From Darwin to Darlinghurst, via the Desert
It’s a wonderous crazy time for Mary Anne Butler right now, flying from Darwin to Sydney to see her play ‘Broken’ in two utterly different but equally stunning productions.
Broken was first developed via Brown’s Mart’s DARWIN AIRPORT BUILD UP program. It went on to be produced by Knock-em-Down Theatre, the trilogy of co-Artistic Directors Gail Evans, Stephen Carleton and Mary Anne Butler. Knock-em-Down is an unfunded company, working project to project – so Broken got up as a Darwin world premiere in 2015 directed by Gail Evans via funding from Arts NT, the Australia Council and of course Brown’s Mart who presented the work.
Reviews from that production starring Ciella Williams, Matt Edgerton and Rosealee Pearson with designers Kris Bird [set and costumes], Sean Pardy [lighting] and Angus Robson [sound] were glowing, including: “…a brutal and bare-knuckled play that kicks you in the head–and the guts–from the first minute” [Crikey], “This is some of Australia’s freshest and most exciting work and it manages to peer into and reexamine some of the iconic and romantic images we have of the Australian identity.” [ArtsHub], “A compelling roller coaster ride to a whodunit-style revelation… Broken is a powerfully immersive production which deserves to be seen nationally.” [RealTime]
Broken went on to win national awards including the 2016 Victorian Prize for Literature, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama and the 2014 NT Literary Award Brown’s Mart Best Script - and it’s currently nominated for an AWGIE.
The Darlinghurst Theatre production is directed by Shannon Murphy, starring Rarriwuy Hick, Ivan Donato and Sarah Enright with designers Sophie Fletcher [set and costumes], James Brown [sound] and Benjamin Brockman [lighting]. Reviews have been universally positive, including: “Darlinghurst Theatre Company's Broken is akin to theatre heroin; powerful in its purest form…” [Broadway World], “Butler’s writing is poetic, evocative and muscular in a way rarely seen on Australian stages. …[the] language is vivid, visceral and spare, conjuring up the lonely, dusty, beautiful highways of the Northern Territory out of thin air…” [Time Out], and “Darwin writer Mary Anne Butler's script is a stunning achievement. Broken brings remote Australia onto the stage in the most unexpected, absorbing way.” [Stage Whispers].
And now back to the Darwin Festival 2016 remount – directed again by Gail Evans featuring Ciella Williams, Shaynee Brayshaw and Gus Murray, and some additional sound by Matt Cunliffe.
No wonder she looks exhausted! But happy. She’s definitely looking happy!
L-R: Ciella Williams, Mary Anne Butler and Gail Evans
Pics by Glenn Campbell