Continuing Theatre Works 40th Year Program, February 2020 sees the Australian premiere season of much-lauded playwright Kim Ho’s new work. With 20+ events and shows at the venue during this landmark year, The Great Australian Play promises to delight and engage audiences and is proudly a part of the 20 Shows for $20 incentive. Implemented to make art accessible and introduce our outstanding independent artists and arts makers to new audiences.
Australia, 1930; as the Great Depression tightens its grip on a hungry, fledgeling nation, Harold Bell Lasseter charms everyone with his story of a fabulously wealthy “reef” of gold, hidden in the vast interior.
Australia, 2020; relentless funding cuts have left the arts community weary and desperate. Looking for commercial and critical acclaim, five storytellers uncover the legend of Lasseter’s Reef and figure it’s a sure-fire win.
An ingenious new satire from Kim Ho, winner of the Patrick White Award, The Great Australian Play is a psychedelic romp through the myths of our glorious nation’s past, present, and imagined future. This dazzling, kaleidoscopic work is the epic Australia’s been waiting for.
“The catalyst for The Great Australian Play was stumbling across a podcast about Lasseter’s reef.”, explains writer Kim Ho.
“I went to research the story more and the first book I opened up has my great grandfather’s name on the first page. Turns out he was best friends with the leader of the expedition, Fred Blakeley. Blakeley used my great grandfather’s typewriter to type his memoir and I managed to track down that manuscript because it had become a family heirloom. As soon as that fell into my lap I had to write this play. The tone and style of the play might best be described as Heart of Darkness meets Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. It engages with contemporary discourse about media, pop culture, cultural imperialism and the ways in which our stories shape us – for better or worse.”
Joining forces with Theatre Works for this premiere season, Montague Basement is a Sydney-based independent theatre company launched in 2014. Since then they have grown to encompass new Australian work, devised adaptations of classics and films, immersive productions and much more. In 2018 the company presented its first interstate show, The Public Domain Opera as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. They are thrilled to return to Melbourne with The Great Australian Play.
This production is proudly supported by Theatre Works, Creative Victoria and the City of Port Phillip.
Written by Kim Ho – Directed by Saro Lusty-Cavallari – Dramaturgy by Carissa Lee – Performers include Tamara Bailey, Sermsah Bin Saad, and Jessa Koncic – Produced by Imogen Gardam – Set Design by Carmody Nicol -Costume Design by Claudia Mirabello – Lighting Design by Nick Moloney – Image by Jack Dixon-Gunn
19 – 29 February, 2020
Tues – Sat 7:30pm, Sun 5pm | Preview 19 February 7:30pm
Bookings: (03) 9534 3388 or online at www.theatreworks.org.au/program/the-great-australian-play/ Venue: Theatre Works – 14 Acland St, St Kilda