Edgy theatre

Guardian Express - - NEWS - Tanya MacNaughton

Mar­ried cou­ples Re­becca Davis and Stu­art Halusz, and El­iz­a­beth Black­more and Tom Stokes, star in the Black Swan’s In The Next Room, Or The Vi­bra­tor Play.

IT seems quite fit­ting to have two mar­ried cou­ples act­ing in Black Swan State Theatre Com­pany’s next pro­duc­tion, given its in­ti­mate na­ture.

How­ever, nei­ther cou­ple stars op­po­site their real-life spouse in In The Next Room, Or The Vi­bra­tor Play.

Perth stal­warts Re­becca Davis and Stu­art Halusz, and LA-based El­iz­a­beth Black­more and Tom Stokes fea­ture in the lat­est show.

Black­more and Stokes, who met at WAAPA and mar­ried in Jan­uary this year, both grew up in Perth. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in 2008, they made their way to the US via Syd­ney, where Black­more picked up roles on The Vam­pire

Diaries and Su­per­nat­u­ral. “Like any­one work­ing as an ac­tor, you try to take what you can get, wher­ever you can get it and we’ve found LA to be pretty good for us,” Black­more said.

“We rel­ish any time we get to come home to work, es­pe­cially in theatre be­cause the theatre scene is pretty bleak over there.”

Direc­tor Jef­frey Jay Fowler cast Stokes first in the pro­duc­tion, which led Black­more to won­der if there was a part for her.

There was as Cather­ine Giv­ings, the wife of Dr Giv­ings, and she suc­cess­fully au­di­tioned for the role when in Perth over the Christ­mas hol­i­days.

“Play­wright Sarah Ruhl was nom­i­nated for a Pulitzer Prize for this play; it's a pretty spe­cial piece of work,” 32-year-old Black­more said.

“She’s reimag­ined a real part of his­tory in 1880s New York where elec­tric­ity has just come in and they were di­ag­nos­ing women with hys­te­ria from symp­toms of feel­ing de­pressed, lethar­gic, hav­ing a headache or any­thing that ba­si­cally made them un­pleas­ant to be around. They were treat­ing women with these vi­brat­ing machines; it was seen purely in a med­i­cal con­text and not at all about plea­sure.

“Ruhl has reimag­ined it to this world where Dr Giv­ings is one of the cre­ators of these new vi­brat­ing in­stru­ments. Cather­ine is deeply cu­ri­ous what her hus­band’s work is, in the next room, and try­ing to fig­ure out what it means.”

Black­more said the play was a per­fect com­bi­na­tion of com­edy and emo­tion.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487306

Mar­ried cou­ples Re­becca Davis and Stu­art Halusz and El­iz­a­beth Black­more and Tom Stokes star in In The Next Room.

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