One of Australia’s most popular screen and theatre actors, Pamela Rabe, returns to Malthouse Theatre this November to give voice to one of the world’s great silenced icons in Colm Tóibín’s The Testament Of Mary – a provocative depiction of one of the most beloved figures in history.
The Virgin Mary – icon, heroine, symbol – returns to what she always was, a mother, traumatised by the senseless loss of her son. Years after the crucifixion, young men are hounding the mother of Jesus. The disciples want her to endorse the story they are constructing about her son – stories of a man who performed miracles and rose from the dead. They say her son is the son of God. She says it is all a lie.
Rejected by the authors of the Gospel, Mary strives to tell the story that no one wants to write. She is a mother who could not save her son from fanaticism, from the men who manipulated him or the society that built him, who could not save him from his death upon the cross.
Award winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín presents a vision of Mary who is unrecognisable from the meek, obedient woman of scripture, painting and sculpture. Tóbín’s Mary is angry, sharp-witted and daring to speak a dangerous truth.
The novella on which the play is based, The Testament of Mary was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize. Tóibín first produced the book as a monologue for the 2011 Dublin Theatre Festival, under the name of Testament. The 2013 Broadway stage adaptation was nominated for three Tony Awards, before receiving rave reviews at The Barbican Theatre in London in 2014.
Colm Tóibín is an award winning Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet. He is the author of nine novels including: The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night, The Blackwater Lightship, The Master, Brooklyn, and House of Names.
“Colm Tóibín’s mothers don’t always behave as they should; they are often unpredictable, occasionally downright troublesome, prone to gusts of passion or – worse – rage indifference.” – The Guardian (UK)
Director: Anne-Louise Sarks Starring: Pamela Rabe Costume & Co-Set Design: Marg Horwell Lighting & Co-Set Design: Paul Jackson Composition & Sound Design: Steve Toulmin
The Testament of Mary
Merlyn Theatre – The Coopers Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 9 -26 November 2017( previews: 3 – 8 November)
Information and Bookings: www.malthousetheatre.com.au
Image: Pamela Rabe stars in The Testament of Mary – photo by Zan Wimberley