Friday, Saturday & Sunday 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 October 2017
A joint international production with Everyman Theatre Company from Cardiff, Wales.
Seemingly embarking upon their ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, Scott, Bowers, Wilson, Oates and Evans grapple with life’s big questions, pitting their wits against the ‘dying of the light’. Or do they? As they trudge across an ‘alien landscape’, questions emerge, not only about the nature of their ‘fragile world’ but also about who they really are.
The seeds for this ambitious production were sown in Mullumbimby in March 2015.
We are now seeing the culmination of this challenging but rewarding process of collaboration between two theatre companies located in very different communities on opposite sides of the globe. Together they remind us that the issues grappled with by Patricia Cornelius’ award-winning play are universal and ones that bind us all.
CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE
CANTON, CARDIFF CF5 1QE
5-9 SEPTEMBER 2017
MULLUMBIMBY DRILL HALL THEATRE
2 JUBILEE AVENUE, MULLUMBIMBY 2482
13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 OCTOBER 2017
In Rehearsal – May 2017 ……………………..
Drill Hall in an International Co-Production
The Drill Hall Theatre Company and The Everyman Theatre, Cardiff, Wales, are mounting a co-production of the Australian play Do Not Go Gentle by Patricia Cornelius. The Welsh director, Ray Thomas is currently in rehearsal in Mullumbimby with the local cast. By late August eight of the Drill Hall company will join their colleagues in Cardiff for the final rehearsals before the opening at The Everyman Theatre on 5 September. The combined company of nine actors (five from the Drill Hall Theatre Company and four from Everyman) will then travel to Mullumbimby for six performances from 13 October.
Michael Borenstein the President of the Drill Hall Theatre Company, said, “ This co-production between two amateur companies from different hemispheres is an amazing achievement. We never imagined that the Drill Hall would become an international touring theatre company.”
The play uses the metaphor of Robert Falcon Scott’s long and ultimately fatal trek to reach the South Pole in 1912 in telling the story of five elderly characters, Scott, Wilson, Oates, Evans and Bowers. The play’s theme is about expanding the experience of the ageing process.
According to Michael Borenstein, “Gentle has won numerous awards but has never been produced by a major state theatre company. The Drill Hall is committed to producing works from the canon of Australian plays. I am hoping that this international co-production of a significant Australian play will be the first of many that the Drill Hall will produce and tour.”
PHOTOS BY JOHN McCORMICK
To perform the play “Do Not Go Gentle …” by the Australian playwright Patricia Cornelius at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff and The Drill Hall Theatre, Mullumbimby, New South Wales, with a cast of 60 – 80 year olds drawn jointly from the members of Everyman Theatre, Cardiff, and The Drill Hall Theatre Company, Mullumbimby, New South Wales in 2017.
The news that Robert Falcon Scott and four of his companions – Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans, Lawrence Oates and Edward Wilson – had perished on their return from the South Pole made the headlines in February 1913. Using Scott’s journey to the Antarctic as a metaphor for the final leg of the journey into death that we must all make, Patricia Cornelius wrote the play “Do Not Go Gentle …” in 2005. It won the Patrick White Playwright’s Award, the R. F. Ross Trust Award in NSW and Victoria, and the 2011 Major AWGIE and AWGIF Play Awards. It has a cast of 9 (3 females and 6 males) aged 55+. Scott’s expedition was much more than a journey to the South Pole. His letters, diary and last message extend our sense of what it is to be human. At the point of defeat and dissolution he articulated a sense of human possibility that transcends both. Powerfully paralleling the passage of the explorers across an alien landscape, the funny, angry, defiant, bewildered characters in Cornelius’s play grapple with life’s big questions as they pit their wits against the “dying of the light”. Julian Meyrick, director and theatre historian, wrote: “The play never preaches. It has many things to say about sex, politics, regret, food, ballroom dancing and having fun. But it is not in the business of summing up or thematising the ultimate object of its attention: the value of life in the face of the inevitability of death. There is not a sliver of sentimentality or false hope in the drama. Rather there is deep and deft intention in the mood of the piece, in something arising between and beyond its beautiful, poetic words. And in this intention there is a genuine response to life’s sufferings and challenges and a silent prompt: to never be so afraid of death we forget to live”.
For more information click here: DO NOT GO GENTLE
Following is a very interesting article about Patricia Cornelius, the author of Do Not Go Gentle written by Wesley Enoch for the Guardian on 3rd January 2013.
And a small Youtube clip on our first look at the play in Mullumbimby.