1 March, 2022
NEW SHOW LAUNCHING: 30 YEARS OF JUTE’S STORYTELLING
JUTE Theatre Company (JUTE) will begin its 30th year of telling Australian stories with next month’s season opener of ‘Queenslander’ by awardwinning local playwright Sue Chamberlain.
‘Queenslander’, featuring actors Julia Allman, Andrew RJ Warren, Patrick Mays and Madonna Davies, is built on family drama and an evocative setting, diving deep into the controversial politics of our time and the symbolic ‘ties that bind’ our contemporary society.
JUTE’s Write Sparks’ alumnus, Sue Chamberlain, is a local, award-winning playwright who is thrilled to bring her work, ‘Queenslander’, to the stage after three years in development.
With the support of JUTE in co-producing and presenting her work, Sue also recognises the professional development opportunity received from Queensland Regional Arts Fund in 2018 and, more recently, the financial help and mentorship afforded as one of the winners of the international Creative Power award in 2021.
“I like to think that Queenslander is a play for our times that goes straight to the heart of family relationships and matters that are called into question by the constructs of right and wrong in contemporary society,” Ms Chamberlain said.
“From a place of good versus evil and blood versus water comes the challenge of one person’s ambition and another’s powerful government allegiance. It asks, how far would you go or what would you do?
Queenslander, which is set sometime in the future, is about social influencer Mish (played by Julia Allmann) and her brother, Lenny Diamond (played by Andrew RJ Warren) – a young rapper and kickboxing champion facing trial under antipatriotic laws.
How does Mish react to Lenny’s plight, made worse, it seems by her husband Craig’s (played by Patrick Mays) position within an elite political circle, currently in power and on a quest to bring Queensland “back from the brink”.
Then there is Roz (played by Madonna Davies), a university library employee and owner of a crumbling Queenslander which becomes her son’s refuge as he awaits trial.
This darkly humorous play is interwoven with family protection and loyalty themes and treads a fine line between frightening truths and vicious lies.
The dramatic interpretation of a run-down, timber Queenslander that dominates the stage is another unique set by local designer duo Simone Tesorieri and Simona Cosentini.
The house provides a metaphoric mirror to society in which Big Brother exerts control at the expense of fundamental human rights and civil liberties.
“Having witnessed the impact of Trumpism on the democratic health of the US during COVID-19 also provided a great source of inspiration in developing this work which I hope will deliver a lot of ‘aha’ moments with audiences when it is presented next month,” she said.
QUEENSLANDER opens on Friday, March 11 at Bulmba-ja Arts Centre theatre with a season of seven shows as follows:
- Friday 11, Saturday 12, and Saturday, March 13 at 7:30pm
- Tuesday, 15, Wednesday 16, Thursday, March 17 at 6:30pm
- Thursday, March 17 at 11am Friday 18 and Saturday, March 19 at 7:30pm