A brilliant, hilarious and touching new adaptation of The Weekend, Charlotte Wood’s bestselling novel of friendship and the wisdom of age, will make its world premiere at Belvoir from 5 August until 10 September 2023.
Described as “One of Australia’s most original and provocative writers” (The Australian), Charlotte Wood says “Watching the development of this play has been one of the great joys of my career. I could not have asked for a more brilliant combination of writer, director, actors and production people to bring my book to the stage.”
“Witnessing their imaginations and technical skills bring my characters – including a dog! – to vivid life has been an absolute thrill for me, and the result is full of laughter, poetry and devastating poignancy all at once,” said Wood.
Four women have known each other for decades, and have a friendship that goes with it – good-humoured, caring, and forthright when required. But Sylvie has died, and when the remaining three come together to pack up her beach house, they find maybe they haven’t been as honest – or as good friends – as they thought.
Adele, a once-well-known actress, Wendy, a high-profile academic, and Jude, who ran one of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, learn things they should have learned years ago.
There’s a difference between growing old, and growing wise. And at the heart of it all, an old dog keeps them company, silently bearing witness to the folly of age, and the warmth of true friendship.
“A story of three smart, funny, political women negotiating the past, the future, work, love, money, death – and each other, Charlotte’s novel demanded to be on the stage,” said Sue Smith. “It is an unsentimental, moving and hilarious study of the friendships that we all have, that drive us crazy, and that we couldn’t live without.”
Directed by Sarah Goodes (The Sugar House) and adapted by Sue Smith (Machu Pitchu, TV’s Mabo), The Weekend will feature Belinda Giblin as Adele (Blonde Poison, TV’s Home and Away), Melita Jurisic (The Wizard of Oz, Malthouse’s Night on Bald Mountain) as Wendy, Toni Scanlan (Stop Girl, Opening Night) as Jude and Roman Delo (STC’s Hubris & Humiliation, TV’s Bump) in multiple roles. Joining the actors on stage will be Puppeteer Kelia Terencio (Riverside Theatre’s The Jungle Book).
“This is a special play – moving, honest, thoughtful, and a gift for three of our finest actors. This is heartland stuff,” said Belvoir Artistic Director, Eamon Flack.
Quietly confronting, The Weekend will leave audiences with a renewed appreciation for life’s precious moments.
Director: Sarah Goodes | Featuring: Roman Delo, Belinda Giblin, Melita Jurisic, Toni Scanlan, Keila Terencio | Set Designer: Stephen Curtis | Costume Designer: Ella Butler | Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper | Composer: Steve Francis | Sound Designer: Madeleine Picard | Puppetry & Movement Director: Alice Osborne | Video Design: Susie Henderson | Choreographer: Charmene Yap | Dramaturg: Ruth Little | Assistant Director: Abbie-Lee Lewis | Stage Manager: Luke McGettigan | Assistant Stage Manager: Mia Kanzaki | Adapter: Sue Smith
Upstairs Theatre – Belvoir St Theatre, Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 9 August – 10 September 2023 (previews: 5 – 8 August)
Information and Bookings: www.belvoir.com.au
Image: Melita Jurisic, Belinda Giblin and Toni Scanlan – photo by Brett Boardman