Where Melbourne - - Where Now Live On Stage -

The Mel­bourne The­atre Com­pany is stag­ing two plays dur­ing March in­clud­ing “John”, a new work from Pulitzer Prizewin­ning play­wright An­nie Baker. De­scribed as a ghost tale, love story and dark com­edy, the play tells of Jenny and Elias who ar­rive late one evening at a kitschy, civil war-themed B&B in Get­tys­burg, Penn­syl­va­nia. Awk­ward and har­ried, they are a cou­ple on the edge. It’s a feel­ing ex­ac­er­bated by the sen­sa­tion they’re be­ing watched. Not just by Mer­tis and her ec­cen­tric friend Genevieve, but by the count­less dolls and fig­urines that oc­cupy their spooky lodg­ings. This might not be the right place, or the right com­pany, for Jenny and Elias to mend their fray­ing re­la­tion­ship.

Open­ing on 4 March is Brian Friel’s renowned play “Faith Healer”, where char­ac­ters take turns wrestling with the past, prov­ing that mem­ory can be as un­re­li­able, and as con­tra­dic­tory, as faith. Fran­cis Hardy works his magic, cur­ing the sick and giv­ing strength to the weak. His pow­ers are real or so he says, and some­times be­lieves. He can tell you of nights when mir­a­cles were con­jured as fast as he could place his touch. But that was long ago and his pow­ers are far less re­li­able these days. More of a mys­tery now is why his em­bit­tered wife and hap­less man­ager still put such faith in him af­ter all that’s hap­pened. “John”, un­til 25 March, Fair­fax Stu­dio, Arts Cen­tre Mel­bourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Mel­bourne. “Faith Healer” from 4 March, Southbank The­atre, The Sum­ner, 140 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank. 8688 0800.


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