Wednesday, 28 September 2016

One of the great joys of my job as a Drama Teacher is that I get to direct plays written by fantastic Australian playwrights.
This year I have directed Victim, Sidekick, Boyfriend, Me by Hilary Bell and Circus Caravan by Donna Abela. As you know both are 7ON colleagues. It has long been an ambition of mine to see contemporary Australian work like theirs on our school's stages.
The school I am teaching at has little in the way of theatre tradition so to take on plays as inherently theatrical as these two was always going to be challenging for the students and the audience.
And so it proved.
The cast of Victim were not only dubious about me they were dubious about the play. I persisted with them and after a while the scales began to drop and they realised what a gem they had on their hands. The audience, unused to contemporary theatre, were stunned by the sheer theatricality of the piece.
It's a wonderful play and I'm pleased to say a number of productions have followed ours.
Circus Caravan is a fantastic play that extends both the cast and the director. It has a wonderful heart and is also challenging in its own way. My cast, most of whom had never been on stage before, rose to the occasion and, as they would say, "nailed it".
The audience began laughing from the opening seconds and didn't stop. Their applause said everything. After the show the cast were grinning like cheshire cats. They didn't realise what a funny play they had on their hands.
That's the thing about good writing. It creeps up on you during rehearsals. The plays become deeper and more revealing as you peel back the layers.
Sometimes its tough to get your work noticed and theatrical gems remained undiscovered.
I'm so honoured to have been able to help bring these two to life.

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