The script is not subtle in its moralising about facts versus art, but it is effective. STC’s marketing evoked Aaron Sorkin, which is an apt comparison. Jim is agonisingly pedantic about the facts, and John is a pretentious egotist. Neither of them are fully likeable, and neither are 100% right or wrong— the writers let you decide where you fall. Jim and John’s battle is the clash of pragmatism and high-mindedness, a battle against what is correct, and what is dramatically compelling.
Birch’s script is complex, ambitious, and tightly constructed. For almost all of the play, these three women and their stories of motherhood exist on stage simultaneously, defying realism in favour of compelling and abstract storytelling. Birch boldly raises big questions about fate, mental illness and intergenerational trauma.
“MY INTERVENTION is basically a mini-musical where we are going through all of the reasons why I’m “fucked up” and why I deserve to have an intervention.
And it’s about mental health and your own neuroses and ego and narcissism, but it’s in a funny way, in a cute way.”
“To me, improv feels a lot like when you’re a kid and you’re playing with your sibling or your friends, and you’re like “Okay, I’ll be the witch and you be the princess.” And then you play for two hours just off that. It feels like grow-up make believe.”
“I have a lot of opinions about things that film could learn from theatre and things that theatre could learn from film. And one of my opinions is that, oftentimes, the character in theatre is incredible. It is so far and beyond anything you see in film, but the structure and storytelling of theatre can sometimes be lacking.
I’m such a story person I’m such a structured person. If you’re wanting theatre that tells you a story, that takes you on a journey, that has a payoff at the end; come to this play.”
“There are 40 Asian-Australian emerging artists on this team. It’s important to us that the industry knows that they all exist.
Look—there are this many of them! They may not be experienced yet, but they exist!”
“I think that’s the beauty of theatre— instead of attacking people and saying “You need to support sex work” you can invite them to observe the reality of the world, instead of the media stereotype. And so, you start to break down that stigma that we have a society about the sex industry.
Theatre is a safe way to experience things without actually experiencing them.”
My sixth Sydney Fringe Interview is Lucy Yabsley, a member of the Dollhouse theatre Collective, who is making her solo directorial debut with A Thousand Words at Fringe this week. We got together to chat about Dollhouse, directing for the first time, and why we all need light-hearted and fun theatre after two years of…
“Considering the last two years that we’ve had, I really wanted to create a show that was a fun time.
Forget about your work day, forget about life for an hour, and come on this Katy Perry journey with me.”
“The show is about the relationship between life and music. It’s about how life moves forward, just like music does. And it’s about how a song doesn’t exist without the notes that come before it
And no one listens to a song waiting for it to end, and that’s kind of like life.”
For my third Sydney Fringe interview, I chatted to Declan Dowling, the writer and one of the performers of Please Hire Us, one of the shows in Little Triangle’s Musical Chairs: A Cabaret Series. We spoke about cabaret, A Chorus Line, and the plight of young artists trying to get hired. Please note, this interview…
“For so long growing up, I never saw myself represented on stage, and now having the opportunity to not only represent myself on stage, but to represent my partner who is trans, has really made the world of difference.
It’s given me so much of a greater understanding of why we write and why we create.”