Award-winning playwright, Finegan Kruckemeyer’s The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You bursts onto the Stables stage from 18 June. Director Kate Gaul takes time out from the rehearsal room to chat to us about what drew her to Finegan’s writing and introduces us to The Violent Outburst team.

I met Finegan Kruckemeyer in 2005 at World Interplay. I was immediately struck by his individual and imaginative voice as a writer and his extravagant sense of play. At the time he was living and working in Adelaide; and I was aware that his first plays, which were produced by Brink, had been met with enthusiasm. Time passes. Finegan relocates to Tasmania (my old stomping ground) and has now become an internationally celebrated playwright. He has carved a niche writing for young audiences.

The Violent Outburst team on the rehearsal floor

Finegan writes with huge imagination and eloquence about the transition from childhood to adult. In his plays parents are separated from their children, kids yearn for independence but fear desertion. His work hums with nimble, exploratory intelligence, it captivates our attention and keeps pace with restless imaginations. Central to Finegan’s work is the desire to create theatre for young audiences which treats them with intelligence and respect. His work is often dark, with quite serious themes such as fear and sadness.

“In writing works that look pointedly at young characters confronting human-sized problems and emotions, I try to address a dichotomy that I believe exists in much children’s theatre making. Namely, that our fictional children are not allowed to face the hurdles and heartaches – the sadnesses – that their real life contemporaries (so importantly) do. In my works a multitude of themes coexist – those of discovery and loss, failure and redemption, unbridled joy and unbounded anger, new life and untimely death.” Finegan Kruckemeyer: The Taboo of Sadness

So, The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You is about being a teenager. The play was written as a commission and had a brief premiere season at Paramatta Riverside Theatre in 2013. It’s a real pleasure to revisit the work as part of Griffin Independent. Lately, 16-year-old Connor has been feeling anger. He doesn’t know why, and he doesn’t know what to direct it at. But still it’s there. Things he once liked annoy him now. He surrounds himself with people, but the anger doesn’t like the people and attacks them. His parents drop him at their cabin in the woods to “calm down”. But soon he finds that the anger is hiding away with him. Connor can feel it – he knows he will be angry forever. But now a girl appears in the woods. And it turns out she is angry too.

We began re-rehearsing the play this week. Along with the original cast – Michael Cutrupi, Emily Ayoub, Anthony Weir – we welcome Renne Heys and Natalia Ladyko… who are hitting the ground running! Hartley T A Kemp designs our lights and Jasmine Christie joins the team as production designer and has created some beautifully imaginative costumes and setting for this whimsical, funny, entertaining tale…

Costume sketch by Jasmine Christie

It’s a singing, dancing, shadow puppet and acting smorgasboard – all in 60 minutes. See you at the show!

Kate Gaul

The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You
plays from 18 June – 12 July. For more information, click here. To book tickets, call our Box Office on 02 9361 3817 or online, here.