Set in Melbourne over Christmas in the 1950s, the story follows Italian immigrants, the Bianchis, as they attempt to create a new life in Collingwood – a poor suburb populated by lower class Australian families and Italian immigrants. Tragedy strikes when Gino returns to the family home bloodied and battered.
The Shifting Heart is a story of friendship, marriage, trust, honesty and family but also offers an insight in to the psychology of racism and its victims. A wonderful drama representing the migrant experience from Australia’s recent past, the story continues to ring true for migrants today.
The Shifting Heart asks audiences to reflect on the tragedy the Bianchis experience as well as its relevance to the stories of contemporary immigrants and our responsibility in those stories.
Directed by Kim Hardwick (Sport for Jove’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), The Shifting Heart stars Tony Poli, Dina Panozzo, David Soncin, Ariadne Sgouros, Lucas Linehan, Di Smith and Laurence Coy.
“When I first read the play I was struck by its currency,” said Hardwick. “The names may be different but the struggles are still desperately real. Simply put, the story is a tragedy from our past that is still occurring today.”
Richard Beynon was an Australian-born playwright, actor and television producer. Best known for The Shifting Heart, his other works include, Face of a Man, Simpson J. 202, and Summer Shadows. He later worked as a BBC television producer on shows such as The Duchess of Duke Street, Madame Bovery, Poldark and Z-Cars.
The Shifting Heart premiered in Sydney at the Elizabethan Theatre in 1957. It toured nationally for a year, including notable seasons at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre and Brisbane’s Her Majesty’s Theatre. The play made its West End debut in 1959. A radio version of the play was made by the ABC in 1962, and was adapted for television (also by the ABC) in 1968.
Director: Kim Hardwick Featuring: Tony Poli, Dina Panozzo, David Soncin, Ariadne Sgouros, Lucas Linehan, Di Smith, Laurence Coy Set and Costume Designer: Isabel Hudson Lighting Designer: Martin Kinnane Sound Designer: Julian Starr
The Shifting Heart
Reginald Theatre – Seymour Centre, Corner City Road and Cleveland Street, Chippendale
Season: 8 – 24 March 2018
Information and Bookings: www.seymourcentre.com
Image: courtesy of White Box Theatre