Melbourne Theatre Company today announced that Jacki Weaver has withdrawn from its production of Solomon and Marion and has been replaced by fellow stage and screen star Gillian Jones.

In announcing the change, MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said ‘Sometimes our finest international stars get an offer even we think they can’t refuse, and this has happened with the wonderful news of Jacki Weaver being offered a lead role in the highly anticipated CBS television series The McCarthy’s, for which she must re-locate to Boston in the United States for the ongoing shooting of the show.’

‘However, I’m thrilled that an actor of Gillian’s calibre is available, having just completed shooting of her starring role in Fury Road, George Miller’s epic new Mad Max sequel. Gillian is as excited and passionate about the play as I am. I’m absolutely delighted she could step in at short notice to take up the role of Marion in this tough, funny and challenging play,’ Brett said.

Jacki Weaver said ‘This play has been very close to my heart since I first saw it in South Africa, so I’m terribly disappointed that I can no longer be involved. But with director Pamela Rabe, and my colleagues Gillian Jones and Pacharo Mzembe, I know Solomon and Marion will be a magnificent production that will absolutely move audiences as much as it did me.’

Lara Foot’s Solomon and Marion heralds another Australian debut of exceptional new international writing, putting contemporary South Africa under the lens. It is a story of the unlikely bond and relationship that develops between two people; Marion is an older woman living in a remote village until one day a young man named Solomon appears delivering a message he has secretly carried for years. This brilliant two-hander won the 2011 Fleur du Cap Award for Best New South African Play and was hailed as a “rare theatrical opportunity”.

Solomon and Marion
Venue: Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio
Season dates: 7 June to 20 July 2013
Opening night: Wednesday 12 June 2013 at 8pm

Bookings: Southbank Theatre Box Office 03 8688 0800 or mtc.com.au; Arts Centre Melbourne 1300 182 183 or artscentremelbourne.com.au
Single tickets for Solomon and Marion go on-sale from 5 March 2013.

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