Linda Cropper (Offspring) stars alongside Nicholas Bell (North By Northwest), Johnny Carr (What Rhymes with Cars and Girls) and Stephen Phillips (Winners & Losers) in the world premiere of Aidan Fennessy’s The Architect, a suspenseful and heartfelt rumination on what makes life worth living, opening on Friday 2 October at Southbank Theatre.
Peter Houghton (The Odd Couple) directs this surprisingly humorous story about the frayed relationships we are forced to reckon with and the ties that bind us when confronted with the end of life.
Peter Houghton said, ‘This play is deeply moving and beautifully written. It’s also very funny at times and has all the tension and knuckle-whitening anxiety of a thriller. Best of all, I get to work with one of my heroes. Linda Cropper is a genuine star of the stage, a powerhouse actor and a brilliant and charming communicator. Aidan’s beautiful modern classic is the perfect vehicle for this actor at the height of her powers.’
Hiring a temporary carer requires some serious vetting. When Helen’s partner John heads off on a brief overseas trip she takes in a dubious young drifter and jack-of-all-trades to look after her through her illness. With a winning smile and incorrigible zest for life, he could be just the medicine she needs – if it wasn’t for the titanic secret he’s hiding. As an unexpected bond forms between them, tables begin to turn and Helen faces choices that are both intimate and monumental.
Aidan Fennessy is an award-winning writer, director and dramaturg. His plays have been produced by MTC, Queensland Theatre, Griffin Theatre, HotHouse, Playbox, Black Swan State Theatre Company and many more. Most recently Aidan directed his play, The Way Things Work, for Red Stitch Actors Theatre. His musical play What Rhymes with Cars and Girls debuted at MTC in 2015 and will be on tour in late 2017. His others plays include National Interest, The House on the Lake, The Way Things Work, Chilling and Killing My Annabel Lee (Wal Cherry Award-winner) and Brutopia (Griffin Award-winner). In 2002, his comedy festival collaboration The Trade won the prestigious Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Formerly, Aidan was co-founder of the highly successful Chameleon Theatre, a member of the Artistic Directorate of Hothouse Theatre, Artistic Director of the Store Room Theatre Workshop and Associate Director at Melbourne Theatre Company.
Peter Houghton is an award-winning Australian actor, writer and director. His directing work includes The Odd Couple, True Minds, The Boy at the Edge of Everything, The Recruit, Hinterland and Art and Soul for MTC; Noises Off for Marriner Theatres; Footprints on Water for Griffin Theatre; The China Incident for Malthouse; and Day One, a Hotel, Evening for Black Swan. He has won multiple Green Room Awards for directing, acting and writing and produced a critically acclaimed trilogy of solo shows; The Pitch, The China Incident and The Colours, all of which he wrote.
Cast Nicholas Bell, Johnny Carr, Linda Cropper, Stephen Phillips
Director Peter Houghton
Set & Costume Designer Christina Smith
Lighting Designer Matt Scott
Composer & Sound Designer J David Franzke
27 September – 31 October
Friday 2 October
Southbank Theatre, The Sumner
03 8688 0800
‘Fennessy’s writing is beautiful’ Herald Sun (What Rhymes with Cars and Girls)
Commissioned with the support of the Joan & Peter Clemenger Trust