The Prices are a typical aspirational Australian working-class family. They’ve bought into the dreams and promises of a better life across the generations: the baby-boomer parents encouraged to sacrifice for a comfortable retirement, and the betterment of their children, all four of whom believe you can ‘have it all’.
Over the course of one tumultuous year, we witness the fracturing of this seemingly tight-knit unit, as each of the children comes into conflict with the parents over how to live their lives.
Andrew Bovell has long been fascinated with the concepts of love and family. What we say, what we remember, how we relate to those nearest to us and the endless vagaries of the human heart are all embraced in this astonishingly wise, unexpectedly funny, and deeply truthful play.
New Theatre is thrilled to be producing this exceptional play, and welcomes director Hailey McQueen, making her New Theatre directorial debut, having previously acted in their production of another Andrew Bovell play, When the Rain Stops Falling, in 2015.
“You can’t escape good writing. Bovell, in my opinion, is one of the most brilliant playwrights in the modern Australian landscape. His ability to simultaneously represent the mess and the beauty of the human experience is breathtaking and his dialogue sings onstage,” says Hailey.
“Through this deeply Australian setting – the ordinary, the tragic and the humour – we are reassured that family, despite the mess, can be a place of unconditional love. The characters represent incredibly relatable life-moments for the audience. We see ourselves or a member of our own family in them.
The children try to redefine their lives separately from the hopes and dreams of their parents and as the year unfolds each season contains a crisis, a turning point and tough choices need to be made and the ramifications of those choices dealt with.
“My hope is that the audience, through the witnessing of the Price’s year unfold, will be encouraged and touched by the unfiltered mess and beauty of this family (which could be any family) and be challenged to treasure moments of closeness and connection with those we love,” added Hailey.
Hailey has assembled a terrific cast for this production. James Bean (The Grapes of Wrath, August: Osage County, The Clean House) and Kath Gordon (In Angel Gear, Who’s Afraid of the Working Class) return to New Theatre as the parents, Bob and Fran Price, while four talented young actors make their New Theatre debuts as the children: Anne Wilson (Pip), Michael Smith (Mark), Ben Chapple (Ben) and Skye Beker (Rosie).
Andrew Bovell is regarded as one of our greatest storytellers, whether it be for works for the stage such as When The Rain Stops Falling and his adaptation of Kate Grenville’s The Secret River, or for the screen such as Lantana and A Most Wanted Man.
Director: Hailey McQueen | Featuring: James Bean, Skye Beker, Ben Chapple, Kath Gordon, Michael Smith, Anne Wilson | Set & Lighting Designer: Victor Kalka | Co-Costume Designers: Eleni Chrysafis, Serena Pollock | Sound Designer: Rhiannon Cox | Assistant Director: Colleen Willis | Movement Director: Miriam Green | Production Managers: Gemma Greer, Hailey McQueen | Stage Manager: Catherine Tomsen
Things I Know To Be True
New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
Season: 16 November – 17 December 2022 (preview: 15 November)
Information and Bookings: www.newtheatre.org.au
Image: Westend61 GmbH | Alamy Stock Photo