Once you have cleared Christmas and the New Year, theatre will be back and amongst the first openings of 2010 is Crestfall at the SBW Stables Theatre.
These three striking monologues are a portrait of a town in the shadow of The Bonelands, a filthy abattoir in which men are driven by bestial urges and women are meant for sex and housekeeping. It is a desolate outpost of the present day, a community which the only civilizing attribute is the compulsion to tell a good story.
Olive is unhappily married – a serial slag involved with most of the men in town, including the local pimp, the legendary Inchy Bassey. Tilly is a prostitute envious of Olive’s intimacy with him. Alison is the mother of a brain-damaged child and the wife of one of the many men Olive sleeps with.
In a town that has lost its moral compass, under the watch of thyroid man and his three-eyed dog, three women scrap and scramble through a bloody twenty-four hours of retaliation, reunion and atonement.
Mark O’Rowe, the writer of the multi-award winning play Howie the Rookie and the film Intermission, a writer known for his use of violent imagery, and used to attracting his share of controversy. O’Rowe, in discussing his influences, claims much of the violence in his work stems from watching and rewatching a tremendous amount of violent, bloody movies when he was in his teens.
“I never sit down and deliberately plot a point of horror, but if I have a choice between a character being knocked down and killed in the next five minutes or falling in love, I’ll usually go for them being run over,” O’Rowe said.
When Crestfall premiered at the Gate Theatre in Dublin in 2003, O’Rowe found himself at the centre of a storm of outrage.
“Bestiality at the Gate” was the headline O’Rowe is most proud of. But the nature of the outrage, mainly sparked by a junkie prostitute who is hired to fellate a dog, surprised him.
“The play is a massacre, basically; there is just so much violence against the women in it. But I had people coming up to me saying they didn’t like the way the dog was treated. I thought, ‘What? It’s cruel that he didn’t get his blow job?,” he said.
Director Shannon Murphy and Producer Ben Jobberns are the Sydney Theatre Award winning team that brought you My Name Is Rachel Corrie, The Age of Consent and Bliss.
They have assembled an exceptional all female cast: Eliza Logan (Cloudstreet, Changi, The Black Balloon, The Square), Sarah Snook (King Lear, The Shape of Things) and Georgina Symes (The Alchemist, Away, Ruby Moon).
Crestfall opens on January 6. Details: (02) 8002 4772.