Beatles, Bedlam and pills. The stories of two men heeding from two separate centuries clash and combine in Gina Schein’s Morgan Stern.
The Gent is over 200 years old when he reluctantly finds himself the guardian of a young man with a head filled with voices. But who is leading whom to salvation?
“The Gent is quite cold and very…unemotional,” explained playwright Gina Schein. “I couldn’t think of a more different person to tell this story than The Gent… he’s from a different century, he doesn’t understand modern medicine, he’s very proud…”
The story Schein refers to, that she sought to tell in this work, is that of her brother and his condition – this is a play about schizophrenia.
With a legacy of scripts and writing awards to her name, Schein counts this as the most difficult task to date, taking three and a half years to write the play and almost abandoning it before she conjured The Gent: “He was a bit of a buffer between me and reality… It was my way of moving [my brother] to a place of safety so that I could write about him.”
Morgan Stern’s debut will be the second production from the independent Company of Rogues, headed by Goldele Rayment, who bring Schein’s imagination to life with the assistance of veteran actor Graeme Rhodes.
“Graeme, who is extraordinary, he is doing all the voices,” said Schein. “He plays Morgan, he play’s Morgan’s mother, he plays his own daughter… It’s all down to him… I’m very excited about how he’s done this.”
With an eerie sound design by Tegan Nicholls and a theatre in the round approach, Morgan Stern takes over the cosy confides of bar-come-theatre-house Blood Moon Theatre. (A happy coincidence, after Schein’s much loved and often revisited two-hander The Punter’s Siren took to the same stage earlier this year.)
Don’t miss this fantastical and moving new work of independent Australian theatre. (AM)
Nov 25–Dec 3, 7.30pm*. Blood Moon Theatre @ The World Bar, 24 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point. $20-$27. Tickets & info: www.companyrogues.com
(*Low wage performance Nov 27, 3pm. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)