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How Ned Kelly lost his head
The debate whether Ned Kelly, the Australian bushranger, was a Criminal or a National Hero continues to be argued today, nearly 140 years after his death by hanging.
Matthew Ryan's play, Kelly, currently being performed at the Ad Astra Theatre in Fortitude Valley, in Brisbane's CBD, only adds fuel to the discussion.
The audience first meets Ned, played by talented Richard Lund, on the evening before his execution at the Old Melbourne Gaol. Manacled and subdued, his evening is interrupted by the arrival of his younger brother, Dan, who is disguised as a priest clutching a Bible.
Dan, played by Patrick Shearer, was believed to have been killed during the infamous confrontation at Glenrowan. He has plans to escape to Queensland to start a new life though requires Ned's blessing to do so. This is because the last time they saw each other Dan was shooting at Ned to kill him.
The interaction between the brothers is intense and brutal, tinged with wisps of humour, with the banter a mixture of fact and fiction that keeps the audience hanging onto every word.
Colin Smith fills numerous roles, including the guard at the Gaol, and only adds to the story of Ned and the Kelly Gang.
The Ad Astra Theatre at 57 Misterton Street is an intimate space. As the name suggests, they strive to "reach the stars" by "challenging the actors to push their limits, creatives to push their artistry and the audience to challenge their expectations."
My companion and I loved this production of Kelly and are thrilled to have been introduced to the Ad Astra Theatre. It is easy walking distance from public transport, and close to an array of eateries. You can also enjoy a glass of wine or bubbles before the show.
Tickets are still available for the following performances:
Friday, 1st March commencing at 8pm
Saturday, 2nd March commencing at 2pm
Saturday, 2nd March commencing at 8pm
Tickets are $30.00 for Adults and $25.00 for Concession Card Holders. For Group Bookings of ten or more, the ticket price reduces to $20.00. Tickets can be booked here.
For further information about Kelly or any future productions go here.
Hero or criminal? The jury is still out on that one.