Talking to Brick Walls - The Black Box Collective

Emerging Theatre-Makers Unite the Region

QUT students and graduates are breathing new life into ‘Talking to Brick Walls’, a play by Brisbane legend, Claire Christian. 

The play, which originated in Toowoomba 2014, was written by eleven young artists (members of the Empire Youth Arts IMPACT Ensemble) under Christian’s direction and involved over 100 interviews with parents and teens. The production was such a success when it first premiered that it was invited to perform as a part of ‘2high Festival 2015’ in Brisbane (now Backbone Festival). 

‘Talking to Brick Walls’ is set to invigorate teens and parents alike in a play for young people, by young people. Director Jasmin Smith, recently completed her directorial observation for Queensland Theatre’s ‘The Holidays’ and is employing these skills in The Black Box Collective production. Smith says it is an honour to be directing a work that “gives a voice to those who are so often told to be quiet.” 

Toowoomba-born Producer, Nicholas Southey, is eager to bring this new interpretation of the play to audiences in the Ipswich region following a sell-out season in Brisbane last year. He admits, the show “still surprises us even after spending a whole year in its pages.” Both he and Smith agree that ‘Talking to Brick Walls’ is extremely relevant in Australia’s current climate as we are collectively questioning our habits as a society. “That’s what we do as artists,” he says, “we make work that is applicable to our own lives and try to answer the big questions.” 

The play is produced under The Black Box Collective banner, a new-work generator aimed at giving emerging artists the resources to create new plays and reimagine existing ones. 

“Emerging artists definitely struggle to find work after they graduate university. They’re like birds thrown from the nest and they have to figure the rest out on their own – The Collective aims to make that fall a little less terrifying,” said Southey.

‘Talking to Brick Walls’ performs as a part of the new Ipswich strand of Brisbane’s well-loved Anywhere Festival and is generously supported by the Ipswich City Council through their access to Studio 188. 

“We were very lucky that the Studio 188 team had seen the play in 2015 and were keen to support us in our new interpretation. It’s what encouraged us to bring it back. Honestly, we can’t wait to have Ipswich audiences laughing and crying in their seats.” 

‘Talking to Brick Walls’ will be playing at Studio 188 in Ipswich on Thursday, 13 May 2021 and Friday, 14 May 2021 beginning at 7:00 PM both nights. 

Tickets are on sale now on the Anywhere Festival website. For more information about The Black Box Collective, visit their Facebook Page.

Media release and images provided by The Black Box Collective 

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