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Norm & Ahmed: 50th Anniversary Performance

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When: Friday 23rd November
Where:
Pioneer Theatre, 14 Pennant Street, Castle Hill
Time: 11am

Cost: $20-$35

You’re walking home around midnight. It’s cold and dark and the streets are deserted. You’re in a foreign country and your senses are on high alert. Suddenly, from nowhere, a stranger lurches from the shadows. “Got a light?” Do you stop? This is the situation that young Pakistani student Ahmed (Craig Meneaud) finds himself in when confronted by the unpredictable and ambiguous ‘great white’ Norm (Laurence Coy) in this special 50th Anniversary performance of Alex Buzo’s sharp, entertaining and satirical 1960’s classic, ‘Norm and Ahmed’. 50 years since it’s first premiere in Melbourne, Alex Buzo’s tense two hander is alarmingly still relevant, confronting issues of racism, xenophobia, cultural difference and assimilation in a country that has perhaps changed little, perhaps a lot. Norm, a Vietnam Vet, is eager to bestow the virtues of Australia’s culture of alcohol, R.S.Ls and football on Ahmed; but his attitude makes the whole exchange seem more like a ludicrous citizenship test, which he hopes can only result in exposing Ahmed’s lack of so-called Australian values. Laurence Coy’s Norm is a tour de force – edgy, erratic and dangerous. He’s a ticking time bomb ready to explode at the slightest provocation. He embodies the stereotypical Australian paradox: warm and welcoming one minute, hostile and dismissive the next. Ahmed, played by Craig Meneaud, is the cautious outsider, reluctant to accept Norm’s friendly advances for fear of the aggressive undercurrent that lies beneath. When he discovers that Norm’s pretense for their discussion (the request for a lighter) is a ruse, Meneaud’s reaction is perfectly pitched. He’s in trouble now, or at least he could be, but we’re sure that his brains are an equal match for Norm’s brawn. Now is the perfect time to discover, or rediscover, this pioneering piece of Australian theatre. One performance only, at the Pioneer Play Festival in Castle Hill, Friday, Nov 23rd. 11am.

Phone: 0420 983 559
Official website
Article by Sydelle.

Boy Out of the Country

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When: Saturday 24th November
Where:
Pioneer Theatre, 14 Pennant Street, Castle Hill
Time: 1pm & 7pm

Cost: $20-$35

SYDNEY PREMIERE. There's more to land than real estate. There's more to family than DNA. A fast, funny and darkly observant look at family, urban development and the progress of life, Felix Nobis’ Boy Out of the Country will have its Sydney premiere for two performances only at the new Pioneer Theatre this November 24. A family property is suddenly zoned as part of a regional housing estate to accommodate an ever-increasing urban sprawl. At this moment of shifting economies, and loyalties, Hunter returns from a seven-year absence. Finding his boyhood house boarded up and his mother in aged care, Hunter goes in search of answers. And he starts with his brother Gordon. Presented as the premiere work at the inaugural Pioneer Play Festival by theatre makers Company of Rogues, Nobis’ ‘Boy’ is a bush ballad for contemporary life, written in vernacular verse reminiscent of the poetic tradition of Banjo Patterson. Here, old Australia meets new Australia. A country cop comes to terms with rapid social change, a backyard is less important than extra bedrooms, and technology has the potential to unearth old family secrets. For Hunter and Gordon, sibling rivalry and childhood nostalgia collide with unexpected consequences. The debut work for Director Erica Lovell, co-directed by Goldele Rayment, this new production features a stellar cast including Brendan Miles (A Place to Call Home), Tom Harwood (Things Not to do After a Break Up), Jason Glover (Van Dieman's Land), Jeannie Gee (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), and Amelia Robertson-Cuninghame (Anatomy of an Offence, Love Child). “A play infused with the vitality of Aussie idiom and melodrama, that crackles with understatement and wit.” Cameron Woodhead, The Age. “Mr Nobis’s writing is a particular kind of brilliant… Nobis’s command of ‘vernacular verse’ is faultless” Stage Whispers. A story of land, family and belonging, Boy Out of the Country emerged from the Melbourne Theatre Company Affiliate Writers Scheme and was awarded the R. E. Ross Trust Script Development Award.

Phone: 0420 983 559
Official website
Article by Robbi.

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