Queenslander - JUTE Theatre Company

JUTE Theatre Company begins its 30th year with timely new work, ‘Queenslander’

JUTE Theatre Company will begin its 30th year of telling Australian stories with next month’s season opener of ‘Queenslander’ by local awarding-winning playwright, Sue Chamberlain.

Starring actors Julia Allman, Andrew RJ Warren, Patrick Mays and Madonna Davies, ‘Queenslander’ is built on family drama and an evocative, seemingly ‘safe as houses’ setting, diving deep into the controversial politics of our time, and the metaphorical ‘ties that bind’ our contemporary society.

JUTE’s Write Sparks’ alumnus, Sue Chamberlain is a local, award-winning playwright who is thrilled to bring her work, ‘Queenslander’ to the stage after three years in development. With the support of JUTE in co-producing and presenting her work, Chamberlain also recognises the professional development opportunity received from Queensland Regional Arts Fund in 2018 and more recently, the financial help and mentorship afforded as one of the winners of the highly competitive, international Creative Power award in 2021.

“I like to think that ‘Queenslander’ is a play for our times that goes straight to the heart of family relationships and matters that are called into question by the constructs of right and wrong in contemporary society,” said Chamberlain.

“From a place of good versus evil and blood versus water comes the challenge of one person’s ambition and another’s powerful government allegiance. It asks, how far would you go or what would you do?”

Set sometime in the future, ‘Queenslander’is about social influencer Mish (played by Julia Allmann) and her brother, Lenny Diamond (played by Andrew RJ Warren) – a young rapper and kickboxing champion, who facing trial under anti-patriotic laws. How does Mish react to Lenny’s plight, made worse it seems by her husband Craig’s (played by Patrick Mays) position within an elite political circle, currently in power and on a quest to bring Queensland “back from the brink”. Then there is Roz (played by Madonna Davies), a university library employee and owner of a crumbling Queenslander which becomes her son’s refuge as he awaits trial.

This darkly humorous play is interwoven with themes of family protection and loyalty and treads a fine line between frightening truths and vicious lies.

The dramatic interpretation of a run-down, timber Queenslander that dominates the stage is another extraordinary set by local designer duo, Simone Tesorieri and Simona Cosentini. The house provides a metaphoric mirror to society in which Big Brother exerts control at the expense of basic human rights and civil liberties.

“Having witnessed the impact of Trumpism on the democratic health of the US during COVID-19 also provided a great source of inspiration in developing this work which I hope will deliver a lot of ‘aha’ moments with audiences when it is presented next month,” Chamberlain said.

‘Queenslander’ opens on Friday, 11 March 2020 at Bulmba-ja Arts Centre theatre in Cairns, Nothern Queensland, with a season of seven shows.

For more information and to book tickets, visit JUTE Theatre Company’s website.

Media Release Supplied. 

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