Award winning Australian playwright Tom Holloway is soon to have another of his literary gems come to life at Red Stitch Theatre in the form of Sunshine – a story about what it’s like to live through the tough times in life amongst the clutter of a big city.
Holloway and Red Stitch have a lengthy partnership beginning in 2008 with Red Sky Morning, a play whose devise, like Sunshine, lies in the power of the monologue.
Says actor George Lingard: “Tom Holloway has written such a nuanced, multi-faceted and rhythmically driven piece that coming to understand its overarching narrative felt like solving some sort of musical rubix cube. There was a point when everything clicked into place and the realization of how each character relates to one-another hit me full force in the chest. The way Sunshine has been written is unlike anything I’ve read before.”
Sunshine marks VCA trained actor, Lingard’s, Red Stitch debut. Ella Caldwell, Phil Hayden and Caroline Lee make up the brilliant cast in a play where four people are destined to have a night they will never forget.
Lingard explains that his character begins in a supermarket, with an empty shopping basket. “Why he is there and where he goes is revealed alongside three other characters who are also on their own journeys,” he says. “It’s safe to say he doesn’t just complete his weekly shop and then heads home for a quiet night in. Sunshine’s narrative and character revelations are intricately plotted and I think so much of the payoff stems from not knowing what is going to happen next.”
Holloway explores themes of loneliness and isolation while throwing up potent questions to stimulate both actor and audience. Says Lingard:”Why do some people feel isolated in a sprawling metropolis? How can the after-tremors of temptation, betrayal and loss affect us subconsciously? Why do some of us want to tear apart picturesque suburbia? What does a genuine connection with another look like in this day and age? These are some of the questions arising for me as we rehearse Sunshine. I feel there will be quite a few more by the end.”
Holloway is an excellent representative of our burgeoning Australian talent within the arts but how important is it for our theatres to continue to push for more Australian content on their stages? “Vital,” says Lingard. “Australian content (particularly new works) on our stages provide a sound board for our many local voices. Voices which are at risk, at times, of being drowned out by an over-emphasis placed on overseas content. I say this because I want my eyes and ears to be opened when I go to the theatre. Opened to the many issues, identities, cultures and diverse voices that Australia has to offer.”
Red Stitch Theatre is excited to be bringing this premiere production of a new Australian work to their stage – it is somewhat of a spiritual successor to Tom Holloway’s other play Red Sky Morning. Says Lingard: “I find Sunshine, thought provoking, devastating and, at other times, deeply moving, warm and very funny. I would encourage anyone with a love of new Australian writing to come and see it. Red Stitch Actors Theatre has put together a wonderful team with the fantastic Kirsten Von Bibra directing. It’s a privilege to be part of it.” So if you love language, lyrical musicality and rhythm then this is the play for you!
October 11 – November 5