In keeping with its mission of showcasing fresh work, Griffin Theatre is premiering Benedict Andrews’ new play, Gloria. Andrews, who seems to have a penchant for tempestuous drama, has created a complex, absorbing story, with immense themes and emotions.
“It’s epic,” is how actor Huw Hugginson describes it. “It deals with some pretty big things about where we sit in the world…and the fear that we all have in an increasingly dangerous world.”
Hugginson plays Gloria’s sometimes-husband. The play is intricate and the personalities are inconsistent. Gloria’s character remains constant, but the rest of the cast “shape shifts”, as Hugginson puts it.
Gloria is an actress. She lives in a high level apartment with her husband and daughter. The world outside is besieged with war and violence but Gloria and the people around her seem oblivious, uninterested. That’s the central commentary.
“It’s about where we are with the human condition…and how we put distance between ourselves from things that perhaps we should be more engaged with,” said Hugginson.
The play moves through five different modes, with alterations in characters, setting and atmosphere. Production is key in assisting the audience through. “It’s going to be quite a technical show as far as lighting and sound and projections are concerned.”
Marta Dusseldorp plays the demanding part of Gloria. Asked about how she handles the weighty role, Hugginson replies:
“…She’s a fantastic actress and it needs a fantastic actress…the character in the play is such a huge character, such a powerful and distraught character in many ways that it needs somebody with a huge and accurate range.”
On the subject of range, audience members may recognise Hugginson as PC George Garfield in the UK series, The Bill. As well as that memorable role, Hugginson has done much television and theatre work, here and in the UK. Three years ago he and his partner moved to Australia permanently. Hugginson is encouraged by the local industry.
“The theatre scene here is vibrant, there are a lot of good actors here and there are a lot of good companies here.”
He enjoys trialling new productions and can’t wait to hear the feedback on Gloria. (RB)
Until Oct 8, evenings & matinees. SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross. $35-$40. Tickets & info: www.griffintheatre.com.au or (02) 9361 3817
BY RITA BRATOVICH