Edward II (2016) Program

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29 JUL – 21 AUG




‘[Edward II] has an ecstatic eroticism and the plot a non-stop volatility, a fatal momentum.’ — The Guardian

By / Anthony Weigh Direction / Matthew Lutton Cast includes / Paul Ashcroft, Johnny Carr, Marco Chiappi, Belinda McClory, Julian Mineo, Nicholas Ross Set & Costume Design / Marg Horwell Lighting Design / Paul Jackson Composition & Sound Design / Kelly Ryall Stage Manager / Tia Clark Assistant Stage Manager / Matilda Woodroofe Choreography / Andy Hamblin Archery Trainer / Irene Moser Besen Placements / Jacob Battista, Lara Kerestes, Carissa Lee Chaperones / Penelope Thomson, Kath Gordon

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Edward II is about a king who wants to feel more. Always more. His addiction to his lover is fuelled by a desire to feel more love, more pain, more ecstasy, more possession. His common state of existence is one of emotional numbness, and it is from this he wishes to constantly shock himself.


An introduction on Edward II from Director Matthew Lutton He is also a leader who has no interest in leading. He is more celebrity than leader. He parades his personal life and personality in hope of offering inspiration and guidance, as opposed to observing and reflecting on the emotional undercurrents of the community. He is therefore a leader born from a world of hyper-individuality and narcissism, leading a world of individuals and narcissists. Anthony Weigh’s set of fractured scenes and ‘scenelets’ creates a fictional world for Edward II to exist within. It is a world that merges the violence of the fourteenth century with twentyfirst century psychology, and is a world responding to the extremes that we go to today to gain power and possession over each other. It is also a play about the ecstasy of love. How, for the narcissist, the pursuit of love to the exclusion of all else is a violent act that can lead to the annihilation of the entire world.

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The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer by Christopher Marlowe is a big play. It takes place over five acts and contains 20 odd locations. It involves a banishment followed by a reunion followed by another banishment. A bishop is publicly humiliated, as is a queen. There’s a war with Scotland and one with France. A trip to Ireland and a trip to France. Multiple farewell scenes. Gay sex, straight sex. A palace coup. Lots and lots of talk about love and dogs and the Goddess Diana. And of course, the famous scene where a king meets his end courtesy of a hot poker.

eye in a pub in Deptford and died instantly. He couldn’t have written his own ending better if he’d tried. It’s the rich and multifarious nature of Marlowe’s material that makes it a particularly malleable play. It’s the reason it’s been so variously adapted over the years. Bertolt Brecht and Lion Feuchtwanger transformed it in 1923 for the Munich Kammerspiele as The Life of Edward II of England (Leben Eduard des Zweiten von England). While it takes its starting point from the original, the play is an entirely new work with its own epic structure exploring ideas of power and volition. Brecht said of the play, ‘We wanted to make possible a production which would break with the Shakespearean tradition common to German theatres: that lumpy monumental style beloved of middle-class philistines.’1 For filmmaker Derek Jarman, his 1991 film Edward II became a means of exploring gay politics in Thatcher-era Britain. (Thatcher’s odious Section 28 banning the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities had been passed in 1988.) Edward and his lover Piers are persecuted by Mortimer largely because of their love.

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On one hand, it’s a straightforward Elizabethan history play. On another, a tragic love story between two men. On another, a shrewd analysis of class and power. On another, a play about dysfunctional families. And yet another, a scathing morality play about the dangers of excess. It’s over-stuffed and anarchic and unruly and young … really, really young. It’s a young person’s play. (Perhaps this is why it’s so beloved of university drama societies.) Marlowe wrote it at 28. A year later he was stabbed above the right


Season 2016

The evolution of Marlowe’s text by Anthony Weigh


When director Matthew Lutton and I began our own exploration of Marlowe’s original we were keen to see how we might mine it for fresh perspectives. As well as history and politics, what else might lurk at the heart of this play? Our starting point was to distill the material to its essence. Its DNA, if you like. A king. A prince. A lover. A wife. A rival. A child. Once we had concentrated the world into those elements, we sought to rebuild the story with a specific focus on the psychology of the characters. We came up with 40 scenes and a single monologue which, when arranged back inside a five act structure, presented a psychologised vision of Marlowe’s original. A work about the destructive consequences of narcissism and how this destruction might be mirrored in the world.

It is imperative, as we stage this work in 2016 Australia, that we depict gay men; meeting, falling in love, fighting, fucking, betraying one another, forgiving one another and, most importantly, making families and parenting children. This production is, in part, a rebuff to the cowardice of our impoverished political class, whose obfuscation and sophistry continues to deny gay men and women the opportunity to live equally with our straight brothers and sisters. At one stage late in the play, Piers describes he and Ned and Ned’s young son together on holiday being ‘like’ a family. He is immediately corrected by Ned. ‘Not ‘like’, Ned says, ‘A family!’ One of this work’s persistent motifs is that the love of two men does not approximate the love of a man and a woman. It is identical. Love is Love. It’s something I feel confident Marlowe knew instinctively, containing as he did this story about two men with a love so powerful that it might destroy themselves and an entire kingdom. 1

Brecht, ‘On Looking Back Through My First Plays’

(1954). In Willett and Manheim (1970, 454).

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As our conversation with Marlowe across time and space took shape, I was pleased to see how much of the original kept asserting itself. So many details floated to the surface. One thing that affirmed itself over and over again was how utterly unremarkable Edward’s homosexuality was. In the original text, the objections of the court to Edward’s lover Piers lie in his

class, not his gender. This very unremarkableness was what made the work so prescient. The more we worked on the play, the more we saw that in our current political climate, this unremarkableness was not just pleasing but vital.


Season 2016

Subsequently, the king’s followers become an army of gay rights activists, brutalised by a right wing police state.



Season 2016

Anthony Weigh Writer

Matthew Lutton Direction

Paul Ashcroft Piers

Johnny Carr Ned

Marco Chiappi Mortimer

Belinda McClory Sib

Anthony is a graduate of the Masters in Playwriting programme at The University of Birmingham. His original plays and adaptations include: 2,000 Feet Away, (Belvoir/ Bush Theatre, London/Steep Theatre, Chicago), Like a Fishbone, (Griffin/STC/Bush Theatre, London), The Flooded Grave (Bush Theatre, London/Latitude Festival, UK), The Middle Man (Bush Theatre, London), Yerma after Lorca, (Gate Theatre, London), The Silence of the Sea after Vercors and Welcome Home, Captain Fox! after Anouilh (both for Donmar Warehouse, London). Anthony has held the position of Playwright-in-Residence at the National Theatre in London, Associate Playwright at The Bush, and most recently Associate Artist at the Donmar Warehouse. He is a fellow of the Yaddo Artist Colony in New York and has taught on the faculty of the graduate playwriting programme at Columbia University.

Matthew is Malthouse Theatre’s Artistic Director. Prior to this, he was Malthouse’s Associate Director, and the director of Perth theatre company ThinIce [TI]. For Malthouse, he has directed I Am a Miracle, Night on Bald Mountain, The Bloody Chamber, Dance of Death, Pompeii, L.A., On the Misconception of Oedipus, Die Winterreise, The Trial, Tartuffe and Picnic at Hanging Rock. Other directing credits include The Mysteries: Genesis (STC), The Duel (STC/TI), and Love Me Tender (Belvoir/ TI). His opera directing credits include Make No Noise (Bavarian State Opera), Elektra (West Australian Opera/TI/Opera Australia), and The Flying Dutchman (NZ Opera).

Paul last appeared at Malthouse Theatre in Walking into the Bigness (2014). He is a WAAPA graduate from 2002 and current ensemble member of Red Stitch Actors Theatre. Shows include: The Kitchen Sink, Herding Cats, Howie the Rookie, The Laramie Project (10 years later), Orphans, Belleville, Detroit, Love, Love, Love, Wet House. Other Theatre: Shrine (Black Swan) Let the Sunshine (QTC/MTC), Cruel and Tender (MTC), Far Away, The Woman Before, Checklist for an Armed Robber, Mercury Fur and Jet of Blood. In film and television, Paul has appeared in Van Diemen’s Land, That’s Not Me, Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, Salem’s Lot, Winners and Losers, Blue Heelers, Hell’s Gates, Fire truck and Cop Hard for which he won best supporting actor at the LA Webfest. Paul is also the inaugural recipient of the McLeod Adair Development Award. He is a successful musician and singer and sat next to Dave Grohl once, for like, 20 mins in 1996.

Johnny is a 2008 Victorian College of the Arts acting graduate. His theatre credits include The Events (Belvoir/Malthouse/ STCSA)What Rhymes with Cars and Girls (MTC); The Dream (Bell Shakespeare); The Boys (Griffin Theatre); M + M (Daniel Schlusser Ensemble); The Suicide (The Hayloft Project); Leaves of Glass and The Rites of Evil (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre). Johnny’s screen credits include Stories I Want to Tell You in Person, Rush, City Homicide and the web series The Greatest Love of All. In 2013, Johnny received the Marten Bequest Travel Scholarship for Acting. Johnny has been a proud member of Equity since 2008.

Marco trained and graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama London in 1985. He has an extensive theatre background. His Malthouse Theatre credits include Edward II, Woyzeck and Chilling and Killing My Annabel Lee. More recent theatre credits include Love & Information (Malthouse), Phedre (Bell), Pygmalion (STC), His Girl Friday, Things We Do For Love (MTC), The Misanthrope, and The Real Thing (STCSA) to name a few. Recent television credits include Offspring, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Deadline Gallipoli, Parer’s War and The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. His film credits include Holding the Man, The Boy Castaways, Amy and Mr Reliable.

Belinda McClory is a VCA graduate and has worked extensively in film, theatre and television. She has worked for all the major Australian theatre companies, performed on stage in Paris, London, Vienna and Germany, and has won both a Helpmann and Green Room Award for her theatre work. Previous performances with Malthouse Theatre include Dance of Death, Pompeii, L.A. and The Trial. Other recent theatre credits include The Waiting Room and Queen Lear with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Splendour with Red Stitch Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Gross Und Klein (Sydney and the European tour) and Love Me Tender with Griffin Theatre and Belvoir St Theatre. Belinda’s screen work includes the television series The Doctor Blake Mysteries and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries as well as the international blockbuster feature The Matrix. Belinda performed in and co-wrote the features X and Turkey Shoot.

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Season 2016

Edward II was a leader born from a world of hyper-individuality and narcissism, leading a world of individuals and narcissists.

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Season 2016

Julian Mineo The Boy

Marg Horwell Set & Costume Design

Paul Jackson Lighting Designer

Kelly Ryall Composer & Sound Designer

Tia Clark Stage Manager

Matilda Woodroofe Assistant Stage Manager

Julian has been acting since 2010 and has been very successful so far. In 2013 he appeared on stage in Mathouse Theatre’s production of Persona. He has been working hard on screen making his debut at only 5 years of age in the lead role of Hugo in the ABC’s The Slap, which won the prestigious Logie award for Most Outstanding Drama Series of 2012. With this success, he went on to appear in numerous TV series such as Neighbours, Beaconsfield, Winners & Losers and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. He has also featured in several national commercials. Julian hopes to grow up and be a part-time actor, full-time fireman and a sometimes scientist.

For Malthouse Theatre, Marg has designed set and costumes for I Am a Miracle, The Good Person Of Szechuan, Tame and The Histrionic (Der Theatermacher). Marg has been recognised for her outstanding work with six Green Room Awards for her designs for I Am a Miracle (Malthouse), Shit (Dee & Cornelius), Savages (Dee & Cornelius), Chapters from the Pandemic (Angus Cerini Doubletap, Wretch (Angus Cerini Doubletap) and Test Pattern (Platform Youth Theatre) and two Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Set and Costume Design for Summertime in the Garden of Eden (Sisters Grimm/Griffin Theatre Company). Marg was also nominated for Best Scenic Design for the 2015 Helpmann Awards for Marlin (Arena Theatre Company/ MTC) Recent projects include Peddling (MTC), La Traviata (Sisters Grimm/Griffin Theatre), Birdland (MTC), Nora (Belvoir), Resplendence (Angus Cerini Doubletap), Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography (Griffin Theatre) and Constellations (MTC).

Paul has designed for most of Australia’s major and independent performing arts companies. Recent designs for Malthouse Theatre include Love and Information, Night on Bald Mountain, Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid, I Am a Miracle and Picnic at Hanging Rock. He has taught at Melbourne University, RMIT University and VCA, and his work has featured in festivals and programmes in the United States, Asia, Europe and the UK. Paul was listed in the Smart 100 in 2004, is a Churchill Fellow and was an Artistic Associate at Malthouse from 2007-2013. He has received five Green Room Awards, a Helpmann Award and a Sydney Theatre Award.

Kelly Ryall is a composer, musician and sound artist for theatre, dance and film. His Malthouse Theatre credits include Dance of Death, On the Misconception of Oedipus, The Trial, One Night The Moon and The Shadow King, as well as the Thin Ice production of Die Winterriesse, presented by Malthouse/Brisbane Festival and based on the music of Schubert. His chamber opera The Bacchae with Fraught Outfit debuted at the Melbourne Festival in 2015 and toured to Dark Mofo this year. Other recent work includes Double Indemnity, Rupert, The Crucible, Peddling, On the Production of Monsters, Return to Earth, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, God of Carnage and Savage River (with Griffin Theatre Company) for Melbourne Theatre Company. Boys Will Be Boys, for Sydney Theatre Company. Kill The Messenger, Cinderella, Hedda Gabler, Nora, Thom Pain and Love Me Tender at Belvoir. The Boys, And No More Shall We Part, Dreams in White, Mercury Fur and Don’t Say the Words (coproduced by TTC). The House on the Lake, Emerald City and The Floating World at Griffin Theatre Company. Phedre, Henry 4, Macbeth, Julius Caesar and The School for Wives, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It and Tartuffe for Bell Shakespeare Company.

Since graduating from WAAPA in 2009, Tia has worked as a Stage Manager in various sectors across the entertainment industry. Selected Malthouse Theatre shows include Picnic at Hanging Rock, I Am a Miracle; Timeshare; Hello, Goodbye and Happy Birthday; Walking into the Bigness; Ugly Mugs; The Government Inspector; The Bloody Chamber; Dance of Death, Hate, A Golem Story and Baal. Tia has also worked on Grease (Gordon Frost Organisation [GFO]), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (GFO), Every Breath (Belvoir), The Rake’s Progress (Victorian Opera), Scooby Doo Live 2011 Tour (Entertainment Store Group), The King and I, The Boy from Oz, Sugar (Some Like It Hot), Anything Goes, Kismet, Grey Gardens (The Production Company) and various live events both in Melbourne and around Australia.

Matilda Woodroofe is a Set and Costume Designer and a Victorian College of the Arts BFA Production Design graduate with growing experience in other areas of theatre making including stage management. Matilda toured internationally with Malthouse Theatre earlier this year as Assistant Stage Manager on Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid and was previously the Design Assistant on Malthouse Theatre’s Walking into the Bigness in 2014. Matilda has worked with a myriad of performing arts companies across both Melbourne and Sydney including Sydney Theatre Company, Complete Works Theatre Company, Victorian Opera, Melbourne Theatre Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre. Matilda is currently completing an artist placement with THE RABBLE as their Design Intern.

Nicholas Ross The Boy Nicholas is a student of the May Downs School of Dancing, training across several disciplines including Jazz, Ballet, Tap and Musical Theatre. Nicholas has a passion for magic, having performed his own magic show at school for his year level to raise money for charity. Nicholas plays basketball and football, as well as swimming, and enjoys skiing.

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At Malthouse Theatre we collaborate with local and international artists to create work that puts provocative, and entertaining human experiences on stage. We champion artistic and cultural diversity; we advocate for alternative points of view. We believe theatre can be – and should be – an agent of change. The theatre we produce explores the world personally, socially and politically. We cultivate and curate irreverent, courageous theatrical experiences from Australia and around the globe to captivate audiences. Welcome to Malthouse Theatre.






Season 2016








OUR SUPPORTERS URANIA—MUSE OF THE STARS—$25,000+ Michele Levine, Mary-Ruth & Peter McLennan, Craig Reeves, Maureen Wheeler AO & Tony Wheeler AO CLIO—MUSE OF HISTORY—$10,000+ Roseanne Amarant, Annamila Fund, John & Lorraine Bates, Debbie Dadon AM, Colin Golvan QC, Janine Tai, The Vera Moore Foundation, Anonymous (1) THALIA—MUSE OF COMEDY—$5,000+ Richard Leonard & Gerlinde Scholz, Mary Vallentine AO, Anonymous (1) MELPOMENE—MUSE OF TRAGEDY—$2,500+ David Bardas, Sian Fairbank, D.L. & G.S. Gjergja, Rosemary Forbes & Ian Hocking, Sue Kirkham, James Penlidis & Fiona McGauchie, Elisabeth & John Schiller, Jenny Schwarz, Leonard Vary & Matt Collins QC, Jason Waple, Jon Webster, Jan Williams, Tom Wright, Anonymous (1) EUTERPE—MUSE OF MUSIC—$1,000+ Marc Besen AC & Eva Besen AO, Frankie Airey & Stephen Solly, Chryssa Anagnostou

TERPSICHORE—MUSE OF DANCE—$500+ Graham & Anita Anderson, Michael Arnold, Ingrid Ashford, Rowland Ball OAM, Sandra Beanham, David & Rhonda Black, Ros Casey, Tim & Rachel Cecil, Marisa Cesario, Chris Clough, Alan Connolly, Mark & Jo Davey, Carolyn Floyd, Brian Goddard, Leonie Hollingworth, Brad Hooper, Irene Irvine, Joan & Graeme Johnson OAM, Irene Kearsey, Richard & Angela Kirsner, John McCallum, Ian McRae AO, Kersti Nogeste, Linda Notley, Jan Owen AM, Robert


Peters, Katherine Sampson, Barbara & Neil Smart, John Thomas, Pinky Watson, Phil & Heather Wilson, Henry Winters, Anonymous (4) ERATO—MUSE OF LOVE—$250+ Simon Abrahams, Jennifer Bourke, Fiona Brook, John & Alexandra Busselmaier, Siu Chan, Diane Clark, Georgie Coleman, Patricia Coutts, Jason Craig, Kerryn Dickinson-Rowe, Orla & Rachel, Taleen Gaidzkar, Joanne Griffiths, Peggy Hayton, Sarah Hunt, Ann Kemeny & Graham Johnson, David & Mira Kolieb, Robyn Lansdowne, Sally Lindsay, Kim Lowndes, Judith Maitland-Parr, Ian Manning & Alice De Jonge, John Millard, Susan Nathan, Paul Natoli, Tony Oliver, Kaylene O’Neill, Lynette and Clare Payne, Wendy Poulton, Gerard Powell, Gavin Roach, Rae Rothfield, Michael & Jenny Rozen, Robert Sessions & Christina Fitzgerald, Jill Sewell, Toby Sullivan, Lee-Ann Walsh, Jan Watson, Joanne Whyte, Barbara Yuncken VOLUNTEERS Malthouse Theatre would like to acknowledge the generous and ongoing support of our dedicated volunteers.


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& Jim Tsaltas, Daniel & Danielle Besen, John & Sally Bourne, Sally Browne, Beth Brown & Tom Bruce AM, Ingrid & Per Carlsen, Min Li Chong, Robin & Neil Collier, Prof John Daley & Dr Rebecca Coates, Dominic & Natalie Dirupo, Roger Donazzan & Margaret Jackson AC, Rev Fr Michael Elligate AM, Val Johnstone, Michael Kingston, James Ostroburski, Rosemary & Roger Redston, Carol & Alan Schwartz AM, Thea & Hayden Snow, Maria Solà, Gina & Paul Stuart, Fiona Sweet & Paul Newcombe, Kerri Turner & Andrew White, Rosemary Walls, Anonymous (1)



The Fiery Maze / sets the poetry of Dorothy Porter to music composed by Tim Finn. Conceived by Porter and Finn in 1995 as a ‘rock concert album’, the talents of these two extraordinary artists combine to produce raw, intimate songs about love, sex and obsession. Each of Porter’s previously unpublished poems deals with the disillusions of love and lust, as well as the blinding moments of blazing connection. Porter is known for the visceral power of her language; for crafting characters, scenarios and poems that crackle with sexual energy. Her journey into ‘love’s hopeless fiery maze’ is no exception.

We hope you’re swept up in Edward II’s obsessions and fall for the show. There’s still plenty more to enjoy in Season 2016, from the provocative Gonzo, to Gob Squad’s wild take on War and Peace, to the camp humour of Blaque Showgirls. Why not see all three, save big and book a Mini Malty package?







Fiction and reality unfold in a collision of surveillance and live action.

Not everything is blaque and white in Australia’s Sin City.

21 SEP – 1 OCT

A long overdue conversation about the impact that porn is having on young, malleable minds.

18 – 30 OCT


Season 2016

Dorothy Porter and Tim Finn in a dream collaboration.


11 NOV – 4 DEC

Finn, onstage with Abi Tucker, will conjure a wild world of lust, paranoia and possession; a wanton labyrinth which / maps the twists and turns of desire. Direction / Anne-Louise Sarks

Find out more at malthousetheatre.com.au

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By / Tim Finn & Dorothy Porter


Season 2016 SCENE & HEARD

Each of the Melbourne-based choirs that perform in The Events selected one song from their repertoire for the performance.

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© Malthouse Theatre, the artists, designers, photographers, collaborators and contributors. All rights reserved, 2016.

MalthouseTheatre MalthouseMelb MalthouseTheatre malthousetheatre.com.au

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