From Down Under to NYC and the West End: Andrew Bovell Readies For Major Productions

Australian playwright Andrew Bovell recognizes that there may be a competitive factor lurking beneath Australia's theatre industry's struggle to transcend boundaries on the international stage. In a talk with Variety, he explains the struggles and rewards of being part of that "other" culturally rich English-speaking region and what it means to be recognized by his counterparts in New York and the U.K. 

In an excerpt from the Variety report, Buvell explains "We write in the same language, so we're competing...I would imagine the U.K. has the richest writing culture in the English-speaking world. So why do an Australian play when there are so many writers here? But when theaters recognize something of value -- and this is the same in New York -- they immediately find a place for it."

The "value" that Bovell alludes to is easily be applied to his own critically acclaimed work - which is progressively finding a place of its own on the UK and American stage. His most recent work, ‘When the Rain Stops Falling,' was a hit earlier this summer at London's Almeida Theater, with an Off-Broadway run in the works for 2010 produced by The Lincoln Center Theater. His award-winning ‘Speaking in Tongues' is currently in previews in the West End. Add prolific film and television credits - including an upcoming movie with Mel Gibson - and it can be said that Bovell is sparing no effort to assert that the Aussies' time in the spotlight is well overdue.

To read Variety's full account, click here.

Andrew Bovell is a writer for theatre, film, and television, currently living in South Australia. His works are largely concerned with social and political issues. His AWGIE award-winning play ‘Speaking in Tongues' (1996) has been seen throughout Australia as well as in Europe and the US. It can currently be seen on previews in the West End. In 2001, ‘Speaking in Tongues' was adapted for the screen under the title of Lantana. Lantana won the AFI, the AWGIE, the IF Award and the Australian Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Both the play and screenplay have been published by Currency along with After Dinner, Holy Day, Scenes from a Separation (written with Hannie Rayson) and Who's Afraid of the Working Class?, written with Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves, Christos Tsiolkas and Irene Vela. Bovell also co-wrote the screenplay for ‘Strictly Ballroom' (1992) with Baz Lurhmann and Craig Pearce. Along with Mira Robertson and Ana Kokkinos, Bovell penned the film ‘Head On' (1998) which premiered at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim.

The Lincoln Center Theater (under the direction of Andre Bishop, Artistic Director, and Bernard Gersten, Executive Producer) by arrangement with Jean Doumanian and Freddy DeMann will produce the American premiere of ‘When the Rain Stops Falling', under the direction of David Cromer. ‘When The Rain Stops Falling' is an epic drama, set in England and Australia that traces a family's history spanning 80 years. The play premiered at the Australia's 2008 Adelaide Festival, and was subsequently presented by the Sydney Theater Company under the direction of Chris Dummond. The initial run was extended to accommodate popular demand. Sydney theatre critics praised the STC production: The Sunday Telegraph called it a, "beautiful, profoundly moving drama." The show went on to win the 2008 Victorian Premier's Literary Award and the 2008 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.  Previews begin at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater (150 W. 65 Street) on Thursday, February 11. Opening night is Monday, March 8. Casting and designers for ‘When the Rain Stops Falling' will be announced at a later date.



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