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The Australian Premiere of Oil is presented by Red Stitch Theatre from 12 November to 15 December 2019.
Oil spans 150 years, beginning in Cornwall in 1889, proceeding via Tehran in 1908 and Hampstead in 1970, to Baghdad in 2021, and finally returning to Cornwall in the year 2051.
The action focuses on a woman called May and her daughter Amy, who age as the play progresses but whose lives seem uncoupled from calendar time. We first see May as a 19th-century Cornish farmer's wife, three months pregnant. When a mysterious American salesman arrives at her isolated, freezing, candle-lit home, his demonstration of the newly invented kerosene lamp lights something within her, and soon she is off to pursue her destiny, resurfacing at key junctures in the history of the oil industry.
Image supplied by TS Publicity.
When Mary is working as a servant in 1908 Tehran, at a time when the British are desperate to exploit Persia's natural resources. By 1970, in Part Three, she has risen to become CEO of an international oil company threatened by Libya's proposal to nationalise its assets. But, as May rises in the world, difficulties with her daughter Amy intensify and become deeply problematic as they head into a nightmarish future.
Featuring Darcy Brown, Jing-Xuan Chan, Charlie Cousins, Daniela Farinacci, Hannah Fredericksen, Justin Hosking, Khisraw Jones-Shukoor, Matthew Whitty, Nicole Nabout and Jennifer Vuletic.