Recently the Army sent down their top Psychiatrist to see our suicide prevention play Marooned. We were very nervous. A lot of people in the Army want this play toured to all the ADF’s mainland bases as they believe it can help.
But they weren’t this man.
The play went on and afterwards I waited for his assessment. He not only gave it a ringing endorsement but called it a remarkable achievement. He said it never preached or judged, and it was never boring. Instead it held you engrossed for the entire time and left you feeling uplifted and with a strong desire to live.
On March 3rd we head to the ACT to put on one last show to the heads of the ADF. Something which has never happened before with a new Australian play. There, it is expected to receive the approval to begin touring.
Last weekend in Colac, a town with its own unfortunate history of suicides Marooned was bought by RRRTAG for 2 shows. At first the audience, a full house was cagey. How could a play about suicide be entertaining? At the end of the first show the audience lifted to their feet and gave the actors a standing ovation. Then in the following show a new audience did the same.
This play was written after one of the writer’s friends committed suicide. The writer wanted to try to convince others not to do the same. We, without any initial funding staged it just as a dedication to this lost friend. Since then the MTC has had us in the Lawler Theatre, The Age and the Herald Sun and Jon Faine have done stories about the play and the Towns of Sale, Yarrawonga and Corowa, and now Colac paid us to bring it to their towns. And we have lots of other towns wanting us to bring it to them.
The play is seen by many as a new tool in the fight against the duel scourges of suicide, the fact that people do it and the silence that surrounds it. And it does this even with people who don’t come to see it. How? From when it’s first announced that it’s coming, the conversation starts. People google it and start wondering and discussing if they should see it. Then the local mainstream media, print and radio run articles on it and this also gets people talking. And while they are talking about Marooned the real conversation is about suicide. Then when the play is on the conversation reaches its pinnacle and feedback from all the towns we performed at shows us that the conversation continues well after we’ve moved on.
But the most important conversation the play starts is directly after the show when the towns people are having supper. The emotional journey of the play opens people up and this warm and often frank conversation is the foundation for change. Often local mental health professionals are there to join in and even facilitate these conversations.
Currently we are also in talks with Rio Tinto who want to bring it to North Queensland.
The play is remarkable in the way that it requires no set to travel with it. The stage is a waiting room in the afterlife and the benches and chairs that make up that room can be sourced in the town where the play is being staged. All that has to be toured is the actors, a tech and a publicist.
The play doesn’t even need a theatre, it can be staged in town halls or if lights can be sourced even outside.
Any Questions please don't hesitate to call.
Advocates and Backers
I took this shot of Christopher Grant when Allan Randall and Aleksandar Vass
kindly let us rehearse in the Alex for The Lawler season.
Both men are huge supporters of Indy Theatre and The Wolves.
We didn't know then where we were going with the play but we all wanted to come back
and try fill this space.
We're actually in the smaller blue seat theatre, so imagine blue seats,
but this shot, this shot for me was a moment of hope.
And now on June 12 / 13 we will be back
The Alex Theatre
1/135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda VIC 3182