Scene News: Ruben Guthrie

RUBEN GUTHRIE

Brendan Cowell’s brutally honest and acerbically wicked play about one man’s relationship with booze, love, family, redemption and being taken to AA by his mum. What happens when those around you just won’t let you quit drinking?

Ruben Guthrie (Best New Australian Work Nominee 2008) tackles the Australian drinking culture head on as Ruben – a super explosive ad-exec with a devil may care attitude – drinks, lives and loves to excess until the day he tries to fly…literally. Ruben Guthrie is directed by award winning actor and director Travis Handcock and is also the inaugural play of Handcock and Stephanie King’s new theatre company FizzWack. The play opens at 1812 Theatre on Wednesday September 7, 2016.

Brendan Cowell’s biting prose examines the highs and lows of drinking to excess in very familiar territory – our own. Australia has always been looked at as a party place; a place where youth binge drinking is out of control; a place where success is not only matched by the amount of money you make but the amount of fine wine you drink. Cowell’s play picks at the scab sitting atop who we are as a people, what we deem acceptable, how we enable those we profess to help and how we drink to excess. Ruben has it all: a successful high flyer engaged to a Czech supermodel with money to burn and ideas to match, but his life comes crashing down when he can’t see beyond the bottom of a booze bottle.

Ruben Guthrie is also a highly lauded 2015 Australian film starring Patrick Brammall, Alex Dimitriades and Abbey Lee Kershaw in the lead roles. The screenplay was written by Brendan Cowell and is based off his play. Cowell also directed the film.

“FizzWack Theatre is very excited to be staging this uniquely Australian show,” says director Travis Handcock.” It is an in-your-face assault of clever writing by Cowell who seems to have a handle on what it is to be on top of your game one minute and then to fall head long down a dark tunnel the next. Ruben is flawed but human and ultimately seeks what we all want and that is to be loved, accepted, and in control. The question of control and redemption are big themes in the play, as are notions of loyalty, conformity and acceptance. Ruben’s shot at redemption is fragile because there are many hurdles in his way – the biggest of which is himself. Ruben Guthrie is a gutsy play that packs a punch!”

Travis Handcock is a Victorian Drama League award-winning director with his production of Ruben Guthrie winning Gold last year. His production of The Freedom of the City was also highly lauded and garnered many VDL nominations. Other productions include The Faculty Room, and Seminar with acting credits including; Ruben Guthrie, The Glass Menagerie, Love Song, for which he was nominated Best Lead Actor at the Canberra Area Theatre Awards, and has also toured a production in Singapore.

Brendan Cowell is an Australian actor, screenwriter, comedian and director. His play, Rabbit, is the recipient of the 2003 Griffin Playwriting award for most outstanding new work in a given year, and his play, Bed, earned him a share of the 2001 Patrick White Playwrights award. He is probably most recognizable to many Australians from his role as Todd on the SBS comedy, Life Support . The film Ruben Guthrie won Cowell an AWGIE award for Best Writing in a Feature Film – Adapted, with the film receiving nominations in the fields of acting and screenplay

One of the purest expressions of hedonism yet brought to the screen.
– Sydney Morning Herald

Cowell’s screenplay is a polished piece of work…
– The Guardian

All in all, it’s a flashy and very funny ride with a big heart and, dare I say, an important message. Recommended.
– ABC

Ruben Guthrie is brash, forthright and funny… Australian audiences will relate and embrace it
– Urban Cinefile

4 PERFORMANCES ONLY!

Directed by Travis Handcock

When:
Opening Night Wednesday September 7
Thursday September 8
Friday September 9
Saturday September 10

Where: The 1812 Theatre, 3 Rose Street, Upper Ferntree Gully, 3156

Tickets: $27 Adult
$24 Groups (10+)

Cast: Jeanette Coppolino, Travis Handcock, Stephanie King, Andrew Mellor, Stephanie Morrell, David Runnalls, Steven Young

Warning: The play contains violence, nudity, drug and alcohol use, sexually explicit action and adult language. May not be suitable for children.

Bookings and further info: (03) 9758 3964 or
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fizzwacktheatre
Webpage: fizzwack.wordpress.com

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