Carlton, 1967. Schoolteacher Betty Burstall begins sketching plans for what will eventually become La Mama Theatre: the pre-eminent independent home of new, experimental and previously unseen Australian work.
Stratford-upon-Avon, 1975. Politically charged director Buzz Goodbody – founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Other Place, a theatre of new, experimental and previously unseen theatre – is about to begin rehearsing her production of Hamlet.
A world premiere by award-winning playwright Christopher Bryant, The Other Place is a genre-defying work performed by an all-female-identifying cast continuing the legacy of kicking against the pricks.
The Other Place is a show about two remarkable, tenacious women who pioneered the world of theatre. It is a work that demonstrates that even in the face of adversity, the bonds of women will shine through. The play highlights the historical power imbalances that women face in the industry, and how these are still perpetuated today.
Drawing on historical events, fiction and non-fiction, the dialogue of the play melts together to create a magical realism that showcases the brilliance of women in theatre.
“It’s a play about history, but not as you’d expect it. It’s about imbalances in theatre and in the world, but it’s also about a time when theatre was so affecting, and people were so passionate, that they would literally riot in the streets because of it.”
– Christopher Bryant
While the work draws on reality, the play centres around the imagined meeting of two great minds. The work follows Betty Burstall and her efforts which would result in Melbourne’s iconic La Mama Theatre, and Buzz Goodbody, the trailblazing founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Queer writer Christopher Bryant wanted to pay homage to the women in his life who have supported him through this work. In their own words, “as humans, I believe nobody is free while some of us experience disadvantage.”
The Other Place will bring together an ensemble of female identifying creatives to bring the lived existence of women in theatre to the stage.