Pamela Rabe and Philip Quast star in the classic screwball comedy, His Girl Friday which opens Thursday 16 August 2012 at 8pm at Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse in its Australian premiere.
Playwright John Guare’s script is an adaptation of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s original play The Front Page and Columbia Pictures film version of His Girl Friday, a cynical satire on tabloid journalism. Aidan Fennessy directs this sparkling new production which delivers the best of both wise-cracking worlds. Lured back into the Chicago newsroom on the eve of her impending nuptials, ace reporter Hildy Johnson finds herself caught up in the biggest story of the year. Tired of the hustle and sleaze of the Chicago newspaper game, she’s ready to throw it all away to catch the midnight train east to marry her handsome, cashed up fiancé Bruce Baldwin. She wants to discover what it truly means to be a lady of leisure … but that was before the fattest, juiciest scoop of all time, landed splat in her lap!
‘All three of us are great admirers of this period’s genre of big, classic screwball comedy. For me there’s something intoxicating about fast, wise-cracking satire. I love its high style. It’s just about my favourite period of American comedy writing. For this stage version of His Girl Friday, John Guare has adapted the original play, The Front Page, with an eye on the movie, and a few toes in the twenty-first century. It’s still set in the 1930s but the elements he has tweaked are very topical now, especially about the amorality in certain parts of the media; its hilarious satire absolutely pins the crazy culture of the tabloid press where journos will do anything to get The Story,’ said Pamela Rabe, a member of MTC’s Season 2012 Programming Team.
John Guare is an American playwright whose career began at New York’s Caffe Cino in the 1960s during the birth of off-Broadway theatre, the experimental movement which has since developed into the cultural fabric of America. His plays include The House of Blue Leaves, which won an Obie and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and later went on to win four Tony Awards; Six Degrees of Separation which received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play; and Two Gentleman of Verona, (co-adapted with Mel Shapiro and Galt MacDermot) which also won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and a Tony Award for Best Musical. As a playwright in residence at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Guare wrote Landscape of the Body, Rich and Famous and Marco Polo Sings a Solo. Guare’s other plays include Bosom and Neglect, Gardenia and Four Baboons Adoring the Sun.
Aidan Fennessy is a member of MTC’s Season 2012 Programming Team. As MTC’s Associate Director since 2008, Fennessy programmed the successful Lawler Studio Seasons. Most recently, he wrote and directed the critically acclaimed MTC/BLACK SWAN State Theatre Company production of National Interest. Other MTC directing credits include Return to Earth, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Joy of Text, Boston Marriage, Ruby Moon, Godzone and Things We Do for Love. Outside the Company, his credits include The Glory, Oleanna, A Mile in her Shadow, A Pilot Version of Something to Die For and Commercial Farce.
Directed by Aidan Fennessy, the show features set and costume designer TraCy Grant Lord, lighting designer Matt Scott, sound designer Russell Goldsmith and assistant director Roslyn Oades.
Cast includes: Marco Chiappi (Kruger), Kate Cole (Mollie Malloy), Tyler Coppin (McCue), Jim Daly (Minister/Mayor/Policeman), Giordano Gangl (Woodenshoes), Tom Hobbs (Sweeney), Peter Houghton (Wilson), John Leary (Bersinger/Pinkus), Adam Murphy (Diamond Louie), Grant Piro (Endicott), Philip Quast (Walter), Pamela Rabe (Hildy), Deidre Rubenstein (Mrs Baldwin), Christopher Stollery (Bruce Baldwin), David Woods (Halub) and Tim Wotherspoon (Schwartz).