Occasionally I feel like breaking up with theatre. Its demanding nature, all those thankless tasks that don’t get noticed, the expensive tastes when it knows there’s never enough money, the late nights, the drinking. Sometimes I think I’ve had enough and I want to leave. I’m done. But then theatre magic happens. Like last night, sitting in on the dress rehearsal of Summer of the Aliens by Louis Nowra.
I slipped into the SBW Stables Theatre a little early so caught the end of fight rehearsal with the very talented fight choreographer Tim Dashwood. There were jokes and jibes happening in the background. Ursula Yovich was being mischievous and it’s impossible for Paul Capsis not to make a grand entrance even if its just walking from one side of the stage to the other (which at the SBW Stables Theatre is five steps!). The extraordinary Brett Boardman had arrived to take photos and once again capture Griffin’s shows in a way that I don’t know anyone else does or can. The creative team in the seating banks settled in with their laptops, handing around lollies for the night ahead. And I felt lucky to be there.
Tomorrow night, we start previews of The Lewis Trilogy by Louis Nowra—Griffin’s epic undertaking to bid farewell to this glorious little theatre before we pull her down and rebuild a new home for Australian playwriting. We’re in a world of lasts: the last production in the theatre as we know it, that holds over 50 years of groundbreaking stories and no doubt occasional disasters, the last dress rehearsal, the last opening night and soon, the very last show. So yes, we are all feeling very sentimental.
We invite everyone to come and say goodbye with an epic ten-week season of The Lewis Trilogy. Maybe fall in love again, as I did last night watching one of the closing scenes between the young Lewis and his best friend and would-be-lover Dulcie, played by Philip Lynch and Masego Pitso. The intensity and vulnerability and fragility of life is all there on the stage in front of you. There is something so visceral about theatre, which the little SBW Stables Theatre stage seems to amplify. And there I was, in love again.
Executive Director & Co-CEO