No rest for the team at subtelnuance theatre, right off the back of their recent celebrated performances of Blind Tasting and Rocket Man, Daniela Giorgi has whipped up a political satire, Friday, to be premiered at the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Darlinghurst from the 6-31st August.
Billed as a play about “Sex, secrets scandals – a tale of democracy in the land of the long weekend”, an intrigued Iced Vovo had to find out more about the production:
Q: Tell us a little more about Friday, what is the premise behind the play?
A: Friday is a contemporary political satire. It’s hopefully funny and a little heartbreaking. It’s about power; who holds it and what they’ll do to keep it. And it also explores political engagement; its challenges and necessity.
Friday doesn’t portray real events, actual people or current political parties. Its setting could be any contemporary democratic institution. The play is about any democracy. It highlights democracy’s precarious and precious nature. It explores the personal and political, and the paper-thin division between the two. I wanted to look into one of the great tensions in modern society: public responsibility versus private desires.
I was inspired by some of the great theatrical tales I’ve seen on stage and screen. Tales like Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, David Hare’s Pravda and Gethsemane, and of course Yes, Minister. I love plots that are fast-paced, with lots of scenes, both comic and dramatic, that all flow into each other, and where dozens of characters evoke an entire milieu.
Q: What inspired this tale of political intrigue?
A: We’re surrounded by politics everyday, not just in the headlines but also in our private lives and our working lives. Every decision we make is political if it requires dealing with other people. Politics is other people.
So, although I’ve been intrigued by the headlines of endless political scandals, I’m also intrigued by people’s responses to them. We seem to have a hunger for scandal and gossip. It’s as if we feel a sense of satisfaction when those who’ve risen above us inevitably fail and fall. The tall poppy syndrome. However, at a more basic level, I think we find it deeply distressing. We place our trust in these public figures and when they pursue their own interests instead, we are disappointed. But rather than step into the fray and fight ourselves, we withdraw into cynicism and despair. We paint the whole political scene as corrupt and wonder what the point is. But is that the only alternative? To give up on it? To let only those that bother, take control?
Q: What do you think it is about politics that really lends itself to satire?
A: Politics is about people and so it’s the perfect stage to expose human foibles. In politics people take risks and anytime you take a risk there is the potential to fail. And failure is funny, your own, but especially other people’s. So a play about politics is the perfect vehicle for irony, sarcasm and ridicule. Especially armchair politics, which is what most of us practice. It’s very easy to deride other people’s folly whilst taking no chances ourselves.
And so the challenge in writing Friday was not to write another satire of politicians, but rather a satire on cynicism, the saddest of all avoidance strategies. Friday is an attempt to suggest that the democratic revolution is not over, and that it can never be over. In a democracy our world is created by us. And we have to create that world everyday. We have to roll up our sleeves and shovel some of the shit. Excuse the profanity, but there is a fair bit of it in Friday. In rehearsal, one of the actors said, “You have a real talent for profanity.” I took it as a compliment.
Q: How did this production with the Sydney Independent Theatre Company come about?
A: I sent the script to Julie Baz, the Artistic Director of Sydney Independent Theatre Company and she loved it and wanted to direct it and produce it. It was very exciting, as you can imagine. I’d been a fan of Julie’s and Sydney Independent Theatre Company’s work for a while so I was delighted that they wanted to produce Friday.
Q: How involved were/are you with the overall production?
A: This isn’t a subtlenuance production, so my involvement is very different. As the writer I’m a guest in the rehearsal room and it’s a privilege to watch a director and the actors work, and I’m absolutely loving seeing the play take shape. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for an audience.
For all those who love a good political satire and love to hear both the profound and the profanity (I for one love a bit of horse-shit!) then be sure to book your ticket to Friday today!
By Daniela Giorgi
Directed by Julie Baz
Featuring: Adrian Barnes, Tim Cole, Jamie Collette, Sinead Curry, Peter Hayes, Gertraud Ingeborg, Justine Kacir, Emmanuel Nicolaou, Amara Picke, Cherilyn Price, David Ritchie, Sarah Robinson, Gemma Scoble
Set and lighting designer David Jeffrey
Composer and sound designer Sarah de Jong
Costume designer Rachel Scane
Stage manager Callum Lofts
Old Fitzroy Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo, NSW
6 – 31 August 2013
8pm Tues – Sat, 5pm Sun
Previews Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 August
$32 Full / $26 Concession
$21 Cheap Tuesday and Previews
$39 / $33 / $28 Dinner and Show
Tix: www.sitco.net.au or 1300 307 264