A family Christmas holiday erupts when a soon-to-be-published memoir dredges up a pivotal and tragic event in Playlovers’ latest offering at The Old Mill Theatre, South Perth.
A richly satisfying, fine-tuned contemporary play that effectively balances comedy with intense family drama.
Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, Baitz’s play examines the lies people tell to protect each other and the damage they cause.
Brothers & Sisters creator and West Wing contributor Jon Robin Baitz skilfully mixes American politics with a family in crisis in this smash hit US drama that bridges the public and the personal.
The play is an intriguing family mystery that delivers a delectable cocktail of humour and pathos.
An affluent, fractious Palm Springs family led by Reagan-like Hollywood Republicans has their Christmas reunion shattered when left-leaning daughter Brooke reveals her intention to publish an explosive family memoir.
It is a tell-all book that dredges up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history that would surely tarnish her parents’ political and social reputations.
Soon, ideological differences, all-but-forgotten slights and painful memories become near-lethal weapons in a war of wit and words that threatens to shatter the entire family as a closely guarded secret is revealed.
Barry Park says that he chose to direct Other Desert Cities ‘as it is a superb, extremely well crafted play with a classic structure, intelligent dialogue and intriguing, memorable characters.’
‘In the play, interesting developments and gradual revelations build steadily towards an unexpected and totally satisfying twist at the end.’
‘This searing comedy-drama depicts a family struggling to keep their fragile façade from shattering,’ Barry comments.
‘As in plays by Arthur Miller, the story moves with ferocity towards its inevitable end in a way that is almost unbearable, yet deeply satisfying.’
‘The dialogue is intelligent, with hilarious, witty comments contrasted with razor sharp, sarcastic banter that verges on outright warfare at times.’
‘Among many other things, the play is about politics, family dynamics, class structure, loss and grief, but it’s also about writers, the people they write about, and what, if any, responsibility the writer has to them.’
The director, Barry Park has won awards here and overseas for his productions. Locally, M. Butterfly picked up gongs for Best Director and Best Play at WA’s annual Finley Awards. His productions of Broken Glass, The Real Thing and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof received several Finley Award nominations. His most recent production Noël Coward’s Design for Living at The Old Mill was very popular, filling houses almost to capacity.
Contains adult language, drug references
Sally Barendse, Cate Jennings, Dean McAskil, Chandra Wyatt and Steven Hounsome.