Gold Coast Little Theatre's next production is "Blackrock," a play that has been extensively studied in schools throughout Australia for its universal themes.
Written by Nick Enright, this powerful human drama explores the social forces that drive acts of violence in a small Australian community. Although confronting, "Blackrock" is ultimately unmissable. The play is centered around a tragic event that takes place at Toby's 18th birthday party. The morning after the wild party at the local surf club, 15-year-old Tracy is found dead – raped and bashed with a rock. Someone knows what really happened, but they're not talking.
Director Hunter Wall, an emerging performer, director and playwright, sheds light on his production of "Blackrock." However, please note that the play contains some content and themes that some audience members may find disturbing. It is recommended for ages 15+.
Q: Tell us about yourself & your team (if you don’t have a team, then tell us about yourself)
A: I am an emerging performer, director and playwright currently studying Drama at the University of Queensland. I have had years of experience performing in the Gold Coast Theatre Scene; however, this is my directorial debut. The rest of my creative team includes Stephanie Starre as Stage Manager—she has been the heart behind many a crew for many theatres and productions—and my composer, Ethan Wall (aka my brother) who is a multifaceted composer who is currently studying at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music for Composition. We are a passionate bunch, all dedicated to telling this powerful story onstage.
Q: What is your show about?
A: Blackrock is a formidable Australian play that intimately dissects the social forces in which propels and/or drives the impulses behind sexual violence in our Australian cultures. It is Toby’s 18th birthday down at the surf club where a 15-year-old girl has been brutally assaulted and murdered, and what follows is a fragile navigation of the attitudes, presumptions, and reactions of a community towards such an event. It is raw, it is challenging but it is deeply important making it an essential play to witness.
Q: Why did you choose to do this production, what drew you to it:
A: A story like this is such a powerful tool to teach with, to heal with, and if we equip our young people with the right knowledge and discourse around topics like the play explores, they will be stronger for it. This story—while is it does remain fictional—is loosely inspired by the real event of the assault and murder of 14-year-old Leigh-Leigh in Newcastle, 1989. Even though this play was written in response to that event, and although we are 34 years ahead of that time, we can still look around us and see the ways history bears repeating itself. And so, the question of why I chose to do this production remains unfortunately and brutally obvious in that the behaviours and the events of Blackrock are still all too common today. Telling a story like this will bring that message into our collective social consciousness and will arm our youth with new understanding to better challenge and question the normative behaviours around sexual violence, further assisting in the shift of our social environment into a more empathetic and mature space.
Q: What can audiences expect when they see the show?
A: They can expect a challenging yet emotional journey. One with pain, tension, but also release. The play is shaped with such sensitive precision by Nick Enright that the characters and their relationships feel completely real. There are some truly beautiful moments shared between many of the ensemble cast of characters, but also there are moments that will be truly confronting and hard to watch. Although it is few and far between, there is also a fair dosage of humour that allows for there to be both light and shade—making the worst of it even more impactful. There will also be original music composed for this production, which is an element that not many community theatre productions have the privilege for.
OPENING NIGHT: Adult $38, Concession $33, Member $30, Under 20 $28, Group 6+ $32, Group 10+ $31, Group 50+ $30
ALL OTHER PERFORMANCES Adult $35, Concession $30, Member $27, Under 20 $25, Group 6+ $29, Group 10+ $28, Group 50+ $27
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