This morning our Artistic Director Brett Sheehy shared the news that Jacki Weaver has withdrawn from our production of hit South African play Solomon and Marion, and that the role of Marion will now be played by fellow stage and screen star Gillian Jones. Many of you will know Gillian from Oscar and Lucinda, Love My Way, Packed to the Rafters and The Slap, and most recently for MTC, The Glass Menagerie.
‘Sometimes our finest international stars get an offer even we think they can’t refuse, and this has happened with the wonderful news of Jacki Weaver being offered a lead role in the highly anticipated CBS television series The McCarthys, for which she must re-locate to Boston in the United States for the ongoing shooting of the show,’ Brett said.
‘However, I’m thrilled that an actor of Gillian’s calibre is available, having just completed shooting of her starring role in Fury Road, George Miller’s epic new Mad Max sequel. Gillian is as excited and passionate about the play as I am. I’m absolutely delighted she could step in at short notice to take up the role of Marion in this tough, funny and challenging play.’
Knowing how much you were all anticipating her return to the MTC stage, Jacki also sent us these words to share with all of you:
‘This play has been very close to my heart since I first saw it in South Africa, so I’m terribly disappointed that I can no longer be involved,’ she said. ‘But with director Pamela Rabe, and my colleagues Gillian Jones and Pacharo Mzembe, I know Solomon and Marion will be a magnificent production that will absolutely move audiences as much as it did me.’
Our subscribers who have already purchased tickets to the production will also be receiving a letter from Jacki shortly, which includes further information about the change.
For those of you unfamiliar with the play, it is a story of the unlikely bond and relationship that develops between two people; Marion is an older woman living in a remote village until one day a young man named Solomon appears delivering a message he has secretly carried for years. This brilliant two-hander won the 2011 Fleur du Cap Award for Best New South African Play and was hailed as a ‘rare theatrical opportunity’.
Solomon and Marion is playing at Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio from 7 June to 20 July. Individual tickets to this production are available from 5 March.