Queensland Theatre - 'Mouthpiece'

Playhouse stage to ignite with Queensland Theatre premiere

In exciting news for arts lovers, QPAC and Queensland Theatre will present ‘Mouthpiece’ by Kieran Hurley at the Playhouse from 31 October to 14 November 2020.

Stage luminary Christen O’Leary and Jayden Popik, in his Queensland Theatre debut, will reignite the theatrical stage with this new, startling, audacious and gripping play that pushes past politics with humour, hope and fight. Queensland Theatre Artistic Director, Lee Lewis, said the premiere work was a bold choice to restart theatre by the State’s company.

“We are starting with a simple story, magnificently crafted by a talented playwright, brought to life by two extraordinary actors. What could be better? Welcome back,” she said.

“If you’ve missed live performance this year and the spark of post-show discussion echoing well beyond the theatre foyer, then you can’t miss this.”

Winner of the 2019 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, ‘Mouthpiece’ looks theatre squarely in the face and challenges audiences to question the kinds of stories told and the power of the people who get to tell them. Lewis spoke of the satisfaction this provoking production will give to hungry audiences.

The story may be political, but the play is all human. If you think you’ve seen the story of the power of unlikely friendships before, ‘Mouthpiece’ is way ahead of you,” she said.

“This is the kind of play that makes you wonder at the sheer imagination and skill of great theatre writing. ‘Mouthpiece’ will challenge you, surprise you, and send you out into the night with so many things to talk to your friends about. We are thirsty for this kind of theatre.

“From its startling opening, through to its final devastating showdown, this remarkable play invites us to probe where the lines should be drawn. It’s very funny, very moving and will have your head spinning with the knotty ethical issues it provokes long after you leave the theatre.”

Queensland Theatre - 'Mouthpiece'
Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Lee Lewis with ‘Mouthpiece’ actors Christen O’Leary and Jayden Popik.

Starring in the production is Queensland’s first lady of the stage, Christen O’Leary, who will bare her soul in the role of Libby as the play asks ‘why do we make theatre at all?’, which Lewis says the character answers in showing that “theatre is how we connect with our fellow humans”.

Also joining O’Leary in his Queensland Theatre debut is Jayden Popik, playing Declan. Hailing from Townsville, Popik has been working in Melbourne for the last few years but made it across the border to the Sunshine Coast before lockdown. As Lewis describes, “like a lot of artists, COVID-19 has brought him back home at a time when family has never been more important.”

The news follows the recent announcement that Queensland Theatre will reopen the Bille Brown Theatre to audiences for the world premiere season of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award (QPDA) 2018–19 winner ‘The Holidays’ by David Megarrity. Running from 14 November through to 12 December, ‘The Holidays’ is directed by Matilda Award-winning Bridget Boyle, and stars Queensland stage royalty  Bryan Probets and Louise Brehmer.

Presented by QPAC and Queensland Theatre as part of the ‘Queensland’s Own’ series, ‘Mouthpiece’ performs from 31 October – 14 November 2020 at the Playhouse, QPAC.

For more information about the production and to purchase tickets, visit QPAC’s website

About ‘Mouthpiece’:

A cliff. Night. A woman stands on the edge. Her dreams crumble around her. But this ledge belongs to Declan. It is his only safe space. She’s trespassing. They should never have met.

‘Mouthpiece’ is a bold collision of class, privilege, and power. Libby is a woman who has wasted her opportunities, while Declan is a young man who will never be offered any. He has a story, and she has the voice to tell it… but does she have the right to? When does inspiration become theft?

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