror Transformations, The Aliens, and Uncle Vanya (adaptation). The Flick won the 2013 Obie Award for Playwriting, and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
“This is Red Stitch’s finest work in recent memory and, as three-hour stints in movie theatres go, this one’s totally worth it.” – Herald Sun
Director: Nadia Tass Featuring: Ngaire Dawn Fair, Kevin Hofbauer, Dion Mills, Ben Prendergast Designer: Shaun Gurton Lighting Designer: David Parker Sound Designers: Russell Goldsmith and Daniel Nixon Costume Designer: Rebecca Dunn
Cremorne Theatre – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Season: 10 February – 5 March 2017
For more information, visit: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au for details.
Image: The Flick – courtesy of Queensland Theatre