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The Pillowman at Visy Theatre

Home > Brisbane > Comedy | Performing Arts | Shows | Theatre
by Tony Dyer (subscribe)
I've made it to my life's goal - the old age pension. Now I write for fun. Hope you enjoy reading.
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You’ll laugh and you’ll gasp – all at the same time

'The Pillowman' is a production sure to delight everybody who enjoys a very black, black comedy when it plays at the Visy Theatre at The Powerhouse, 119 Lamington St, New Farm commencing on Wednesday, 19 August and running until Saturday, 29 August, 2015.

Ticket prices are:
Preview, Wednesday 19 August: $25*
All shows from Thursday 20 to Saturday 29 August: $35*
Concessions from Thursday 20 to Saturday 29 August: $29*
Groups of 10 or more: $20* per person.

(*An additional fee of $3 applies to single ticket and $6 for multiple booking transactions.)

Show times are:
Tuesdays to Fridays: 7.00pm
Saturdays: 2.00pm and 7.00pm.

The play runs for 2 hours and 35 minutes (including interval) and is suitable for people over the age of 15 years.

This spellbinding play, written by Irish playwright, Martin McDonagh presents the audience with a fusion of puppetry, physical theatre, shadow play and intense, razor-sharp dialogue that will have you laughing at the most inappropriate times. Those laughs will be transformed into gulps and gasps as you follow the play's sharp insights into character, human suffering and how it deals with the juxtaposition of horror and absurdity.

Pillowman, visy theatre, powerhouse, brisbane, performing arts, theatre, New Farm
At this point will you be laughing too?

In spite of the darkness of its plot and imagery, 'The Pillowman' /B] has won an Olivier Award in London for best new play.

Pillowman, visy theatre, powerhouse, brisbane, performing arts, theatre, New Farm
Funny and absurd?
[B]'The Pillowman'
, is heart wrenching and hilarious as it tells the story of Katurian, a writer, who's stories bear an uncanny similarity to cruel, real-life murders of children. The play is set in a police interrogation room of an unnamed totalitarian police state. As a means of keeping the audience informed, Katurian repeats some of the stories the police believe are connected to the murders and, as they are retold, they are portrayed through puppetry, physical theatre and shadow play.

Then, as the grilling proceeds the setting flips between its harsh reality and Katurian's brother, Michal, who's presence in the next room introduces further difficulties for how Katurian approaches his problem. This provides the platform for some significant human and social themes to run through all the action, including oppression, control, censorship and trauma and how they can shape human behaviour.

'The Pillowman' contains dark and disturbing content as well as coarse language, all of which guide the play through how it deals with the complexities of censorship, art and freedom of speech and differentiates the notions of innocence and innocence lost. In all, the content is dealt with masterfully and uses laugh-out-loud comedy with a form of contemporary absurdity to portray a tragic and heart wrenching story.

The dialogue is full-on and very fast-paced and perfectly off-sets the play's physicality.

Pillowman, visy theatre, powerhouse, brisbane, performing arts, theatre, New Farm
Come along and enjoy your night in a police interrogration room.

The show's cast and creatives are:
Sam Foster is the Director and plays Detective Ariel. He is an actor, director, physical performer, movement consultant, stunt performer, workshop facilitator and founder of ZEAL QLD. He is co-founder of Shock Therapy Productions. He has performed for Grin and Tonic, Soapbox, Zeal Theatre, Global Creatures (King Kong) and recently performed in the film Mad Max - Fury Road.

Hayden Jones is the Producer and plays Detective Tupolski. He is an actor, producer, theatre maker, workshop facilitator and co-founder of Shock Therapy Productions. Hayden has worked for companies including Zeal Theatre, Grin and Tonic Theatre Troupe, Queensland Theatre Company, Brainstorm Productions and Artslink. He is co-owner of Shock Therapy Productions.

Tama Matheson plays Michal. He is also the director of Classic Productions Theatre Company in Brisbane and Artistic Director of the Brisbane Shakespeare Festival. He has performed in Heartbeat and Eastenders and played the roles of Romeo and Lysander (British Touring Shakespeare Co.), Ariel (The Tempest), Oberon (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Mozart (Amadeus) – for which he received a Matilda Award nomination for Best Actor.

Ben Warren plays Katurian. His theatre credits include Oh the Humanity and Other Exclamations (The Arts Centre Gold Coast), Absurd, Epic, Warning: Small Parts, The Dream Project and The Zoo Story with Grin & Tonic. He was in the feature film The Railway Man.

Geoff Squires is the lighting designer. He has previously lit shows for Grace Knight, Jimeoin, Broadway Baby (Tivoli) and Alive-Still Life (Access Arts at the RNA). As resident designer for Acronym Theatre Company he lit Cyrano de Bergerac, As You Like It, King Lear, Teechers, and Bent. Geoff teaches Technical Theatre at Southbank TAFE and runs his own design and production business, Pro-Nel Lighting.

Shock Therapy Productions has worked with renowned puppet-based visual theatre company, Dead Puppets Society to re-enact Katurian's stories.

Shock Therapy Productions is a Gold Coast based production company founded by actors/ producers/ directors Sam Foster and Hayden Jones. Previous productions include The Apology, The Forwards and a sell-out season of The Pillowman at the Gold Coast Arts Centre in 2014.

This is one play you will want to see this year. It'll raise many questions for you but, unlike Detectives Ariel and Tupolski, you'll be asking them of yourself and not Katurian and Michal.

For more information and to book your tickets for this great show check out the Powerhouse web site here, phone the theatre on 3358 8600 or email,
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Why? Because a play this good and this thought-provoking should not be missed.
When: From the 19 August until the 29 August, 2015.
Phone: 3358 8600
Where: Visy Theatre at The Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington St, New Farm
Cost: Preview on Wednesday 19 August: $25; All shows from Thursday 20 to Saturday 29 August: $35; Concessions: $29; Groups of 10 or more: $20 per person
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