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BLACK SWAN STATE THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS
IT TAKES BRASS BALLS
TO SELL REAL ESTATE.
HEATH LEDGER THEATRE
STATE THEATRE CENTRE OF WA
book at ticketek.com.au or 1300 795 012
BY DAVID MAMET
LAURENCE OLIVIER AWARD FOR BEST NEW PLAY (1983)
PULITZER PRIZE FOR DRAMA (1984)
TONY AWARD FOR BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY (2005)
The Guardian hailed Tom Wright’s theatrical salute to Australia’s unsung Indigenous
war heroes as “a new high point in telling a national narrative on the stage.” Director
Wesley Enoch explains why it took so long to tell the story...
“The Armed Forces didn’t keep records of Indigenous soldiers in WWI,” says Wesley.
“Now, because of the centenary, we’re finally looking back. When we started the
research four years ago, the Australian War Memorial had about 300 or 400 names.
When we opened the show, they had over 1300 names. Everything we put on stage
is based on a true event. Having said that, the truth is a very fluid thing a hundred
years on. We may conflate two or three stories together to be more representative.
It’s not journalism – it’s theatre. Emotional impact is what we’re aiming for.
In one scene, the cast sings a hymn about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And
while they’re singing, they’re painting the whole set white. In Indigenous culture,
white ochre is a marker of the grieving process. So you could say we make the set
grieve. The story of Australia’s black diggers is something Indigenous families have
always told amongst themselves. Now, finally, a light has been shone upon it.”
Heath Ledger Theatre, until Mar 7.
OF BEING MIRIAM
We chat to renowned character actress
Miriam Margolyes – who has appeared
in everything from Oliver Twist to Harry
Potter – about her new show, The
Importance of Being Miriam.
What was your favourite role
ever? Be honest, was it the canine
‘mother’ in Babe?
As all actresses will tell you, there’s
no such thing as a ‘favourite’ role. But
among my joyous jobs was Dickens’
Women, in which I played 23 different
parts, including Miss Havisham and
Mr. Bumble, co-written by me and the
wonderful Sonia Fraser. And all of these
have been seen in Australia, which has
given me a burst of creativity at 73!
You have a special affinity for Dickens.
Tell us, what’s the attraction?
I think there’s a part of me that enjoys
excess – as there was in him. But also
I relish his moral force, his compassion,
his sense of fun and grotesquerie, the
amazing vigour of his prose, the fizz and
bite of the more than 2000 characters
he created, his passion for life and
friendship. Across the gap of time, his
engine of a personality rips into me and
I am constantly delighted, repelled
and fascinated by the man and his work.
What exactly is the importance of
being Miriam, Miriam?
I truthfully have no idea; it’s a whimsical,
cheeky title thought up by my producer,
and everyone but me likes it and laughs.
John Martin, the gifted and handsome
pianist is with me onstage, hopefully
balancing my nonsense with real flair. It
will be an honest portrait of me and my
loves and literary pleasures. I’m going
to sing, tell dirty jokes, share parts of my
life (and my sex life) and my politics, so if
you don’t like me, don’t come!
Heath Ledger Theatre, Apr 7-11 .
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