a new Australian play by Gina Schien
Edinburgh Fringe Preview Shows at Belvoir St Theatre July 1 & 2
Part ghost, part protector “The Gent” is 221 years old and has been assigned to the other side of the planet to minister to Morgan, a young modern Sydneysider living with Schizophrenia. Shifting between families, centuries and hemispheres, Morgan Stern is an enthralling and ultimately uplifting one-man play exploring relationships, mental ill health and the search for internal peace.
Its setting is a barely understood realm – the human mind. It is deeply informed by the experience of AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild) award-winning playwright Gina Schien’s own brother.
A moving monologue, directed by Goldele Rayment, Morgan Stern was described by critic Lisa Thatcher as: “A troubling, beautiful, uplifting 90 minutes that will leave you breathless”. Veteran actor Graeme Rhodes has been praised by The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jason Blake for his “exceptional performance” as The Gent.
The production commands the audience’s attention throughout as the English Georgian gentleman slowly recovers heartbreaking memories of his daughter, whom he committed to the infamous Bethlem insane asylum. With these come a growing realisation that he must make amends and try to save Morgan from the same fate as his daughter.
Rayment says: “This is a powerful piece of storytelling about two families in different centuries, cultures and countries who share the same search for release from the turmoil of life. It’s a play with a sense of Gothic tragedy but which is filled with compassion in its approach to Schizophrenia – an illness that remains feared and misunderstood.”
Places, people and stories crystallise and dissolve throughout the performance, and the image of a one-eyed ornamental goldfish will come back to haunt you.
Morgan Stern has particular power and resonance because many of the team from Company of Rogues have an experience of mental health through their personal or professional lives.
Prior to the play taking to the stage at C Primo for the the 70th Edinburgh Fringe Festival Company of Rogues will present two special preview performances at Belvoir St Theatre (downstairs) on Saturday July 1 and Sunday July 2. All proceeds will go toward fundraising for what will be this emerging company’s debut Edinburgh season.
Company of Rogues invites those unable to attend the preview shows to support the production and international premiere by contributing via their indigogo crowdfunding campaign. Supporters donating on indiegogo are rewarded with discount tickets, a chance to hang with the creatives, lots of love on social media and maybe even an original piece of art! visit www.indiegogo.com and search for ‘Morgan Stern’.
MORGAN STERN – SEASON DETAILS
Venue: Belvoir St Theatre (downstairs theatre)
Dates: Saturday July 1 7pm & Sunday July 2 5:30pm
Duration: 75 minutes
Guidance: Ages 12+
Tickets: $45 Adult; $39 Concession
Box office: 02 9699 3444 | belvoir.com.au