New Theatre is thrilled to be presenting the world premiere of this new Australian queer work, which initially developed by the writer as his major work while completing the Masters of Writing for Performance at NIDA in 2018.
Earlier this year, a workshop performance of selected scenes, directed by Anthony Skuse, was presented as part of PlayList at Seymour Centre during Mardi Gras. Now, New Theatre has given writer Chris Edwards, and director Riley Spadaro, the opportunity to further develop the work into a full-length play. It's a very exciting prospect.
New Theatre had made the difficult, but correct, decision to postpone until 2020 our production of Topher Payne's Angry Fags and we were seeking a replacement for our July slot, which last year hosted Stupid Fucking Bird (winner, Best Independent Production, Sydney Theatre Awards). We were after something with a similar feel.
Artistic Director Louise Fischer was in discussions with young director Riley Spadaro, and he mentioned This Bitter Earth. We read the script, and we were sold!
Of his play, writer Chris Edwards says: "“It's a collection of six stories focusing on the everyday anxieties and interpersonal relationships of modern Australian queers. The play is written for six performers, with each scene gaining in cast size as the play progresses (scene one is a monologue, scene two a dialogue, scene three a... triologue? You get the drift). It's an anthology - there's no overarching plot machinations or recurring characters or events, instead I'm hoping it tackles a specifically millennial set of ruminations and fascinations. I'm trying to look at the ways in which we're all fighting to connect with someone, anyone, while confronting the newfound existential despair leaking into our general consciousness. But, y'know, with fun gags and hilarious banter thrown in for good measure.
"I don't believe that ignoring the darker implications of the modern gay psyche is a viable option any longer, and replacing a critical eye with blind optimism doesn't actually help the queer youth of today or tomorrow. I want to take stock of our current queer Australian landscape, let my generation actually see itself on stage, and hope that somewhere among the understated brutality that we inflict upon ourselves and each other, we can find something honest, or true, or with the ability to give us a brief respite from the apocalypse happening around us.
Not much to ask, I guess.”
Creative team: Cast: Mitchell Bourke, Michael Cameron, Elle Mickel, Matthew Prendy, Ariadne Sgouros, Sasha Simon. Director Riley Spadaro.Set & Costume Designer Grace Deacon. Lighting Designer Phoebe Pilcher. Composer & Sound Designer Jessica Dunn. . Production Manager Jens Radda. Stage Manager Caroline McAllister Season 11 - 27 July. Bookings: newtheatre.org.au
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