BLUE COW in association with SIREN THEATRE CO present
NOTHING - Pelle Koppell's adaptation of Janne Teller's novel
Hobart April 2019 - Peacock Theatre
Directed & Designed by Kate Gaul
Lighting Design by Greg Thompson
Composer & Sound Designer: Dylan Sheridan
Assistant Director - Melissa King
Photographer - Tony McKendrick
Cast: Josef Ber, Jane Hamilton - Foster
“It’s all a waste of time,”a boy shouts from the top of a plum tree. “In a few years you’ll all be dead.”
Pelle Koppel’s adaptation of Janne Teller’s award-winning novel for young adults is full of wry, humorous, self-knowing hopelessness. Don’t let the novel’s intended audience fool you, this story has a depth and a darkness that unflinchingly reflect internal as well as societal struggles.
The two actors play a group of teenagers desperate to persuade their smug tree-dwelling friend, Pierre Anthon, that his cynicism is unfounded and life isn’t utterly pointless.
To do this, they start gathering all of the objects that are important to them and pile them up in a “heap of meaning”: green sandals, a bike, a pet, Jesus on a cross, Cinderella the dog, the body of a dead child. It seems there is nothing in the world that doesn’t mean something to someone.
The more disparaging Pierre Anthon is about everything his school friends love, the more extreme the collecting becomes. Slowly, in the town sawmill, one person’s “meaning” becomes another’s depravity.
Who are we without the objects and beliefs that we use to define ourselves? Are we really, as Pierre Anthon loftily claims, “nothing”? And when the “heap of meaning” is finally sold, does that make it “art” or worth no more than the money paid for it?
NOTHING explores the transient nature of “meaning” and how it can be used to give us both human purpose and justify the most violent of acts is presented in all its thought-provoking and contradictory complexity.
The award-winning existential novel from 2000 has long since become a classic, both nationally and internationally, and is currently translated into more than 25 different languages and adapted into opera and numerous stage productions.
“A dark and thought-provoking work of theatre, skilfully brought to life by a talented team of creatives and performers…
Nothing is a densely intellectual and philosophical piece of theatre, a slow burn that stays ruminating insistently in your mind after you leave. Its dark Scandi-Noir undertones are cloaked by a seemingly innocent story, but the characters’ search for meaning (or lack of it) reveals an uncomfortable journey through layers of Existential, Nihilist and Capitalist metaphors. The script is clever and multidimensional and the characters’ journey mirrors so effectively what is asked of the audience.
… as an audience member you are pushed to define your own lines of personal responsibility, morality and ultimately to reflect on the values of connection and meaning, simultaneously material, moral and the emotional.” Kath Melbourne Arts Hub
“It’s intense, black, funny, harrowing, tautly directed, cleverly designed, sharply written, strongly performed. Everything you’d expect from a Blue Cow/Siren Theatre Co collaboration. “ Kym Weatherly
“… incredible, powerful, funny, thought provoking; a rollercoaster of a play! Bloody brilliant!” Krystyn Whitmore
“Tasmanian theatre is well and truly rocking at the moment and women and their allies are at the front and centre of the renaissance… Important ideas, thought provoking, beautifully executed.” Jane Polley
“It’s a brilliant piece of theatre and everyone should get along and support the performing arts in Hobart.” Danni Ashton
“THESE TWO! Gorgeous! Genius! Beautiful! Scary! Funny!” Robert Jarman
“Intricate and unnerving. Fantastic aesthetic. Gripping narrative. It's like the Old Testament wrapped up in a chic Scandi throw. Go.” Stuart Loone
“'Nothing' what an absolutely delightful slap in the face” Lisa Gormely
“I was fortunate to be in the audience of 'Nothing' on Saturday night, the script and what it asks of its audience is still with me - ruminating..... Another strong show for Tasmanian professional theatre in 2019 featuring lots of excellent women creatives. Well worth a night out.” Julie Waddington