Premiere season opens May 5
at Kings Cross Theatre
THE WORLD premiere of Melita Rowston’s Between the Streetlight and the Moon will debut at the Kings Cross Theatre for a limited season from May 5.
Presented by MopHead Productions and based in the worlds of art and academia, Between the Streetlight and the Moon explores Australia’s fraught relationship with the cultural centres of London and Paris.
The piece unearths wider themes of creativity, love, failure and how artists’ thoughts make or break their practice. It also questions why most of us settle for the streetlight instead of aiming for the moon.
Between the Streetlight and the Moon was one of five finalists from 131 entries for the Sydney Theatre Company Patrick White Playwright Award in 2016 and was also shortlisted for The Silver Gull Award in 2015.
The feedback Rowston received from the STC panel read: “Members of the panel admired the play for its soulfulness, passion and intelligence. The ideas that you explore about the creation and interpretation of art are lively and provocative. The terrible dichotomy of needing to make art yet being unable to do so for whatever reason, is laid bare with real honesty and insight.
“The characters are complex and flawed, yet enormously appealing and relatable; the images and metaphors work effectively to develop theme; humour and heartbreak are balanced brilliantly. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read!”
Zadie is writing a book that’s going to blow the international art world apart… or so she’s been telling everyone for nine years.
She claims her book will prove once and for all that an illicit affair between Belle Epoque artists Eduoard Manet and Berthe Morisot actually occurred. There’s only one problem – she can’t find the letter that proves her theory; and she happens to be the only academic who believes this letter exists.
Obsessed with what she believes to be a ‘perfect’ love affair between two dead artists, one that she has largely been able to chart through a series of 11 intimate, fraught and exposing portraits, Zadie has buried herself in papers, archives, dossiers and letters to the point where her grip on reality is becoming uncertain.
Celebrated playwright Melita Rowston (Ljubicica: Wild Violet, Crushed) penned the first draft of Between the Streetlight and the Moon after spending a month in Paris. During this time she became obsessed with a tiny painting in the Musee D’Orsay by Edouard Manet, who is known as the Father of Impressionism because of his famous large paintings such as Olympia and Dejeunner sur L’Herbe.
The object of Rowston’s obsession, however, was small and unlike Manet’s other pictures – brash, modern and intimate. Its sketchy brushstrokes depict a woman looking at the painter through the spokes of her fan, her gaze electrifying.
The woman in the portrait is famous Impressionist painter, Berthe Morisot. Manet painted 11 portraits of her, each one progressively charged, messier and more complex than the last. It is as if, according to Rowston, Manet was trying to understand Morisot’s complexity through the process of painting her.
In Rowston’s mind there is no doubt that these pictures chart a turbulent artistic and romantic affair.
One of Sydney’s best directors, Anthony Skuse (4000 Miles, Constellations, Punk Rock) has compiled a brilliant ensemble of actors including Joanna Downing (Othello, Hilt), Ben McIvor (War Horse, The God of Hell), Lucy Miller (Sweeney Todd, Scenes From An Execution), Suzanne Pereira (Julius Caesar, Platonov) and Lani Tupu (Farscape, Lantana).
Between the Streetlight and the Moon will be at the Kings Cross Theatre in Potts Point from May 5 to 27, Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 5pm.