THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY

By Lachlan Philpott

REGINALD THEATRE, SEYMOUR CENTRE

February 15 – March 3, 2017             

Producer & Director: Kate Gaul

Production Designer: Alice Morgan

Composer & Sound Designer: Nate Edmondson

Lighting Designer: Matt Cox

Movement Consultant: Natalia Ladyko

Stage Manager: Zara Thompson

ASM: Brooke Murray

Production Photography: Clare Hawley

Publicity - Belinda Dyer (Kabuku)

Cast: Thomas Campbell, Bobbie-Jean Henning, Jodie Le Vesconte, Jonas Thomson, Niki Owen, Jane Phegan

The Trouble With Harry - Review Sample

 

“Kate Gaul directs with both compassion and ruthlessness – concepts that are usually at odds with each other, but interplay so well here…..that ensures the play is truly stronger than its performance of a long-ago scandal.  It’s not often that trans stories or stories about queer women make Sydney stages, let alone stories about our own queer history. Gaul’s production and Philpott’s script offer an eloquent argument for examining our history and releasing genuine human struggle from the badge of scandal; it gives dignity back to those who had it ripped from them.”  Cassie Tongue – Time Out

“Gaul’s strength as a director: she always seems to be able to wrangle every part of a production together and make it work as a cohesive whole, serving the text in the most vibrant and integral way possible.  This is a great piece of Australian writing, new to Sydney stages, and served up in a wonderful production.” Ben Neutze – Daily Review

“…you can almost smell the bad drains, stale beer and sweat and visualise the lurking fears and questions of what was essentially a sepia-lit, fugitive existence.…a very fine production that deserves a wide audience.” Diana Simmonds – Stage Noise

“Kate Gaul has built ..  a seductive environment to create a means of attention focusing for the telling of the story… the stage pictures are sometimes exquisite, painterly, in their organising by Ms Gaul. Mr Edmondson's Sound Composition is particularly beautiful and is sparing in its use, supporting almost unconsciously, in the background, the emotions of the play, without spectacle. “ Kevin Jackson – Theatre Diary

"… elegantly simple and exceptionally clear… the stand out show of the Mardi Gras festival. “Jason Blake – SMH

“Kate Gaul has successfully pulled the story from the page without exposing it to the full light. Like the magnesium flashpowder of the antique photographer’s T which will give light to a sepia photograph, there are puffs of understanding dispersed in a stillness of wondering…..brilliantly allows the shade and shadow of one transgender person’s tragedy to enrich a modern conversation . Harry Crawford reaches out through wisps of time to imprint an audience with respect and intelligent regard for the man he knew himself to be.” Judith Greenaway – Sydney Arts Guide

 

“Director Kate Gaul’s confident, understated approach gives us a very smart show, with a lot of integrity injected into her depiction of one of society’s most misunderstood. There is a real beauty in Gaul’s theatricality … we want the tragedy to play out in a more predictable way, but the staging resists that convention and its associated clichés.” Suzy Goes See 

 

“…. exceptionally cast…  every posture, glance and line of dialogue has so much weight to it…The tension and uneasiness of family life are strewn across their faces, evident in the things that they say, and often in the silences in between … stunningly designed … easily thrust back to this period yet couldn’t help but think how different Harry’s life would have been if he lived here and now … a very poignant and enduring story, well worth a watch.” Penny Spirou – The AU Review

 

“..an intelligent production…a uniformly strong cast…Canvassing themes of gender and tolerance, the way society wants people to conform and treats those who don’t, and the public’s insatiable appetite for salacious gossip..thought-provoking theatre.”  Jo Litson, Daily Telegraph

“Lachlan Philpott asks us to recognise an injustice in our witness to his account of the world of Harry Crawford, while Kate Gaul asks us to consider the nature of reality itself. Here is a universe reduced to the thickness of representation amid a jumble of a strident and monotonous actuality.  Philpott takes a “true” historical story, reorganises it with the discipline of creating a theatrical display which separates us from it, after which Kate Gaul brings it closer to us by sending it back into history. The Trouble With Harry, it is revealed by these two great artists, is not in Harry at all, but in our relationship to the story and our ability to embrace something tangibly close. Harry is transported through the time machine of language by Lachlan Philpott, held in time by Jodie Le Vesconte and sent back, altered by our perspective by Kate Gaul. It seems only in undergoing this transformation, are we willing to hear Harry’s story.” Lisa Thatcher

 

The Trouble With Harry was developed with the support of Playwriting Australia at the National Script Workshop 2011