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The Adelaide Rep's 2020 Virtual Play Season

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
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Photo courtesy of Richard Parkhill


Along with all the other theatre companies, The Adelaide Repertory Theatre (Adelaide Rep) has, unfortunately, had to close the theatre and postpone the 2020 season due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Adelaide Rep has an outstanding history of producing quality theatre for over 100 years and is proud of its record of being crowned the oldest surviving theatre company in the Southern Hemisphere.
It has survived two world wars, the depression and the 'recession we were told we had to have'. Despite COVOD-19 there is still life in the Adelaide Rep as the board has decided to make the best of this time to improve the facilities at the ARTS theatre so the various professional and amateur companies in Adelaide will benefit from the improvements.

The Adelaide Repertory Theatre - Courtesy of Richard Parkhill


The Board has decided to proceed like other professional theatre companies around the world and produce free online plays which will be streamed to audiences in the comfort of their homes around the world. This will be achieved with the support of hard-working volunteers.

One production each month will be released on YouTube on the last Saturday of every month, and will remain on YouTube for one month.

The productions will include much-loved classics, award-winning Australian dramas written by local playwrights, along with vintage radio plays, which will take you back to a time before television, when families would huddle around the radio at home for another entertaining performance of their favourite programs.

Play rehearsal. Photographer: Richard Parkhill.


There will surely be a play for everyone to enjoy with seven productions that will range in genre and style. The season will open with Rattling the Keys by Adelaide playwright, Zoe Muller. Many will remember this popular production at the Adelaide Fringe. Zoe was invited to tour her production around Sydney. The show was set to be performed at the end of April 2020 with a Sydney cast and director, unfortunately the show had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Zoe is looking forward to seeing the Theatre Travel's version of Rattling the Keys in 2021. In 2018 she won the State Theatre Company of South Australia and Flinders University Junior Youth Playwright's Award.

Play rehearsal. Photographer: Richard Parkhill.


Synopsis: Rattling the Keys follows five teenagers living in the small rural town of Coober Pedy. struggling with isolation and lack of opportunities, and with little money or education, they turn to crystal methamphetamine. During a long oppressive heatwave, a teenage boy is murdered next door and Teddy and Kai, both under the influence of Ice, think they may be responsible. Knowing the police are undergoing an investigation, the five teenagers know they only have a few hours before the cops knock on their door.

Why was I inspired to write Rattling the Keys?:

ZOE MULLER: I wanted to write a story about a group of teenagers, living in Coober Pedy, that were struggling with isolation and lack of opportunities. In my senior years of high school, and first year of studying Criminology at University, I became curious about the factors that drive young people to take crystal methamphetamine. After a long period of intense research, I created the character of Teddy, a young adult who is silently struggling with addiction, after the death of his mother. Once Teddy was created, the other characters just fell into line. I ended up writing the play in the space of one week. I was so enthralled in the world of these characters that I just couldn't stop typing. After two years of editing, Rattling the Keys was production ready. I absolutely loved the writing process and look forward to sharing this story with those who may need it.

What the Critics say about Rattling the Keys:

"A solid debut play that crackles with snappy dialogue and a strong and cohesive point of view, Rattling the Keys is an exploration of the complex and often confusing feelings of growing up and being pushed to your limits." State Theatre Company South Australia

" Rattling the Keys" demands that we ask tough questions of ourselves and those around us: Why do drugs manage to take over the minds and bodies belonging to some of our most promising youths? What part can we all play in attempting to minimise this scourge?" - Adelaide Theatre Guide

"Ultimately, Muller has done a service to her subject matter by leading toward a conclusion that is open, realistic, and hopeful, all at once. Every one of the performers show themselves capable, in the closing minutes, of reaching the level of commitment and intelligence that a script like " Rattling the Keys" requires." - Adelaide Theatre Guide

"Rattling the Keys is a tightly written piece that admirably captures the tensions played out between the five characters" - Theatre Association of South Australia

"This is, in my opinion, the best that "Deadset Theatre" has offered thus far. Deadset's journey is well under way and I foresee many significant milestones ahead." - Theatre Association of South Australia

"The themes in this play are big, contentious and ugly but desperately need to be aired and I believe Rattling the Keys would make a great touring show in rural areas where drug use, and particularly crystal methamphetamine, is rife, hopefully with a very well mediated discussion session after each performance." - Theatre Travels


The Adelaide Rep is very excited and proud to be able to produce plays for its Adelaide audiences during 2020. This will be achieved by the Directors,Actors, Film crew and Technicians donating their time, talent and skills.

To make the renovations and improvements possible, the Adelaide Rep is seeking donations from its audiences which hopefully, will be generous too, by donating a little to help improve the ARTS.

The Adelaide Rep's 2020 Virtual Play Season:

27 JUNE - Rattling the Keys written by Zoe Muller and directed by Geoff Brittain."

25 JULY The Angel Intrudes written by Floyd Dell and directed by Ben Todd.

29 AUGUST The Shadow Radio Plays written by Walter B. Gibson and directed by Warren McKenzie.

26 SEPTEMBER The Man Who Dreamed written by Ciaran McConville and directed by Erik Strauts.

24 OCTOBER A Woman of No Importance written by Oscar Wilde and directed by Angela Short.

28 NOVEMBER Lysistrata written by Aristophanes and directed by Megan Dansie.

26 DECEMBER The Rivals written by Richard Brindley Sheridan and directed by Matthew Chapman.

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Why? Unique opportunity to see in the comfort of your own home much-loved classics, award winning Australian dramas written by local playwrights, along with vintage radio plays via YouTube.
Where: See on YouTube on 27 June 2020 for one month.
Cost: Free to watch on YouTube.However, your kind donation to support the Arts Rep will be greatly appreciated.
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