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Award winner for Sydney’s New Theatre’s next show

“My wife takes pills and I drink. That’s the bargain we’ve struck.”

In the scorching heat of an Oklahoma summer, the Weston family has come together due to the disappearance of their patriarch, a world-class poet and alcoholic.This is the setting for Sydney’s New Theatre’s next production August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Violet, the matriarch, is suffering from cancer, addicted to a cocktail of drugs, and ruthlessly honest in her opinions. Her three daughters, Barbara, Karen and Ivy, harbour problematic partners and deep secrets. Violet’s younger sister, Mattie Fae, and her family, are well-versed in the Weston’s particular art of cruelty, while her teenage grand-daughter Jean is wise beyond her years, the result of living among these warring adults. Observing the chaos is the young, recently-employed Cheyenne housekeeper, Johnna, a newcomer to this battlefield.

As the temperature soars, so do the familial tensions, boiling over in vicious point-scoring and score-settling to sensationally entertaining effect.

This insightful and compassionate study of a family in meltdown is both dense and deeply funny, a brilliant example of the best of contemporary American drama and a theatrical juggernaut of epic proportions.

Winner: 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Winner: 2008 Tony Award for Best Play Winner: 2008 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play; Winner: 2008 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play

Director Louise Fischer says: "When I saw the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of this magnificent work, at the Sydney Theatre in 2010, it went straight on my bucket list of plays to direct before I shuffled off this mortal coil.

"Why? Where do I start? The stunningly complex roles for women (and great roles for the chaps)? A female matriarch to rival Tennessee Williams's 'Big Daddy', so deliciously and unapologetically abominable? The allure of tackling one the masterpieces of the 21st century? All of the above!

"I then fell to earth, realising there was no way we could get a three-storey set on the New Theatre stage! But when I read the play again, I knew we had to do it. Because it's not a play about a set - it's so much bigger than that.

"It's about characters that simmer and leap off the page, about the formidable inner landscape of a family disintegrating on all sides. And it's about a script infused throughout with the most wonderfully wicked humour. You find yourself laughing when you know you shouldn't and that's kind of intoxicating. Which is somewhat ironic, when directing a play about addiction!"

Cast: Adrian Adam, James Bean, Kirra Farquharson, Peter Flett, Jake Fryer-Hornsby, Brett Heath, Lynden Jones, Sonya Kerr, Alice Livingstone, Amy Scott-Smith Helen Stuart, Emilia Stubbs Grigoriou, Emily Weare Season{ 6 June - 7 July. Tickets: $35 full, $30 concessions & groups (6+), $20 previews & Thrifty Thursdays Bookings:

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