Griffin Theatre Company presents First Love is the Revolution, a bittersweet love story between a fox and a lonely teenage boy, by Rita Kalnejais.
Lee Lewis directs. Amy Hack, Rebecca Massey, Bardiya McKinnon, Sarah Meacham, Guy Simon and Matthew Whittet feature.
Lewis came across ex-pat Australian writer Kalnejais’ whimsical yet bloody story a couple of years ago, she says.
“It’s the story of a young boy who captures a fox because he wanted to make a fox fur for his mum in the hope that she would come back,” she explains. “And it’s the story of the young fox who is under pressure from her mum to make her first kill. She makes a terrible job of it and the young mole that she mauls takes three days to die but he’s quite happy about it because he manages to dig his own grave!”
An actor-turned playwright, Kalnejais had early success in Australia with her second full-length play Babyteeth in 2012. First Love is the Revolution played at the Soho Theatre in 2015 to considerable acclaim and Kalnejais is now a significant emerging voice in the UK, part of a new wave of Australian writers getting their work onto British stages.
Lewis has a theory about that.
“The reason Australian plays are so successful is because the world is changing and the Australian way of looking at things as being asymmetrical and inexplicable is becoming really useful in the rest of the world.
“In Britain they used to be able to believe in institutions and symmetry and beauty, but a lot of that is falling away under Brexit and with all these inexplicable things happening, the traditional forms are not reflecting the awful mangle that everyday life is.
“But Australian playwrights have always written in that awful mangle and our plays are starting to become very useful.”