The Eisteddfod

March 13, 2018

The Eisteddfod is one play not to miss, described as being a wild and fun ride, the play moves between fantasy and a strange reality. Depicting two orphaned siblings, Abalone and Gerture, who have developed agrophobia after their parents death. Cloistered in their suburban home, together they play out parodies of suburban dreams and nightmares.

Written when the playwright, Lally Katz was in her 20s in London, she gained inspiration from various sources. Including a series of dysfunctional relationships, her own ambition as a playwright and trying to get a grasp on what it was to be a young adult in a big, edgy city.

Director Heidi Manche describes the play as role playing inner fantasies taking erotic and paranoid turns.

“Yet there is a real human story of the desire to be loved and yearning for something different at the same time,” she said.

Heidi decided to direct the Eisteddfod after being drawn to female writers as an alternative to centuries of male voices. “It is time to celebrate the unique voice of our Australian female writers.”

“I am drawn to the unorthodox, theatre of the absurd, as an alternative way to communicate the complex human experience. I find it often more truthful, as naturalism can fall short of expressing deep human desires and loss,” she said.

From watching the play Heidi hopes that audience members realise that “we are all absurd, that it is ok, that we have alternative ways of expressing love, loss and longing.”

“Our culture’s language and rituals are limited in allowing us to navigate these big human emotions. This is where art can help us. Art changes lives.”

“Love, loss, ambition, yearning are the universal themes that are expressed in this piece in an accessible but unorthodox way,” she said.

Heidi’s background in theatre and directing is diverse, having acted, produced and directed in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and spent her formative years studying alongside Nobel Laureate, Dario Fo, in Italy.

“I come from a family of performers and directors and grew up attending live theatre and was struck by its potency. Real humans playing out big human drama in a safe environment where discussions amongst audience post-show would keep the conversation and connections going.”

The Eisteddfod is playing at the Metro Arts Theatre from March 14 to March 24. Purchase tickets here

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