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Once In Royal David's City

Exasperated and depressed, a theatre director flees the city for a friend’s Byron Bay weekender.

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Company: New Theatre
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Once in Royal David’s City

Date: 10 Feb 2019

Part eulogy, part call-to-arms, Michael Gow’s play is focused on a middle-aged theatre director, Will Drummond, a man in the grip of existential and professional crisis.

Drummond’s incapacitated father has recently died, his production of The Importance of Being Earnest has come unstuck and his mother is ill.

Adding fuel his angst, he has been asked to deliver a lecture on the theories of Bertolt Brecht to Year 11 drama students. Instead, he flees the city for a friend’s Byron Bay weekender. It’s Christmas.

Patrick Howard directs. Lana Birtles, Ben Brighton, Amy Victoria Brooks, Sandra Campbell, Nathalie Fenwick, Nicholas Foustellis, Angela Johnston, Alice Livingstone, Aimee Lodge, Francisco Lopez, Katarina Vandlik and Bryden White-Tuohey feature.

“In recent years I have seen so much amazing work by incredible Australian playwrights and I am continually astounded by the talent in this country,” says Louise Fischer, Artistic Director of New Theatre. 

“Unfortunately so many of these works shine bright, are praised widely, and then disappear never to be staged again, thus losing the opportunity to become an integral part of the Australian theatrical canon. That’s why I am so passionate about staging Australian plays that have been written in the last ten or so years. New Theatre does not have the resources to develop and nurture new work and anyway there are companies already doing such a brilliant job of this, such as Griffin in Sydney and Malthouse in Melbourne. What we can do is ensure some plays get a second outing and become accessible to a wider audience.

“I believe that the development of new work is crucial to the enrichment of our cultural landscape but it is also imperative that we continue to honour the work that has gone before.”

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