THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE, a co-production between Frantic Assembly and State Theatre Company of Australia, explores the poetry and heartache that lies within every family. Are parents the best people to bring up children?
The story is both utterly Australian and completely global. The setting is Adelaide but the British actors make no attempt to be Australian. The script is by Andrew Bovell. The subject is marriage and the loving, chokehold relationship between parent and child.
The directors, Geordie Brookman and Scott Graham, say they are interested how the visual, emotional, physical and lyrical combine in their joint production.
Father is a retired factory worker. Mother is still working as a nurse. They have four children. Pip is 32 and works in education. Mark is 32 and is an IT specialist. Ben is 28 and a financial services worker. Rosie is 19 and doesn’t know what she wants to do.
How would you react if your youngest daughter said she wanted to go to a university you have never heard of and said she wanted to study creative writing?
How would you react if your eldest daughter, who is married to a kind decent man and has three young children, said she was going to leave them and start a new career in Canada.
How would you react if your youngest son had been caught stealing money from the firm where he works? And how would you react if your eldest son told you, when he was 32 years old, that he wanted to change his sex and was going to start the treatment immediately?
Andrew Bovell lays it on thickly. There are fraught performances all round from a strong cast. Imogen Stubbs and Ewan Stewart are the parents. Kirsty Oswald and Natalie Casey are the youngest and eldest daughter. Richard Mylan and Matthew Baker are the youngest and eldest son.
Following its London run, Things I Know To Be True will be touring to Oxford, Warwick, Liverpool, Manchester and Chichester.
images credit Manual Harlon