Tag Archives: Queensland Theatre Company

The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table @ QPAC, Brisbane 14-30 October 2010

A powerful play about family and culture and the ways in which storytelling binds people together” – The Australian

Purcell delivers a startlingly powerful performance” – Daily Telegraph

Award-winning Queensland actor and director Leah Purcell (Box the Pony, King Lear, Black Chicks Talking) will direct and star in Bungabura Production’s new presentation of Wesley Enoch’s powerful drama The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table at Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Cremorne Theatre from 14 – 30 October 2010.

This powerful family saga spans four generations and is a moving testament to culture lived, lost and found and the strength of a family adapting and gathering together.

First produced by Griffin and Hothouse Theatre Company, this new production of The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table offers a compelling theatre experience that encapsulates themes of ownership, heritage, culture and sexuality.

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said that QPAC is very pleased to be presenting this work because of its cultural significance for Queensland and the Centre’s longstanding relationship with Bungabura Productions.

The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table is an immensely important piece of theatre –a story about families that transcends cultures,” said Kotzas.

In the 1870s a girl is born under a tree, which is cut down to become a kitchen table. Generations later, a young man and his mother fight for ownership of the table.

Winner of Patrick White Playwrights Award 2005 and short listed for both the New South Wales and Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table was written by renowned Queensland-born director and playwright, Wesley Enoch, who was recently appointed as the new Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company.

Wesley Enoch said the Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table has a mix between a strong naturalistic narrative of connection and a long imaginative storytelling about family and heritage. I was trying to write a piece about the emotional power of stories to bind a family together through hardship and adversity. Leah Purcell is one of the country’s best actors and she has created a character in a way that goes beyond what I could imagine as a writer,” said Enoch.

Director and lead actor Leah Purcell, whose portrayal of Annie has been described by reviewers as startlingly powerful, received a Helpmann Award for Best Actress in a Play in 2008.

“I am very proud of winning a Helpmann Award because I worked extremely hard to bring Annie to life, but being conscious of not making her character a cliché.

“This play is a universal story for all. It’s gutsy, it packs a punch or two, it’s laugh-out loud funny and takes you on an emotional journey as Annie and Nathan re-connect from being estranged for many years,” said Purcell.

“The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table is a great yarn and a theatre experience worth seeing, whether you are a regular to the Arts or if you are experiencing theatre for the first time, this is something worth seeing,” she said.

QPAC presents
Wesley Enoch’s
A Bungabura Production
Starring and directed by Leah Purcell

Winner Patrick White Playwrights Award 2005
Winner Helpmann Award Best Actress in a Play 2008

WHEN 14 to 30 October
Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, Cultural Centre, South Bank
Adult $49 Concession $39
Matinees – Adult $39/Concession $29
Schools $18
BOOKINGS 136 246 or www.qpac.com.au

*Ticket price includes GST and Booking Fee. Please note transaction fees may apply

Please note this performance contains strong language.

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Betrayal @ The Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane 10th September 2010 – Live Review

[Image courtesy Queensland Theatre Company]
  Review: Lana Harris

Silence, with its lack of apparent weightiness, is often the hiding place for what we don’t want to acknowledge. Guilt, fear and secrets hide in silence, and so it is fitting that silence plays a pivotal role in a tale which features these elements of duplicity.

Presented by the Queensland Theatre Company, Betrayal is Harold Pinter’s tale of a love triangle. The narrative reveals itself through scenes played out in a stream opposite to the usual: the end at the beginning, flowing through to the beginning at the end. Emma (Sibylla Budd) is married to Robert (Hugh Parker) but commits to an affair with Jerry (Paul Bishop), who is also Robert’s best friend. Emma’s betrayal of her husband is not the only disloyalty. At various points, each pair are pitted against the third person and in doing so, betray not just the others but themselves too.

While on the surface it reads like a tabloid scandal or a soap opera plot, Pinter’s treatment of this uncomfortable subject is both poignant and powerful. We are invited into intimate pivotal moments, witnesses to calculated weavings of pretended innocence and voyeurs of collapsing secrets, the awkward truth bursting illusions. The strength of the acting in these scenes forces the audience to forge emotional responses to these events – responses which seep out as nervous laughter or a sick feeling in the stomach. Parker, in particular, plays his character well, demonstrating a raw and believable portrayal of the cuckold’s agony coupled with a darkly amusing resilience.

Pinter leaves the why of affairs largely untouched, with no hints of moralising. Betrayal is more a sign-posted journey through the features of love, both illicit and sanctioned. Apparently, the play has echoes of Pinter’s own life in it (he was ‘Jerry’) and so it was with first hand experience that Pinter has clearly depicted the chase for devotion and satisfaction.

A great tension soaks Betrayal, with what’s not said often meaning just as much as what is uttered. It is in these moments that the silence of the theatre becomes the most important player on the stage. Realisations occur and each person in the room is aware of the silent roar of intense feeling. At such moments, it was so quiet you could hear the truth sink in. Betrayal’s surreptitiousness proves riveting.

Review: Lana Harris

Show: Betrayal
Venue: Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
Date: 10th September 2010

Betrayal By Harold Pinter @ Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane – 6 Sept-9 Oct 2010 – Press Release


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Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig @ Bille Brown Studio, Brisbane 31 May – 26 June 2010

A stingingly witty romance tackling some weighty matters.

When Tom meets Helen in a crowded restaurant, their chance encounter soon develops into a full-blown romance.

Helen is beautiful, smart, funny and just a little on the large size. But to Tom’s self-obsessed work buddies, she’s just plain gross.

As office gossip about their relationship turns increasingly malicious, peer pressure leads to question whether his love for Helen outweighs the shallow stereotypes of his workmates. Continue reading Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig @ Bille Brown Studio, Brisbane 31 May – 26 June 2010

Theatre Review: Waiting for Godot – Theatre Performance, 29th April 2010

Review: Lana Harris

Waiting for Godot   A play about nothing? It sounds like a Seinfeld spin off, but Waiting for Godot was actually written almost sixty years ago. At the time, entertainment which focused on absolutely nothing was a revolutionary idea: post millennium we’ve been exposed to more than our fair share of popular media centred on not much more than ordinary people talking amongst themselves. But as tonight’s performance shows, nothing can still be a captivating, entertaining concept. Hosted by the Queensland Theatre Company in their Bille Brown Studio in West End, Waiting for Godot is delivered to a room packed with an appreciative audience.

Waiting for Godot opens with a man sitting on a log, trying to remove his shoe and blathering nonsense syllables as he does so, while the other stands with his back turned,

Continue reading Theatre Review: Waiting for Godot – Theatre Performance, 29th April 2010

Brisbane’s Waiting for Godot – 22 April – 7 May 2010

In a world of cyber-bulling, Facebook and consumerism can the constantly stimulated Gen Y handle a show about… waiting? Queensland Theatre Company presents an Education Performance of Waiting for Godot – Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett’s iconic play about life, the universe and patience.

Director Joseph Mitchell commented “Waiting for Godot is a show that everyone should see at least once in their life. It’s a play that skilfully balances philosophical questioning with outrageous comedy and, at its very heart, a search for hope and belonging. Continue reading Brisbane’s Waiting for Godot – 22 April – 7 May 2010