Staged Readings Series 2014

Fat Pig by Neil Labute
9 Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo
33 Variations by Moisés Kaufman

Directed by Gaye Poole

7 November - 9 December 2014

Fat Pig

Tom falls for Helen, a bright, funny, plus-size young woman. Forced to explain his new relationship to his shallow co-workers he finally comes to terms with his own preconceptions of the importance of conventional good looks.

In dissecting how societal pressures affect relationships, this play balances black comedy and social commentary. Torn between private happiness and public embarrassment, what will Tom do? (This play night have been called “Cowardice”.) Fat Pig is a play about real attitudes some people have towards others who are ‘different’ – not just fat people but to use Carter’s formulation ‘fags, retards and the elderly’. LaBute’s work has been criticized for his callousness and the apparent negativity of his views of human nature. Famed for exploring the heartlessness of America’s heartlands, LaBute treats the Tom-Helen affair with superb emotional accuracy; he shows how two people in spite of social pressures can be drawn together by shared tastes, sexual appetites and matching conversational rhythms.

Helen: Katey Good
Tom: Attila Laszlo
Carter: Philip Garrity
Jeannie: Alice Kennedy

Production Team
Director: Gaye Poole
Stage Manager: Ryan Wood
Lighting: Dion Rutherford
Graphic Design: Vincent Owen
Front of House volunteers: Kelsie Morland, Kendall Spence, Missy Mooney, Jeremy Tomkins

9 Parts of Desire

A portrait of the extraordinary (and ordinary) lives of a whole cross-section of Iraqi women: a sexy painter, a radical communist, a doctor, a young girl, exiles, wives and lovers. This work delves into the many conflicting aspects of what it means to be a woman in the war zone of Iraq. It is a relevant meditation on the ancient, the modern and the feminine in a country overshadowed by war. After a visit to Iraq in 1993, Iraqi-American playwright/actor Heather Raffo went to the Saddam Arts Centre where she saw a haunting portrait of a nude woman clinging to a barren tree, with a golden light behind her. The painting was entitled ‘Savagery’. The artist had been killed by an American air raid not long before she saw this painting. Raffo spoke to other Iraqi women who told her their stories. This is not verbatim theatre, for the stories are composites employing dramatized characters in poetic narratives.

Production Team
Director: Gaye Poole
Adviser: Leen Al-Hadban
Stage manager: Hannah Wright
Lighting: Dion Rutherford
Sound: Luke Jacobs
Volunteer ushers: Kelsie Morland, Sheridan Rippey
Rehearsal room patience: Nawar Hussein

Mullaya: Fiona Martin
Layal: Arezou Zalipour
Amal: Leen Al-Hadban
Iraqi Girl: Cian Gardner
Huda: Gaby Esser-Hall
The Doctor: Tendai Sithole
Nanna: Julia Watkins
Umm Ghada: Sara Young
The American: Pip Smith
Uncle’s voice: Mohamed Kamal

33 Variations

Set in 1819, 1823 and the present, this is a play about twin and intersecting obsessions: a musicologist dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and obsessed with Beethoven; Beethoven obsessed with his own compositions of 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli. Although separated by 200 years these two ‘worlds’ intersect; a play about passion, creativity and parenthood. The integration of Beethoven's music is a far-cry from background or transition music; it is embedded in the play itself and informs and structures the piece.

Production Team
Director: Gaye Poole
Lighting: Dion Rutherford
Sound and Production Assistant: Hannah Wright

Dr Katherine Brandt, a musicologist: Fiona Sneyd 
Clara Brandt, her daughter: Amanda Wallace
Mike Clarke, a nurse: Attila Laszlo
Anton Diabelli, a music publisher: David Lumsden
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Mihailo Ladjevac 
Dr Gertrude Ladenburger, a librarian: Julia Watkins 
Anton Schindler, Beethoven's secretary: Mark Houlahan
Pianist: Francis Cowan