The Sydney Theatre Company (STC) has come back home to the Wharf 1 Theatre, after extensive renovations, with Kate Mulvany’s stage adaptation of Ruth Park’s classic children’s novel ‘Playing Beatie Bow’.
This is the second Ruth Park work that Mulvany has adapted for the stage after the highly acclaimed adaptation of ‘The Harp In The South’. Again the STC’s Artistic Director Kip Williams directs.
Above all, PLAYING BEATIE BOW tells the story of a turbulent, transformative friendship between two teenage girls, superbly played by two fine actresses.
Catherine Van-Davies plays Abigail, a teenager dealing with her parents’ separation, who follows the mysterious young Beatie Bow, played by Sofia Nolan, back through time, from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s The Rocks in the present day to the year 1873- when the suburb was full of struggling immigrant families, gangsters and whole host of larger than life characters. Abigail does make it back home to the present but not before having plenty of adventures.
Catherine Van-Davies and Sofia Nolan are joined on stage by Tony Cogin, Lena Cruz, Claire Lovering, Heather Mitchell, Rory O’Keefe, Guy Simon and Ryan Yeates who play some 60 different characters between them.
Kip Williams makes good use of Wharf 1’s very deep stage to enact the play’s many scenes. Production values are excellent; the main credits – set designer David Fleischer, Costume designer Renee Mulder, Lighting designer Nick Schlieper and Composer Clemence Williams.
Just a tip…The best way to enjoy this production is to try and read Ruth Park’s book before coming to the theatre. It’s a book that one falls in love with – the world that it creates and the characters that inhabit it. You will then be more able to appreciate how strikingly Park’s world has been brought to life by the magic of theatre.
PLAYING BEATIE BOW is playing the Wharf 1 Theatre at the Sydney Theatre Company until Saturday May 1, 2021.
Performance times are Mondays and Tuesdays at 6.30pm and Wednesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm. There are matinee performances on Wednesdays at 1pm and Saturdays at 1.30pm.