Jonathan Biggins, one of Australia’s most perceptive political satirists is preparing to parody the bungling grassroots politics of Coriole Shire’s Australia Day Planning Committee in the world premiere of his debut play Australia Day, set to open at the Melbourne Theatre Company next month.
Directed by Richard Cottrell, Australia Day features a dream ensemble led by Geoff Morrell alongside Valerie Bader, David James and Alison Whyte.
Cottrell accepted the directorial position on this play because he believes the show will stir discussion and debate.
“I said yes to directing Australia Day because it’s very funny and because I think we’re living in a period when political correctness has overwhelmed us”, he said in an interview with the Sydney Theatre Company.
“People are actually frightened to say what the think because the are scared of causing offence to somebody, and along with that goes a very large dose of humbug and I haven’t got any time for any of that at all.”
I really quite hope that the play will offend quite a lot of people and make a lot of people laugh and the thing I hope most is that it will make people think and get people talking
“I really quite hope that the play will offend quite a lot of people and make a lot of people laugh and the thing I hope most is that it will make people think and get people talking”.
Playwright Biggins pulls apart the most hallowed date on the Australian calendar – solemnised in speeches, citizenship ceremonies, sorry business, sausage sizzles and piss-ups; evoked in historical re-creations and cultural confusion – while promising to leave his audiences with a belly full of laughter.
The world premiere of Australia Day opens Thursday 26 April 2012 at 8pm at Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse.
Following its Melbourne season, this co-production with Sydney Theatre Company, will tour to Parramatta and Canberra before concluding its national tour at the Sydney Opera House in October this year.
Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse (world premiere)
Season Dates 21 April to 26 May 2012
Opening Night Thursday 26 April 2012 at 8pm
Tickets from $56 (Under 30s just $33)