La Boite & Playlab Premier A Killer New Comedy By Kathryn Marquet
Acclaimed actor-turned-playwright Kathryn Marquet (Pale Blue Dot) makes her highly anticipated return to La Boite next month with a biting new dark comedy, The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek. Co-produced with new-writing incubator Playlab, The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek is a wild and hilarious new Australian play tackling climate change and the dangers of extreme environmental activism.
Set against the unforgiving backdrop of the Tasmanian wilds, Dead Devils introduces audiences to the headstrong George (played by rising star and multi-Matilda Award winner Emily Weir in her La Boite debut); an environmental scientist desperate to save the world one Tassie Devil at a time.
Sharing her cramped shack is Harris, a ranger charged with bringing a feral dog plague under control to protect George's work with the devils. Across one night, two unexpected visitors trigger a series of events that will change the pair's lives forever.
Fuelled by her own ecoconsciousness, playwright Kathryn Marquet said Dead Devils was written to inspire audiences to think about their relationship with the earth more closely.
"I'm interested in, and deeply saddened by, the way that humanity has responded to the climate crisis," Marquet said.
"Truth and knowledge is being eroded by political agendas and corporate lobbying, by the democratic-information-sharing platform that is the internet, by a mindset of anti-intellectualism and scepticism of expert knowledge.
"The world seems completely absurd to me: we're in a burning building and we're standing around the water coolers looking at Facebook."
Playlab Artistic Director and CEO and Dead Devils director Ian Lawson has assembled a top-shelf team for this world premiere production, with Australian stars of stage and screen John Batchelor (Sea Patrol), Julian Curtis (The Glass Menagerie; True West) and Kimie Tsukakoshi (The Family Law;
Hanako) completing the four-strong cast.
Marking the first on-stage collaboration between La Boite and Playlab, Lawson said The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek fulfilled Playlab's commitment to nurturing robust ideas-based work that speaks to the diversity and politics of contemporary Australia. "Dead Devils features wonderfully idiosyncratic characters in an absurdly black and twisted world as they literally bargain for their lives," Lawson said.
"Its darkly humourous assault on racism, climate change denial, ideologically driven politics and antiintellectualism will keep audiences laughing and thinking long after visiting the theatre."
The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek is the first production of La Boite's trailblazing 2018 season that puts female voices at the heart of a program of new Australian works.
"Marquet has created an absolutely killer new black comedy that has all the ingredients to become an Australian modern classic," La Boite Artistic Director and CEO Todd MacDonald said.
"With an all-star cast and stellar creative team, audiences can look forward to a truly rollicking night at the theatre."
The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek premieres at La Boite's Roundhouse Theatre for a strictly limited season 10 February - 3 March 2018.
For tickets and information, vist www.laboite.com.au
ABOUT LA BOITE
La Boite holds a unique place in the hearts and minds of artists and audiences in Queensland. For more than 90 years, La Boite has represented the adventurous and alternative. There has always been a strong focus on the development of new work and artists, and today is no different.
The stories, ideas and voices of our city and country are many and varied and as such La Boite seeks to represent and engage in this beautiful and rich diversity; the diversity of form, ideas, ethnicity, gender - of identity.
Theatre has the capacity to embrace difference in so many ways. La Boite push the boundaries of form by collaborating with some extraordinary partners to stretch theatrical, physical and musical boundaries. La Boite plays with contemporary circus, visual theatre, opera and cabaret, classical text, the theatrical and extraordinary international talents. This varied menu aims to enliven and inspire our existing audiences and draw new audiences to share in the La Boite experience - the experience and magic of live performance in our unique Roundhouse Theatre.
Playlab has been identifying and nurturing new writing for the theatre through development, publication and advocacy for over 45 years. Most recently, in response to the groundswell of quality playwrights in Queensland and the urgent need for more opportunities for new work to be produced at a professional level, Playlab has evolved to become a producer of new work, making them unique nationally as the only company to work from idea through development, onto stage and into publication.
As a new-writing theatre, Playlab provides playwrights with a supportive space that privileges creative risk in terms of craft and story. While for audiences, it offers challenging and robust ideas-based work that speaks to the diversity and politics of contemporary Australia.