I’m not a theatre scholar but as far as I know Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard is about a family being forced to realise a time of prosperity has ended. Well for many Australians that’s happening now, the lucky country can no longer be taken for granted and one of the first demographics to face that realization is mature women.
So this is the theme of Adrifting Through the vomit Generation. I’m not claiming to be Checkov more just a theme thief.
Little is what it used to be and many of our comforting truths have become myths that we still cling to. But this delusion has left a lot of us feeling lost, or adrift, even betrayed while around us endless marketing implores us to purchase stuff whose wrappings we vomit into the ocean. But despite our stubborn grips, time marches on as it always has, but to where.
What I wanted to do was write a play that explored the idea that beyond the death of many of our individual versions of the great Australian Dream another life was waiting. One that offered freedom and purpose. And all I knew was that the name was right and that it would be a comedy. In Kew we will give the play its first outing. But this won’t be the finished product. For Theatre doesn’t work that way.
The script is its birth, its first rehearsals its early childhood, and then it’s off to school.
What I love about it is the women I’m working with, Yvonne, who plays the sage Margaret, brings so much humour, depth and innovation to the piece she constantly has me smirking and in awe.
Rebecca Ann Bentley our youngest is so talented it’s hard not to just sit there watching her.
Rohana meanwhile continues to prove just how versatile she is as she bravely tackles the head of the doomed household, Di. And one scene she does even in rehearsals leaves you struggling not to tear up.
And now we have Angelique whose natural intelligence and humor has seen the complicated character of Magnolia, the rouge of the piece, pop.
So, now to see if the joys we’re having in rehearsal will affect the audiences similarly.
Three of the characters of this play are forced to face an uncomfortable truth but despite that I think the ending will leave you feeling full of revolution.
Or at least, that was the goal.
The point of premiering it at this small space in Kew is our business model. New Australian Theatre, like theatre everywhere is a risk, but brand-new original pieces need to have the ability to fail without leaving the theatre company financially destitute.
It’s a journey, from the first seed of the idea to wherever all our work, your thoughts and this universe that binds us decides to take it.
Michael Gray Griffith