Darlinghurst Theatre Company is producing Nick Enright’s final major play A Man with Five Children. Written in 1999, Enright pre-empted the current discussion on reality TV and public obsession with manufactured celebrity.

Inspired by the popular documentary 7-Up and the effect it had on its participants, A Man with Five Children chronicles the lives of five diverse Australians, who become celebrities via reality TV, and are held in the public eye from childhood through to adulthood.

Gerry is a documentary maker who sets out to capture the lives of five children on film. One day a year, every year, until they turn 21. As the children’s hopes and heartaches are played out on national television for the public’s entertainment, questions are raised. Is Gerry an observer or is the camera distorting their lives? Are the participants his subjects, his children or his creations? But as long as it makes for good television and the public still want it, Gerry just keeps on filming.

Short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award Play Award in 2003, A Man With Five Children invites the audience into a world of fractured celebrity, distorted vision and audience complicity.

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A Man with Five Children’s last professional production was staged 14 years ago (Photo by Helen White)

With numerous reality shows currently dominating TV airtime, Nick Enright’s insightful drama about the power of the media and the cult of celebrity is more relevant now than ever.

Rarely staged, A Man with Five Children’s last professional production and its premiere was by Sydney Theatre Company in 2002.

Inspired by Enright’s own ensemble approach to making theatre, director Anthony Skuse’s rehearsal process will be highly collaborative with the performers and creative team.

“I’m fascinated by the manner in which the five characters whose lives are being documented, attempt to reclaim their own narratives and move beyond the descriptors set-up by Gerry,” he said. “I’m curious to discover what’s beneath the surface of the script in those unspoken spaces. It’s both terrifying and exciting.”

The cast includes Jemwel Danao (Empire: Terror on the High Seas), Chenoa Deemal (QTC’s The 7 Stages of Grieving and Mother Courage),Charlotte Hazzard (TV’s WinterLove Child), Jody Kennedy (The Business), Ildiko Susany (Bell Shakespeare’s Henry VA Midsummer Night’s Dream) Anthony Taufa (STC’s The Golden AgeOrlando), Aaron Tsindos (Cyrano De Bergerac and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead for STC), two-time Sydney Theatre Award nominee for best supporting actor Jeremy Waters (The AliensJerusalem) and Taylor Wiese (Wolf Creek TV series).

A Man With Five Children previews at Eternity Playhouse from 3 June and runs through until 26 June.

By Nick Enright

Anthony Skuse
Production Designer Georgia Hopkins
Lighting Designer Chris Page
AV Designer Tim Hope
Sound Designer Katelyn Shaw
Assistant Director Suzanne Pereira
Assistant Costume Designer Caitlin Hodder
Stage Manager Derbail Kinsella


Previews 3 – 5 June
Season 7 – 26 June
Times: Wed – Sat 7pm, Sun 5pm, Wed & Thu matinee: 11am, Sat Matinees: 23 and 30 April, 2pm
Duration: Approximately 2hrs 30mins (including interval)
Prices: Adult $45/ Conc & Groups $38/ Under 30 (Wed & Thu) & Previews $30
A $2 booking fee applies per ticket for online and phone bookings
www.darlinghursttheatre.com or 02 8356 9987 (9.30am-5.30pm weekdays)