BELVOIR ST THEATRE | DOWNSTAIRS
7 June – 1 July
Matthew Whittet won the Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award with a proposal for Old Man in 2010; this year Belvoir is delighted to present the world premiere of the play in our Downstairs Theatre.
Belvoir’s Literary Manager Anthea Williams takes the directing reins for her Belvoir debut. Former Associate Director of Bushfutures at London’s Bush Theatre, Williams has an enviable reputation for directing new plays and crafting new writing into powerful performance.
Daniel (Leon Ford) wakes up one morning and as he moves through his home he realises his family has disappeared; there are no toys in the living room, no school bags in the hall and no sign of his wife. As his life unravels Daniel realises that to grow into the kind of father he wants to be, he must find and reconcile with the father he does not know.
Veteran actors Peter Carroll (The Book of Everything, Happy Days) and Gillian Jones (Scorched, Antigone) appear as Daniel’s parents. Leon Ford (The Pacific, All Saints) makes his Belvoir debut as Daniel. Fresh from her star turn as Rosalind in last year’s As You Like It, Alison Bell play Daniel’s wife, Sam. Old Man also introduces Madeleine Benson, Mitzi Ruhlmann, Tom Usher and Zac Ynfante, sharing the roles of the children Harry and Charlotte.
‘The first half of Old Man is almost all direct address and the second half is fourth wall naturalism,’ explains Williams. ‘So by the time we get to the second half we know these characters so intimately, it’s almost like we’ve been able to peek around backstage and go through the makeup bags of each of the characters. I think it will give the audience an amazing insight into each of them.’
Old Man is about fathers and family; it is a tender story that explores the profound experience of loss… or the possibility of it.
By Matthew Whittet
Director Anthea Williams
Set & Costume Design Mel Page
Lighting Design Hartley Kemp
Composer & Sound Design Stefan Gregory
Assistant Director Nescha Jelk