The price we pay: STCSA’s Things I Know To Be True

Alone on a Berlin train station, dumped by a boy she thought she loved, nineteen-year-old Rosie Price makes a list. A list of all the things she knows to be true. It surprises her how short the list is. And she knows that she has to go home, sooner rather than later. And this is where our story starts. With a phone call in the middle of the night – every parent’s nightmare – and also every child’s: who’s calling, who needs my help? With a body seemingly suspended in the inky black space of the theatre. With a bleary sleep-croaked ‘Hello?’
Over the course of the play, we meet the Price family (the name is significant, I think) – father Bob, mother Fran, and the (now adult) children Pip, Mark, Ben, and Rosie – who live on a property in Hallett Cove. As we get to know the family and their relationships with each other, so too their backyard grows – from the fence, to the paddocks and trees, the flower beds, rose bushes, and the ubiquitous shed – and something ordinary is created in front of our eyes in sometimes beautiful and extraordinary ways. Directed by Geordie Brookman and Scott Graham, Things I Know To Be True is the latest play from acclaimed playwright Andrew Bovell, and marks the first international co-production by State Theatre Company of South Australia, in this case with UK-based movement company Frantic Assembly. It’s a story about a family, about loving and letting go; about growing and discovering yourself, finding out who you are; about grieving and saying goodbye; about the very particular and universal rhythms of family, and how one family grows over the course of a year.


As the world falls down: Montague Basement’s Telescope

Following their production of Hamlet at the end of last year, I wrote that it had been “a pleasure to watch Montague Basement go from strength to strength in their productions, gaining confidence (and audacity), finding and sharpening their voice.” With 2016 already well-underway, this uncompromising collective are expanding the scale of their productions and drawing new collaborators into their fold. Following his well-received Kaleidoscope at the Mardi Gras festival in February, Charles O’Grady spreads his wings to bring Telescope to the Sight & Sound arts program in Leichhardt, and the result is a disarming and thoughtful production which asks questions we should be asking, and does not pretend to have all the answers.

Uncertainty is the normal state: Furies’ Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Tom Stoppard’s reputation for virtuosic displays of linguistic and intellectual gymnastics has held its ground for the past fifty-odd years, and one of his earliest plays – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – is perhaps the first time we see his talent on display. Described variously as ‘Beckettian,’ ‘absurdist,’ or ‘absurdist existentialism,’ the play takes place in the wings of Hamlet, and asks what Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (those relatively minor and interchangeable characters) are doing throughout the course of the play while they’re not on stage. By turns funny, strange, witty, and head-scratchingly dense, the play has become one of Stoppard’s enduring crowd-favourites, and is presented here by independent company Furies in a sparse-but-not-empty production.