Away by Michael Gow
Directed by Gaye Poole
28 February - 3 March 2011
Away, with the help of Shakespeare, leads three families out of their suburban suffering and up the Australian coast for the summer holidays of 1967-68. There Michael Gow submits them to a sea-change. He liberates their spirits from fear, anger, resentment and bitterness. And in a rare moment of harmony in human affairs, he finally draws together the tragic, the comic, the lyrical and satirical aspects of their ordinary lives into a timeless, sunlit moment of mutual understanding and forgiveness. It doesn't happen often and it cannot last - as Gow implies in the sombre postlude - but here is the possibility.
Both witty and poignant, Away is multi-tonal; spare, poetic, a fantasia, a comedy of embarrassments and a multi-layered play which explores the many meanings of the word 'away'.
"It is a rare work that can fit comfortably within any venue."
"Imbued with his own mortality, [Puck-like Tom] is inspired despite his pain to lead others out of theirs....The play gains accordingly by being delightfully funny, distinctly resonant, and deeply moving."
Michael Gow, a playwright and director, is well known for plays such as The Kid (1983), Away (1986), On Top of the World (1987), Europe (1987), Furious (1994), Sweet Phoebe (1996), Toy Symphony (2007). Michael has been the Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company from 1997 to 2010.
Away has been performed widely in Australia and many countries/languages since 1986. Away won the 1986 NSW Premier's Award for Best Play, the Sydney Theatre Critics' Circle Award and was winner of the 1987 AWGIE award. It remains a landmark of Australian contemporary drama.
Director: Gaye Poole
Production Management/Design: Gaye Poole
Stage Manager: Brendan Theodore
Production Assistant: Katey Good
Wardrobe supervisor: Gaye Poole
Additional Costume Hire: Cherie Cooke Creations
Stagehand: Ishtar Bell-Hunter
Props acquisition: Gaye Poole
Publicity: Gaye Poole, Brendan Theodore
Graphic Design/Web Manager: Brendan Theodore
Programme: Brendan Theodore, Gaye Poole
Photography: Hannah May, University of Waikato
Tom: Ari Nuttall-Parton
Meg: Kate Davison / Melinda Warner*
Vic: Mandy Faulkner
Harry: Mike Murphy-Scanlon
Gwen: Genevieve Batchelor
Jim: Nick Clothier
Roy: Mike Bell
Coral: Adrienne Clothier
Rick: Brendan West
Leonie: Lydia Foley
MC: Richard Homan / Clive Lamdin*
Miss Latrobe: Emily Campbell
Campers / Fairies / Students : Ari Nuttall-Purton, Kate Davison, Melinda Warner, Lydia Foley, Stuart Dunn, Katey Good, Emily Campbell, Brendan West
Hotel guests / concert guests: the company
*The role of Meg was played by Kate Davison on the 28th Feb / 2nd Mar and Melinda Warner on the 1st Mar / 3rd Mar.
*The role of MC was played by Richard Homan on the 28th Feb / 2nd Mar and Clive Lamdin on the 1st Mar / 3rd Mar.
From Realism into Magic and Back Again - Gail Pittaway, Theatreview