Tag Archives: Emily McGowan



Frank Bryant (David Jeffrey) has become a tutor, for an Open University English Literature course, entirely just for the money. He is an older middle-class professor, a career academic, and a high-functioning alcoholic, who had ambitions to be a great poet and is bored with his University job of teaching undergraduate English Literature. His first student Rita White (Emily McGowan) struts into his book-filled office.

Rita is an unhappy married hairdresser, down-to-earth and excessively talkative but often rambling, and now aged 26 years, she needs freedom and is driven to dedicate herself to receiving all of the education, that she failed to receive in school.

Rita brings all of her under-educated blunt honesty, to loudly challenge Frank’s deep intellect and limitless knowledge of literature. Each inspires the other to become more alive, and better live their lives. Socially inept Rita believes that she is trapped by her working class life and her husband, and the theme of identity emerges, because she changed her birth name from Susan to Rita. Rita believes that studying literature for twelve months, will give her the worldly knowledge that she needs to grow as a person.

Playwright Willy Russell has sleekly styled EDUCATING RITA with realistic character-driven dialogue, providing the perfect balance of humour and poignancy. The play is fast paced, dialogue intensive 120 minutes of theatre entertainment, full of purpose, comedy and pathos, as these two people, learn more about each other, the class system, and the many shortcomings of institutionalised education systems.                 Continue reading WILLY RUSSELL’S CLASSIC ‘EDUCATING RITA’ SPARKLES @ THE DEPOT




Mustard Seed Productions is currently presenting their inaugural production, the world premiere of Murray Lambert’s subversive and hilarious dark comedy MY FATHERS LEFT TESTICLE.

The play exposes the physical/mental dangers to refugee adults and children, directly resulting from the Australian Government immigration policy to “stop the boats” and the hypocrisy of the barbaric treatment those refugees receive in the overseas processing camps. Five refugees exist in an alternate reality, and these five Australian Citizens have decided to flee their homeland of Australia, and are processed overseas through a refugee detention centre called “Camp Assimilation.” Continue reading MY FATHERS LEFT TESTICLE @ THE DEPOT THEATRE


Cristina in the Cupboard - photography by Katy Green Loughrey

A spellbinding experiment in comic magic realism by critically acclaimed Australian writer Paul Gilchrist, CRISTINA IN THE CUPBOARD comes to The Depot Theatre in Marrickville for a three week season in July. This story of an unusual retreat, and a remarkable victory plays 8pm Wed to Sat and 5pm Sun, 13 – 30 July 2016. Playful and provocative, CRISTINA IN THE CUPBOARD tells of one woman’s quest to live life entirely on her own terms.

Everyone needs time out. Not everyone does it like this. Cristina is a contemporary woman. Intelligent. Capable. But she’s not satisfied with what’s on offer. Life seems too small. So she takes the extraordinary step of withdrawing from society. Join Cristina on a breathtaking inner journey as she meets a host of fantastic, hyperbolic characters, navigates illusion, weathers dismay, and discovers wonder.

Paul Gilchrist is a Sydney-based writer and director. His work has been produced locally, interstate and overseas. He is the co-founder of subtlenuance, a company dedicated solely to the production of original Australian work. Originally produced by subtlenuance in 2013, this production is directed by Julie Baz (co-artistic director of The Depot Theatre) and designed by David Jeffrey (also co-artistic director), with assistant director, Lillian Silk and sound designer Thomas Moore. It features a terrific line up of some of Sydney’s indie theatre talent: Nyssa Hamilton, Teale Howie, David Jeffrey, Emily McGowan, Tasha O’Brien, Sarah Plummer, Lucy Quill and Rachael Williams.

The Depot Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre situated within and supported by the historic Addison Road Centre, a thriving inner west hub for culture, arts and the environment visited by over 200,000 people annually. The Depot Theatre challenges and entertains its audiences with theatre that is accessible, affordable and – most importantly – a really fun night out. Coming up next after CRISTINA IN THE CUPBOARD in their 2016 Season is the new Australian play, A NEST OF SKUNKS by James Balian & Roger Vickery and presented by Collaborations Theatre Group, followed by BIJOU – A CABARET OF SECRETS and Seduction, written and performed by Chrissie Shaw, presented by Small Shows Productions.

“The Depot Theatre punches well above its weight, presenting well-produced, confidently performed shows that both entertain and inspire.” WEEKEND NOTES

13-30 July – 8pm Wed-Sat, 5pm Sun

For more about Cristina in the Cupboard by Paul Gilchrist, visit http://thedepottheatre.com/cristina-in-the-cupboard
Find us on: YouTube | Facebook

Giveaway offer – The Depot Theatre is giving away two double passes to the 8pm Thurs 21 July performance of CRISTINA IN THE CUPBOARD. Email: –SAG CRISTINA to info@thedepottheatre.com to win.


Cristina 4

Cristina has decided upon a self imposed exile, to live in a cupboard incommunicado. She feels that modern life is shallow and inauthentic.

Cristina, excellently played by Emily McGowan, is going to stay in her cupboard and examine her life, her family, her friends and the impact of significant events in her upbringing. Cristina has taken a different approach than Socrates suggested. As Socrates supposedly said at his trial, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” He would rather die than live in exile unable to debate and engage with his students and fellow citizens.

Cristina is going to examine her life on her terms and only engage with the world outside her cupboard when she so decides. Continue reading CRISTINA IN THE CUPBOARD @ DEPOT THEATRE MARRICKVILLE


Above- Jesse Northam with puppet. Featured- Murray Lambert and Sam Flack. Photos by Alinta Haydock-Burton.
Above- Jesse Northam with puppet. Featured- Murray Lambert and Sam Flack. Photos by Alinta Haydock-Burton.

The Holy City of Godface : built by gods, ruled by gods, populated by gods.

Seventy minutes, the length of this play, may not seem like a long time to spend on stage, but for the five cast members of

GODFACE, it must have seemed like an eternity. Not only do they have to play many human characters, they must also bring a myriad of puppet characters to life. The four male actors who work the puppets have to embody several different animals – supplying the voices while controlling their entire body movements. Continue reading MATRIARK THEATRE PRESENTS GODFACE @ 107 PROJECTS Inc REDFERN


Ghosts- inset

Henrik Ibsen’s intense psychological drama, GHOSTS, was written in 1818 and first staged in Chicago Illinois the following year. Like many of Ibsen’s plays it is a scathing commentary on 19th century morality. Touching on issues such as free love, euthanasia, religious hypocrisy and venereal disease, the drama was reviled and dammed in the press of the time. This production, as translated by William Archer, is the second play to be presented by the recently formed Depot Theatre Company, previously the Sydney Independent Theatre Company.

The setting is the mid twentieth century and under the direction of Julie Baz the play comes to life and remains relevant to today’s audience.

GHOSTS opens with Jacob Engstrand, played with much sleaze and hypocritical virtue by Zac McKay, trying to convince as he tries to convince his purported daughter Regina to come work at the sailor’s establishment he wants to open. Emily McGowan plays Regina, a self-assured flirt at the start of the play, and is too proud of her job as Mrs. Alving’s maid to join her father.

Pastor Manders enters and tries to convince Regina to help her father. From the start David Jeffery brings out the self-righteous and unbending religious fervour and justification of everything the Pastor says and does.

Mrs Helen Alving is a complex character, a mix of a liberated and free thinking mind trapped within the conventions of her time. Julie Baz brings out the tormented nature of Helen’s struggle as she battles the ghosts of her sordid marriage and the consequences of her past decisions.

Helen is not the only victim, as it is soon revealed that her son Oswald, newly returned home after years pursuing a career as an artist in Paris, has terrible secrets of his own.

Steve Vincent as Oswald is very credible as he portrays his character’s gradual deterioration and the nature of his tormented relationship with his mother.

No one in the family is exempt from this growing web of lies and dark secrets.

We learn the truth of Helen’s maid Regina and her relationship with Helen’s late husband and the moral dilemmas that this poses. By the end Regina, as well as all the other characters, have their plans shattered and they are each forced to face the consequences of their past actions.

A plain but effective set by David Jeffery, and an evocative soundscape add to the power of this production as you can feel the audience’s emotions change in sympathy, encouragement or anger as the characters reveal their histories and their true selves.

Julie Baz’s revival of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play GHOSTS is playing at the Depot Theatre, Marrickville until Saturday 24th October. Performances are Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 5pm.

CAST: – David Jeffrey- Pastor Manders, Zac McKay – Jacob Engstrand, Emily McGowan- Regina Engstrand, Julie Baz- Mrs Helen Alving, Steve Vincent- Oswald Alving.

CREATIVES:- Julie Baz- Director, David Jeffrey- Designer, Stage Manager- Mehran Mortezaei.



Admirers of the great Russian playwright, on seeing Julia Baz’s  very impressive production of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece THE CHERRY ORCHARD, will appreciate the discerning casting, costumes, and mood enhancing lighting.

Best of all is the clean fresh look of the production, that cleverly takes full advantage of the L-shaped seating layout.

This poignant, classic tragedy is about torment and suffering in a time of change. All the performances are crisp, sharp and coherent. Within the narrative threads there are elements of farce and comedy. Continue reading THE CHERRY ORCHARD @ The Depot Theatre MARRICKVILLE

Godface @ The Old 505 Theatre

As part of Experimental Fleshworks at Old 505.

What the Hell was that? As my friend and I reeled down the 5 flights of stairs from the Old 505 theatre we just kept repeating, what the hell was that? I loved it but what the Hell was it? It was really really good but what in the name of all the Gods was it? By the time we hit the street we had worked it out. It was brilliant, funny, emotional, experiential physical theatre beyond definition.

In a weird place, deserted and formless we meet a mortal, Pippa, who is seduced into running for the elected position of God in a secluded wasteland city called GODFACE. At first reticent, the deal is sealed when immortality is dangled like dust flutters before her. Her main rival is Swansee, who will erode Pippa’s ideals enough that she will bury her real self. Will the true Pippa survive to rise Godlike from the floor? Continue reading Godface @ The Old 505 Theatre


Emily McGowan, Josh Hampson and Thomas Albert in HALFWORLD
Emily McGowan, Josh Hampson and Thomas Albert in HALFWORLD

The Matriark Theatre Company travels well known terrain with its second work, a children’s play called HalfWorld, written by Robert den Englesman and directed by Scott Parker, which is still currently at a workshop stage.

Den Engelsman’s play fits into the quest/fantasy genre. Josh Hampson plays the protagonist Mr Boy who starts on a quest to find his lost twin brother. As per Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero of a Thousand Faces’ template, our young hero has to enter into a special world, in the case of this play it is called the ‘HalfWorld’.

The centerpiece of this HalfWorld is a huge tent/fortress made of blankets, designed by Aleisa Jelbart, which magically envelopes both the players and the whole of the audience. The kids loved the excitement of it, being ‘wrapped’ in this outlandish cocoon.

In this HalfWorld Mr Boy encounters plenty of quirky allies and enemies. Amongst his allies is Oph, played by the playwright himself, the friendly presence of Admiral John, played by the director, and the Moon who watches over him, played by Emily McGowan. Mr Boy’s chief enemy is the irascible Cortman, dressed in one of the most colourful costumes that I have yet seen, who works for a detective agency and is out to grab him before he gets to find his twin.

My only reservation was this fun piece of theatre as it stands is that it needs a stronger third Act/ denouement. As the production currently stands, the time in the magical Special HalfWorld is where the play is the strongest, and the piece is in need of a stronger resolution. I am sure that the Company will work on this aspect as they prepare for the show’s first fully fledged production.

Matriark Theatre Company’s production of HalfWorld played at the 107 Projects Theatre, 107 Redfern Street, Redfern on August 16, 17 and 18.