Chas­ing the Whale gets the Soap­box treat­ment ..............

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - NEWS -

MOV­ING away from the clas­sics, Soap­box The­atre turns its hand to a dif­fer­ent kind of chal­lenge with a re­work­ing of Chas­ing the Whale at The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast.

The play, which opens tonight, is be­ing staged by Soap­box as part of its pro­gram as artist in res­i­dence at the arts cen­tre and marks a de­par­ture from its usual main stage pro­duc­tions – in­clud­ing Shake­speare’s Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tam­ing of the Shrew and Louis Nowra’s Aus­tralian clas­sic Cosi.

Chas­ing the Whale writer Matthew Ryan, from Bris­bane, has rewrit­ten the show for the small, in­de­pen­dent com­pany and will be in the au­di­ence to see what they’ve done with it.

‘‘This is a story about the pres­sure to suc­ceed, set in a city on the ocean – who could un­der­stand that bet­ter than the Gold Coast?’’ he says.

Di­rected by Soap­box co-founder Jes­sica West­head, Chas­ing the Whale, orig­i­nally ti­tled The Dance of Jeremiah, stars Stephen Hirst, Sarah Kennedy, Garth Led­widge, James Oden­breit and Kim Ste­wart.

West­head ad­mits the work is the big­gest chal­lenge she has un­der­taken.

‘‘It’s an orig­i­nal, new work for the Gold Coast – it’s not some­thing known at all,’’ she says of the play.

‘‘It’s scripted drama, but a light­hearted drama that’s got com­edy all through it.’’

West­head says the great­est chal­lenge will be en­cour­ag­ing au­di­ences to take a risk and try some­thing dif­fer­ent.

‘‘For us at Soap­box, it’s a chal­lenge. We’ve usu­ally done clas­sic pieces or orig­i­nal works we’ve writ­ten our­selves, so we’re try­ing to up­hold the beauty of Matt Ryan’s work. He’s so hot right now.

‘‘Hope­fully Matt will be happy with what we’ve done.’’

Chas­ing the Whale’s story fol­lows Jerry, who is still reel­ing from the death of his boss and men­tor when he is thrust into a race to be pro­moted as the head of a ma­jor ad­ver­tis­ing com­pany.

All his dreams come true, but as he com­petes for the top job, strange things be­gin to hap­pen – of­fice desks chase him, self-help tapes talk to him and um­brel­las rain from the sky.

Haunted by his own ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns, he strug­gles to keep his per­fect world to­gether.

Soap­box is the first com­pany to stage this re­vised ver­sion of the play, which bagged sev­eral awards af­ter its ini­tial sea­son at La Boite, in Bris­bane, in 2005. Ryan’s other works in­clude The Har­bin­ger, Boy Girl Wall and Kelly, the pre­miere sea­son of which was re­cently staged in Bris­bane by The Queens­land The­atre Com­pany.

With the sup­port of the arts cen­tre, West­head says Soap­box hopes to ap­ply for fund­ing to take Chas­ing the Whale on the road.

Chas­ing the Whale plays The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast tonight, Sun­day, Tues­day, and Novem­ber 10 at 7.30pm, and Novem­ber 11 at 5pm. Tick­ets are $22. Visit thearts­cen­tregc.com.au for de­tails.

The cast of Soap­box’s stag­ing of Chas­ing the Whale.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.