Once in Royal David’s City

Life can change unexpectedly (often for the worse) when you are neither ready nor expecting it. In Michael Gow’s latest play, Once in Royal Davids’ City, directed by Eamon Flack, there is an intertwining of life’s curve balls and the joyous possibilities of theatre (via German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s ideas). Will Drummond (Brendan Cowell) is a theatre director whose play is not going very smoothly. Worse, his dad died a month ago and his mum (Helen Morse) is now very ill. Will has gone from a heady theatrical life of studying Brechtian theatre in Berlin to talking to his sleepy mother at her bedside in a North Coast regional hospital, watching her slowly die from pancreatic cancer on Christmas Eve. He is helpless and confused. Minor characters drift in and out of his life over this period, Anthony Phelan plays Wally the gentle but slightly annoying Christian missionary coming into the hospital to talk to patients, Tara Morice is a teacher anxious to get Will to talk to her private school senior students about political theatre in the midst of his deepening grief at what is happening to his life. An irritating (and seemingly pointless) Christmas carolling chorus sandwich key scenes. A lengthy monologue about the virtues of Brechtian / Marxist views by Will after his mother dies, ends the play. You may leave the theatre thinking that you just copped an earful about why society would be far better under a communist regime (and probably not agreeing with it!).
When and where: Belvoir, Surry Hills On now

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