David Williamson is back with his trade-mark comedic bite.
After a sell-out season in Queensland Let the Sunshine comes to the MTC loaded with an all star cast. As well as Jacki Weaver, Robert Coleby, Paul Ashcroft and Andrea Moor, it stars John Wood and Rachel Gordon who were last seen together in Blue Heelers. In this play they are cast as father and daughter and Rachel wouldn’t have it any other way:
"John’s always wonderful to work with, he’s one of Australia’s finest actors, I was thrilled when I heard we’d be working together again," says Gordon in an interview with The Sunday Mail (QLD). "When I got the job I said to John, ‘So I hear I’m playing your daughter?’ And he said, ‘Wouldn’t you rather be my girlfriend?’ It’s very funny being Johnny’s daughter. My character Emma strives to impress her dad, and a lot of the choices she’s made in her life have been to please him. So there’s this great dramatic tension when she decides to follow motherhood – well, hopefully there will be, if we do our job properly."
John Wood’s trademark humour comes though as he quips: "I was disappointed we weren’t playing lovers."
The play, by Australian’s ‘Living National Treasure’, David Williamson centres around two sets of warring baby boomer couples in Noosa whose children fall in love and hear the patter of tiny feet. And according to Gordon, "it also deals with a lot of relevant, contemporary themes" as well as asking the question: what happens when two couples from opposing ends of the political scale are forced to co-exist? It is billed as the The Montagues versus the Capitalists.
"David’s really captured a very interesting situation a lot of women my age find themselves in now – career or babies – and how difficult that can be for women." says Gordon. "I’m living with my dad at the moment, and I’m seeing firsthand how much having grandkids around can completely change people. It’s beautiful to watch."
These sentiments are echoed by director by Michael Gow, the playwright-director who will be stepping down as artistic director of the QTC later this year. “Behind the social comedy that Williamson is so well known for, there’s another play here. A wonderful Romeo and Juliet love story; two radically different families are blended, by two lost kids in love, into a larger relationship. David can still skewer Australian society but he’s also written a tender, deeply questioning play about parents, children and love.”
David Williamsonis arguably Australia’s most loved playwright. His expansive career crosses both theatre and the silver screen. Some of his major works include: Don’s Party, Siren, The Department, Dead White Males, The Club, Travelling North, The Perfectionist, Emerald City, Money and Friends and Brilliant Lies. Williamson has won four AFI Awards and the Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE Award eleven times. He has received honorary doctorates of Literature from the University of Sydney (1988), Monash University (1990), Swinburne University of Technology (1996) and the University of Queensland (2004).
Gow is no slouch in the writing department having written 11 plays with Away possibly being his most famed. Perhaps it is this ability to get into the head of a character he is creating on paper that gives him an edge as a director. Wood and Gordon certainly think so:
"It’s wonderful working with a director who’s such a good dramaturge," says Wood.
"It’s true," Gordon agrees, "he has such an incredible writers’ brain. He can just look at a scene with almost surgical precision and find things that need to be discussed."
Let the Sunshine hilariously captures middle Australia as it stumbles into the second decade of an increasingly uncertain century.
Let the Sunshine – the Arts Centre, Playhouse
Season dates: 28 July to 4 September 2010
Opening night: Saturday 31 July 2010 at 8:00pm
Tickets: $42.55 -$83.15 (Under 30s $30)
Booking information: MTC Box Office 03 8688 0800, mtc.com.au or the Arts Centre 1300 182 183 or theartscentre.com.au
Mini Subscriptions now on sale: 3-6 Play packages start from as little as $130.80 Under 30s just $75.00 MTC Box Office 03 8688 0800 or mtc.com.au