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John Clancy ... author of Fatboy, a satire on modern America’s insatiable appetites.

Photo: Peter Bellamy ©

POSTED: 19 JUNE 2010

Australian, American and German works feature in New Directions 2010*

New Theatre, in Sydney’s Newtown, has a long tradition of presenting challenging contemporary productions, and during July and August will showcase work from Australia, America and Germany under its New Directions 2010 banner.

Five works will be presented over four weeks:

Week One: 14–17 July

Crooked, by Catherine Trieschmann

Fourteen-year-old Laney arrives in Oxford, Mississippi, with a twisted back, a mother in crisis and a burning desire to be a writer. When she befriends born-again Christian Maribel Purdy, a fervent believer in the power of Jesus Christ to save her from the humiliations of high school, Laney embarks on a hilarious spiritual and sexual journey that challenges her mother’s secular worldview and threatens to tear their fragile relationship apart. This gloriously funny play pokes fun at America’s Bible Belt while also taking on the more serious issues of religion, mental health and Sapphic sexual awakening.

Week Two: 21–24 July

The Chekhov Term, by Sam Atwell

Set in a Brisbane share-house, with the plays of Chekhov as a backdrop, four student actors search for meaning in a world where the word “truth” seems to have a fairly liquid definition. Dissatisfaction, self-obsession and insecurity make it hard to cope with the daily grind of being a human being. As the lines of reality become blurred and the words of the playwright begin to infiltrate the thoughts, hopes and dreams of the young protagonists, unacknowledged desires threaten to overwhelm their relationships and their future. Will they ever find their own personal “Moscows”?

Week Three: 28–31 July

The Big One, by Dick Reichman

They called it ‘The Big One’. A few minutes after midnight on Good Friday, 24 March 1989, an environmental disaster occurred, the consequences of which are still felt today. When an Exxon tanker spilled its cargo of crude oil off the coast of Valdez, Alaska, the devastation was catastrophic. This play – part docudrama, part taut thriller – uncovers the complexity of the events to reveal the people behind the headlines, the grubby politics involved in protecting ‘Big Oil’ and the terrible impact on individuals and the wider community.

Week Four: 4–7 August — a double bill

Fatboy, by John Clancy

A satire on modern America’s insatiable appetites — whether gobbling up gigantic steaks or small nations — presented as a live-action Punch and Judy show. The brutish Fatboy, along with his monstrous wife, Queen Fudgie the First, is standing trial for war crimes. Despite overwhelming evidence, the court refuses to convict and succumbs to Fatboy’s “persuasive” tactics. Inspired by Alfred Jarry’s absurdist masterpiece Ubu Roi, this fast-moving, shocking, profane, dead-on indictment of the American hunger for power, violence and generally more of everything won the Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award in 2004.

Electronic City, by Falk Richter (translated by Marlene Norst)

Tom is a “consultant”. His only foothold is the porno channel in his hotel room, but wandering the corridors at 2am he’s no longer certain where he is: Berlin, London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore. Joy is a stand-in on the scanner till at an airport store; she dreams of George Clooney. But tonight the system has broken down; she panics; she remembers Tom. They fell in love fighting over the last place on a flight home to Berlin. Arrested and locked up together, it was the start of a great romance. Now her life has become reality television. This quirky fantasy is both a disturbing elegy on the modern-day electronic-media-riddled metropolis and a neo-romantic love story for the 21st century.

For further information, visit New Theatre.

*Based on media release issued by New Theatre.

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