By special arrangement with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, Critical Stages Touring will present a livestreamed reading of Homebody/Kabul, featuring Simon Burke and a stellar Australian cast.
Presented over two nights, this rehearsed reading will be raising funds to support two charities providing life-saving community support and programs in Afghanistan – the NY/Kabul-based Women for Afghan Women and Australian-based Mahboba’s Promise.
The two 100-minute livestreams will be broadcast live on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October at 7pm AEST, via the Critical Stages Facebook page and its YouTube channel. Viewers will be asked to donate to each charity directly in lieu of buying ‘tickets’ to the event, which will not be recorded or stay on either platform after the performance.
Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul is the story of a lonely London housewife and the far-reaching effects of her fascination with Afghanistan, set off by an outdated guidebook.
Set in 1998, and written before “September 11” and “Taliban” became part of our vocabulary, the story begins with a thrilling monologue from the Homebody, played by Caroline Brazier (Rake, Packed to the Rafters). After the Homebody disappears into Afghanistan, her husband and daughter desperately search for her, becoming ever more ensnared in a culture ripped apart by centuries of turmoil.
Chris Bendall, who directed the Theatre@Risk production in Melbourne returns to direct this new presentation, reuniting with original cast members Majid Shokor (Stateless ABC), Tyler Coppin (Lone Wolf, Born Yesterday MTC) and Wahibe Moussa, who will reprise the role of ‘Mahala’. Moussa won the Green Room Award for Best Female Actor for her performance in the 2007 production.
The cast of nine, who play 12 characters, will also feature performances from Geraldine Hakewill, Osamah Sami, Mansoor Noor and Reza Momenzada. The performers will be connected from their homes in three cities.
Chris Bendall initiated the project after the most recent events in Afghanistan.
“Re-reading it recently I was struck by Tony Kushner’s remarkable dexterity of language, his wit, and the hope that he offers – that through knowledge we might gain a greater understanding of the world we live in.” he said.
“Kushner has extraordinary skill creating drama at the intersection of the personal and the political. In this vast, moving and often richly comic play, he creates complex characters searching for connection, and yearning to be understood, against the backdrop of Afghanistan under Taliban rule. It was a work that turned out to be eerily prescient when it premiered in 2001, and now 20 years on has only gained in resonance and relevance.”
Sydney – Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October, 7.30pm