DELV­ING IN DARK

The Lau­rence Olivier Award-win­ning play, The Pil­low­man, opened on the Gold Coast last week and is by no means for the faint-hearted

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY SHOWS - SUZANNE SIMONOT

Black is the new fash­ion in funny in the world of theatre.

And they don’t come much darker than the provoca­tive play The

Pil­low­man, The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast’s first In­de­pen­dent Sea­son pro­duc­tion of 2014.

The Lau­rence Olivier Award-win­ning play, which opened last week, is not for the faint-hearted.

Writ­ten by Ir­ish play­wright/screen­writer Martin McDon­agh ( In Bruges,

Seven Psy­chopaths), The

Pil­low­man is set in a po­lice in­ter­ro­ga­tion room in a to­tal­i­tar­ian state, where a writer is ques­tioned over the con­tent of some short sto­ries which bear an un­canny sim­i­lar­ity to real-life mur­ders of chil­dren.

Co-pro­ducer Hay­den Jones, who also stars in the play, says the Arts Cen­tre sea­son fea­tures an all-Gold Coast cast (in­clud­ing Luke Rich­mon, Ben War­ren and Jonny Hase­lam) and crew un­der the di­rec­tion of Sam Fos­ter.

Jones says The Pil­low­man con­tains some dark and at times dis­turb­ing con­tent, as well as coarse lan­guage.

“How­ever, the lan­guage and con­tent serve a vi­tal pur­pose in the story, re­flect­ing the themes of cen­sor­ship, art and free­dom of speech,” he says.

“This con­tent is dealt with in a very clever and mas­ter­ful way, us­ing com­edy and a form of mod­ern ab­sur­dism to have the au­di­ence laugh­ing hys­ter­i­cally at the most in­ap­pro­pri­ate of times.”

The play ex­plores the fac­tors that make people the way they are and the rights of the artist to ex­press and ex­er­cise free­dom of speech ver­sus re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity for that cre­ation.

“In the cur­rent global, as well as lo­cal, po­lit­i­cal cli­mate, I be­lieve this play is more rel­e­vant than ever,” Jones says.

“This pro­duc­tion is some­thing fresh … for the Gold Coast and I be­lieve lo­cal theatre au­di­ences are ready, and even hun­gry, for dense ma­te­rial such as this.”

The Pil­low­man plays The Space, at The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast tonight, to­mor­row and Satur­day at 7.30pm.

Pic­ture: REGI VARGH­ESE

Hay­den Jones (left) and Ben War­ren in The Pil­low­man.

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