New work being developed as part of Q Theatre Lab in Penrith

Linda Nicholls-Gridley. Photo: Kate Williams Photography.
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The 2022 Q Theatre Lab residents are in the house, with The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre welcoming this year’s residency recipients Linda Nicholls-Gidley, Jamie Oxenbould and Mary Rachel Brown.

These independent artists will spend three weeks developing their work and then offer audiences a unique behind-the-scenes experience with two intimate 30-minute preview performances.

Q Theatre Lab is Q Theatre’s annual artist in residence program. The sought after residency makes creative space and time for the development of dynamic projects at an early stage of their conception. Projects are selected through an open callout process and successful applicants receive financial assistance, work-space, technical and dramaturgical support for dedicated creative development concluding with a ticketed preview performance.

This is a chance to peek behind the curtain and see two plays, fresh off the page, back-to-back on the same night.

‘Silenced’ by Linda Nicholls-Gidley

‘Silenced’ is a mix of verbatim theatre and authored work, exploring how our voice interlinks with ideas of identity, how we use it to ‘fit in’, how we carefully choose our words and how these words can be stripped from us, rendering us voiceless.

Silencing begins before we are even aware that it’s happening. We are bombarded by silence, becoming enslaved to the echoes of unspoken noises in our heads. It is a feeling that you cannot escape, of entrapment, and of freedom. It is personal and yet collective.

How loud is your silence?

Nicholls-Gidley said: “I want to explore how sound, music and language can isolate and silence us. I’m interested in exploring the yin and yang of sound and silence, examining how these contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another and us.”

‘Kingdom’ by Jamie Oxenbould & Mary Rachel Brown

Have you ever wondered what your pet thinks about you? What do they know about you that nobody else does? What do they do when you are not there?

If they could speak, what would they say to you? How would they describe you to others?

Through a series of inter-connected monologues – some from people who have pets – some from the point of view of the animals themselves – two performers will inhabit various humans, dogs, cats, birds and possibly a snake, in a funny, moving and sometimes bizarre night of unconditional love, and how animals can make – or break our heart.

Oxenbould & Brown said: “As writers we are interested in the differences between the public and private face. The relationships that people have with their animals is a way of shining a light on those faces. We want to explore why it is that these other beings that we so intimately share the planet with have the ability to rescue us from loneliness, annoy us, unconditionally adore us, hold us to account and reflect our true nature.”

Q Theatre Lab is on at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, February 17 and Friday, February 18 at 7:30pm. Click here for tickets.

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