Cuckoo 2015

Mel (Natalie Carr) and J (Samuel Russo)

When a young man turns up on Mel and Leo’s doorstep asking for peanut butter on toast and a band aid, they want to believe he might be their missing son…but is he really who he appears to be?

And how does he know so much about hypnotizing swans?

Cuckoo is a dark comedy about a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside a big box of Lego.

Written by Jane Miller
Directed by Alice Bishop
Cast: Natalie Carr, David Kambouris, Matthew Molony, Samuel Russo
Set design: Kelsey Henderson
Lighting design: Bronwyn Pringle
Stage Manager: Hayley Fox

Beautiful writing that lets hope shine in its blackness” – Aussie Theatre.

An honest, unsettling and thoroughly humorous account of life in the face of tragedy” – Theatre Press.

This well written, performed and constructed play makes you laugh but also manages to make you twist uncomfortably in your seat ” – Arts Hub.

An intriguing work from a playwright to watch” – The Age


Director's Note

I was very pleased to be asked to direct this new play. I have been a fan of Jane Miller’s work for a long time. There are few writers that can walk the fine line between comedy and tragedy. Jane does this. With aplomb and with a big heart. The subject matter of this work is dark and difficult. But sometimes we need to go to the dark and difficult places, and we need to laugh in order to survive. I thank my long-time collaborators and friends Nat, Dave, Matt and Bron who make me laugh and make life better, and new friends Sam, Kelsey, Hayley and Jane.

Alice Bishop

Writer's Note

I am not sure I really know where this play came from. Much like one of its characters, it seems to have just appeared one night at the front door. I wrote it while undertaking a Master of Writing for Performance at VCA but some of the fragments of its ideas have been kicking around my brain for a while without any sense of how they might fit into a whole. Part of it grew from my interest in the ability of human beings to paper over the cracks in life, relationships and truths in the name of self-preservation

Cuckoo has stretched and changed me as a writer. I hope audiences find it funny, sad, bizarre and enigmatic, much like life and people can be. The experience of writing the play in the context of the Masters course is one I will never forget. The intensity of the process as well as the insights and support of the lecturers and my wonderful classmates were invaluable and sustaining. In production, I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with artists of the talent and generosity of Alice, Natalie, Matt, David, Sam, Bronwyn, Kelsey and Hayley, or more delighted that Cuckoo is having its premiere in the wonderful space of fortyfivedownstairs.

Jane Miller

9 -26 July 2015
Preview 8 July