The team behind ROUND HENDS AND PEAK HEADS currently playing the Bondi Pav

ROUND HEADS AND PEAK HEADS is the fifth of six student productions that the Actors College of Theatre and Television (ACTT) is presenting to showcase the talents of their graduating Advanced Diploma acting students.

This play, a very clever political satire, had its premiere in a Danish-language production performed in November 1936. The piece is a work by the radical German playwright Bertolt Brecht, penned during the rise of Nazism, with the original German title being Die Rundköpfe und die Spitzköpfe.  This production features the translation by Tom Kuhn.

The play’s tag line is ‘money calls to money’. Brecht described his socialist play as ‘a tale of horror’ and the confronting anti-communist/fascist dialogue has all the subtlety of an exploding atomic missile.       

Director Les Marinos has chosen to partially localise the piece,  whilst closely mimicking the political structure of 1930s Germany,  The cast is fourteen strong with many actors playing multiple roles.  The main section of society are called ’roundheads’ (zaks) who Brecht sets up against the marginalised ‘peakheads’ (ziks). The piece is  located in a fictitious country called Woop-Woop.

The scenario sees the progressive rulers maintain power, and create a great lie, in their attempt to prevent a communist revolution by  a group calling themselves The Sickle.    Deliberate philosophical propaganda creates rampant racism to distract the citizens from the reality of urgent social issues of antagonistic class relations between the rich and the poor.

This Brecht piece is rarely performed by theatre companies because of the large cast requirement. As well the play is over long, a meandering two and a half hours.

Marinos has directed this Brecht with energy and vision, and often quite deliberately breaks the fourth wall. The play features eleven scenes in prose and blank verse and includes thirteen songs.

The director wins good performances from his ensemble cast. In particular, actress Cait Burley is outstanding and very believable as the still-a-virgin Roundhead, Isabella De Guzman.

Cast: Simon Benjamin, Campbell Briggs, Alex Brown, Cait Burley, Sarah Anne Carter, Abbie Coco, Keegan Fisher, Joseph Hallows, Reilly Anne Keir, Richard Littlehales, Angelika Nieweglowski, Jake Scherini, Amy Shapiro, Romney Stanton.

Running Time almost 155 minutes, with one intermission.

Bertolt Brecht’s ROUND HENDS AND PEAK HEADS played the Bondi Pavilion  theatre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach between the 5th and the 9th November.