Acclaimed Australian playwright Michael Gow’s gripping and confronting play Once In Royal David’s City opens this week at Newtown’s New Theatre. Directed by Patrick Howard, a New Theatre play assessor of over four years, and featuring a sprawling cast of twelve actors, Once In Royal David’s City will enthral and confront audiences in the same breath. The play spans four decades and centres around the character of Will Drummond, a middle-aged gay theatre director who finds himself uncertain of everything he thought he knew about himself and about life.
Of the play, director Patrick Howard said, “I read the play and thought ‘oh my god, yes, this is amazing!’, and so we programmed it.” Patrick went on to explain his creative process when approaching a play such as this one, “I thought, ‘what can I put into this that might make it uniquely something that has come from me?’”
Patrick’s passion for creating theatre is undeniable, and his commitment to directing Once In Royal David’s City shines through when he speaks about the play.
“I’ve developed a really holistic view of theatre and how it’s made,” Patrick said, going on to say, “it feels very natural and very intuitive, working on this show.”
Audiences can expect to be thoroughly surprised by the production, with an image of Santa and an illusive blurb being the only glimpses into the world of Once In Royal David’s City. On this, Patrick said, “I think the play can be deceptive to look at…but actually, it’s just this weird, magical, at times hilarious, but ultimately quite sad, uplifting thing.”
Until Apr 13. New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown. $22-$35+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.newtheatre.org.au
By Madison Behringer