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New Play Celebrates DH Lawrence Centenary at Chippen Street Theatre

Somewhere South by Geoffrey Sykes is playing at Chippen Street Theatre from 3 November.

New Play Celebrates DH Lawrence Centenary at Chippen Street Theatre

It's an oft-forgotten historical fact that D.H. Lawrence came to Australia in 1922.
Now, on the 100th anniversary of the visit of that eminent English novelist, comes a new play which explores and celebrates the events, characters & ideas related to that visit.

Somewhere South by Geoffrey Sykes, playing at Chippen Street Theatre from 3 November, uses a thrilling mix of styles - including drama, magic realism, verse, movement and narration - to capture Lawrence's ideas and characters, as well as his encounters with political leaders.

Lawrence lived in Sydney and also the NSW South Coast village of Thirroul, where his neighbours were characterised as the flamboyant Jack and Victoria in his fiction.

In Somewhere South he also meets the dramatized characters of 'Kangaroo' and 'Struthers', who tick off ideas and polarities of public life that are still relevant today.

By his own account, including in the book Kangaroo, which he wrote during that time - and which this play draws from - Lawrence was much transformed by his experience of the beauty in the ocean bush and mountains of the south coast. His relationship with his wife Frieda was also deeply affected and changed by the visit. Then there is also the matter of his sudden, largely inexplicable, departure.

Shaun Foley plays Lawrence, Mel Day his wife Frieda, Dominic Colley plays multiple roles (Kangaroo, Struthers, Jack, Ezra Pound), and Katrina Maskell plays Victoria as well as the Muse, who serves as the whimsical narrator. The show incorporates the striking images of Archibald-winning artist Garry Shead from his Lawrence series as part of its distinct style.

Playwright Geoffrey Sykes, (Tales of Kabbarli, A View from the Balcony, Walk in Beauty, Dream Machines) first produced a workshop production of the play a decade ago at Thirroul, near where Lawrence stayed. It was very well received, and it now makes its fully-produced debut in Sydney to mark the Centenary with a strong local cast. This is an entertaining, thought-provoking work with important perspectives on Australian identity and values/


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