Production still for "Away". L-R: Marco Chiappi as Jim, Heather Mitchell as Gwen, Natasha Herbert as Coral, Wadih Dona as Harry, Julia Davis as Vic, Liam Nunan (Tom/Rick). Photographer: Pia Johnson
By Michael Gow
03 May 2017 – 28 May 2017 Merlyn Theatre
Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company,
Theatre Co-Production Remount
It is summer, 1967, and three families head for the coast to get away, to move on, to change. Set against the backdrop of an Australia recovering from the Vietnam War, and wrestling with social upheaval, this production of one of Australia’s greatest classics pits the internal conflict of family life against the struggle of a country shaping its future.
A triptych of glorious mothers—one recovering from the loss of a child, one who fears the same for her own, and one learning to let go—are each determined to take this holiday as a restful time of rejuvenation.
Taking up playwright Michael Gow’s challenge to break apart the rules of theatre, Matthew Lutton’s production of Away unleashes the full theatricality of the text; intimacy gives way to the epic, and suburbia is replaced with the dark spectacle of a tempest. As the pressures of family secrets swell and gather into a storm, each mother and each family feels their way towards new, more hopeful ground.
This production followed a season at the Sydney Opera House for Sydney Theatre Company.
"REMARKABLY TIMELESS…CAPTIVATING…LUTTON'S EPIC, DARKLY TRIPPY PRODUCTION POWERFULLY EXPANDS OUR APPRECIATION OF A MUCH-STUDIED MODERN CLASSIC"
— Sydney Morning Herald
"LUTTON’S PRODUCTION IS A TRIBUTE TO—AND PERHAPS ALSO REVELATION OF—THE CORE STRENGTH OF GOW’S PLAY"
— Time Out
"INVENTIVE, TIGHTLY-WOUND, WARM, PASSIONATE, AND COMPASSIONATE…A TOTALLY ABSORBING PIECE OF THEATRE"
— Daily Review
Production still for "Away". L-R: Glenn Hazeldine as Roy, Natasha Herbert as Coral. Photographer: Pia Johnson
Production still for "Away". L-R: Heather Mitchell, Glenn Hazeldine, Naomi Rukavina, Wadih Dona, Julia Davis, Marco Chiappi. Photographer: Pia Johnson
Production still for "Away". L-R: Glenn Hazeldine, Marco Chiappi, Naomi Rukavina. Photographer: Pia Johnson
Production still for "Away". L-R: Liam Nunan, Natasha Herbert. Photographer: Pia Johnson
A co-production with Sydney Theatre Company. Supported by Art Series Hotel Group.