A mind-bending masterpiece that questions truth and reality, Black Swan State Theatre Company presents Clare Watson’s captivating reimagining of The Glass Menagerie at His Majesty’s Theatre for a limited season from 2 August 2022.
Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle award for Best American Play back in 1944. The Glass Menagerie is the timeless family drama that thrust Tennessee Williams into the international spotlight. Now in 2022 it’s back, in all its haunting beauty – and it’s never hit so close to home.
Amanda Wingfield only wants the best for her two children, Tom and Laura. With her socialite adolescence behind her, Amanda puts all her energies into pushing her children up the social and financial ladder from which she has fallen. Shadowed by the absence of a father, they struggle to break free from their mother’s imposing ways.
Clare Watson (York, The Torrents) exquisitely directs Tennessee Williams’ most vulnerable and semi-autobiographical play. Fuelled by pity and duty, burdened by love and hate, the Wingfields are one of theatre’s most iconic and heartbreakingly real families.
The incredible cast includes much loved Mandy McElhinney (Wakefield, Love Child, Paper Giants), as matriarch Amanda Wingfield, Joel Jackson as her son Tom Wingfield (Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries), along with Acacia Daken as daughter and sister Laura Wingfield (Itch, Lies Within Us) and Jake Fryer-Hornsby as Jim O’Connor, the gentleman caller (Halim, Dracula).
This is your grand night out of theatre escapism. Boasting tour de force performances, a spectacular set and red-carpet glamour on Perth’s grandest of stages, this ambitious new production proudly presented by Black Swan serves as a powerful meditation on the fragility of memory and asks, how do you escape reality when there’s nowhere left to hide?
“An astounding self-portrait by the great Tennessee Williams, this play is full of humour and heartbreak, and it is a great honour to collaborate with Mandy McElhinney as she brings Amanda into full, glorious life,” said Director Clare Watson.
“This production should pique our nostalgia and arouse our yearning. It’s like we’re watching ourselves on VHS in a time when we were a little more glamorous and much more devil-may-care. Who’s at the door? Could that be the gentleman caller?”
Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the Episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life.
He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity.
He received a Rockefeller fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for A Streetcar Named Desire and in 1955 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Other plays include Summer and Smoke, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real, Baby Doll, The Glass Menagerie, Orpheus Descending, Suddenly Last Summer, The Night of The Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth, and The Two-Character Play. Tennessee Williams died in 1983.
The Glass Menagerie
His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth
Season: 4 – 21 August 2022 (previews: 2 – 3 August)
Information and Bookings: www.bsstc.com.au
Image: Joel Jackson and Mandy McElhinney star in The Glass Menagerie – courtesy of Black Swan