What’s the good of having a website if you can’t use it to plug your own work?
The program for next January’s Festival of Sydney 2011 has just been announced. John Malkovich and Emmylou Harris will be in it. So will Phillip Glass, Paul Kelly and Archie Roach. And so will I, with my latest theatre piece Snow on Mars, written for Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image. It will be in the York Theatre at the Seymour Centre from January 7-16.
Putting this play together has been a long process over several years, since Kim set up an initial conversation with Australia’s only astronaut, Andy Thomas. We had a lot of probing questions for him of course… ‘What’s it like in space?’, ‘Were you scared?’ ‘Did anything surprise you?’ and the question everybody asks, ‘How do astronauts go to the toilet?’ He was very helpful, friendly and patient and we thank him for his time.
We’ve since assembled an excellent crew for our own epic journey under director Gale Edwards, with Kim Carpenter designing, and a talented company of actors, musicians, animators and aerialists. It’s a complicated technical show, but it will certainly be spectacular and fun for the whole family.
Rehearsals start in December, and as usual with any new project, I’ll be lurking at the back of the rehearsal room nervously biting my fingernails, scribbling notes, cutting embarrassingly clunky lines of dialogue and hoping it all comes together.
Tom Stoppard puts it well in his lines from Shakespeare in Love: ‘The natural condition of theatre is unsurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster…Yet somehow, it always turns out well. I don’t know how – it’s a mystery’. I sincerely hope he’s right again.
The show opens on January 7th. Get there (with the kids or without them) if you possibly can!
Bookings are open from Monday November 15th: Snow on Mars