MELBOURNE THEATRE COMPANY PRODUCTIONS
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. mtc.com.au