Examining the underlying, insidious ways that power structures are formed and how toxic corruption can erode a culture from the inside, ReAction Theatre presents TOBY by award-winning writer Abe Pogos at the La Mama Theatre Courthouse from 9 March 2021.
Toby is a social outcast living in a dark and disturbing land. Robbed by his best friend, hounded by the authorities, and branded a ‘gypsy,’ he traverses a difficult path, unearthing more about virtue and honesty than he anticipated.
An ensemble work with six characters, Louise Howlett directs an inspired cast including Alex Tomisich, Sam Stopforth, Pat McAuliffe, Meg McKibbin, Iris Gaillard and Adam May
“TOBY has been totally re-envisaged in light of the Covid pandemic,” said Howlett. “It inspired us to create a show we couldn’t have imagined before it hit and has, ironically, added to the production.”
“We’re now using double projection and layered scrims to create a striking hybrid mix of live, digital, and shadow theatre, accompanied by a stunning soundtrack. As a theatre company increasingly working at the intersection of performance and digital technology, we really wanted to enhance the wonder of live performance and the element of surprise, which is what makes theatre such a vibrant art form.”
“The story itself is an emotional and occasionally darkly humorous ride. The supernatural elements act as a reminder that we’re all merely specks in a large universe and anything could change at any time, which is something else that living and working during a global pandemic has taught us,” said Howlett.
First performed at La Mama in 2004 and published in 2005, TOBY is a classic tale that refocuses and sharpens our thoughts about what it is to be ‘the other’ in a heartless world. A black comic fable set in 19th century Europe, the play has enormous resonance with the global realities of today, but still allows the audience enough distance to laugh grimly at the skewed politics of Toby’s village.
Director: Louise Howlett Featuring: Alex Tomisich, Sam Stopforth, Pat McAuliffe, Meg McKibbin, Iris Gaillard, Adam May Set Design: Jacob Sandom Lighting Designer: Shane Grant Sound Designer: Sidney Millar Costume Designer: Jeremy Pryles Stage Manager: Steph Young Producer: ReAction Theatre Writer: Abe Pogos
La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Season: 9 – 14 March 2021
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: photo by Darren Gill