By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Anne-Louise Sarks
An Obie Award-winner several times over, Caryl Churchill (Top Girls) is widely considered one of the world’s greatest living playwrights. In this world-first theatrical experience, Melbourne Theatre Company Artistic Director Anne-Louise Sarks directs two separate Caryl Churchill works: What If If Only, the micro-meditation on grief and possibility starring Alison Bell; and Escaped Alone, a visionary play starring Helen Morse, alongside Deidre Rubenstein and Debra Lawrance, about afternoon tea and the apocalypse.
In Escaped Alone, a woman joins her three neighbours for an afternoon of swapping memories and sharing secrets, in between the telling of catastrophic events, bleak but blackly humorous. In What If If Only, a partner laments their lost love and conjures up countless possible futures, with and without love. In both works, the characters’ hopes, fears and dreams are palpable, visceral and remarkable.
Showcasing the dazzling alchemy of Churchill’s writing, these two short works are separate plays that share some deep thematic parallels. Their combination in Sarks’s hands promises a profound, surreal, funny and thrilling theatrical experience.
★★★★★ "Magnificent...an intricate, elliptical, acutely female view of the apocalypse." - The Guardian (on Escaped Alone)
★★★★ "Moving, cryptic, funny, terrifying and ridiculous." - Time Out London (on What If If Only)
Writer: Caryl Churchill
Director: Anne-Louise Sarks
Escaped Alone Cast: Helen Morse, Debra Lawrance, and Deidre Rubenstein
What If If Only Cast: Alison Bell
August 7th, 2023
September 9th, 2023
Southbank Theatre, The Sumner
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