As The Dapto Chaser heads into the rehearsal room next week, playwright Mary Rachel Brown talks about winning the trifecta.
In 2010, I was commissioned by Merrigong Theatre Company to write a play that would speak to the people in the Illawarra region – how could I go past the dogs? I spent a lot of time at the track researching, and all these years later I can still say the heart of my play belongs to the men and women of the Dapto Dogs. The people who were generous enough to share their stories with me. This play is their story. It has all the colour and quirk of the dog racing subculture. The characters in my play represent the extremes of bravery and foolishness. Believe me, the stakes are high in this world. This is a play where stuff happens!
Danny Adcock Photo by Robert Catto
I am proud to say the work has a big social conscious; it speaks to issues that are close to my heart. The work shines a light on the tyranny of gambling addiction and the problem of intergenerational poverty. Everyone in our team is hoping it will start some important conversations around current legislation in relation to gambling.
And here is the kicker: The Dapto Chaser is a big bold comedy by a female playwright. Two other areas I feel strongly about, under-representation of female writers on our Australian stages, and that thing that sometimes happens…you know…comedy being treated like the poor cousin of drama in literary circles. So a big congrats and thank you to Griffin Theatre Company for supporting the trifecta – a comedy – a female playwright – and a rural story on our metropolitan stage. Tick, tick, tick! My producer Dino Dimitriadis and I are so thrilled to bring you what we believe will be a really different and important night out at the theatre.
So friends, thanks for reading. We look forward to seeing you at the show!
Strap yourself in for this bold warts and all comedy, it is one hell of a ride.
Warning: The production contains dogs, bitches, mongrels, drugs, cheating, lying, winning, losing and masses of family dysfunction.
Mary Rachel Brown, playwright
Richard Sydenham Photo by Robert Catto