HIGHWAY OF LOST HEARTS by Maryanne Butler, 19-20 Nov @ Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre

A woman. A dog. A campervan. And 4,500 kms of wide open road.

Mot wakes up one morning to find that her heart is missing from her chest. She can breathe; she has a pulse—but she feels… nothing.

So, she decides to go and look for it. With her Dog enlisted as co-pilot, Mot heads down the Highway of Lost Hearts: into the deepest core of the Australian outback—navigating red dirt landscapes, fire and flood, brittle dry-ness, vast salt lakes, age-old mountains and murky waters filled with lost souls.

An allegory for a country that’s lost its heart, Highway of Lost Hearts, by award-winning Darwin playwright Mary Anne Butler, is half gritty road journey, half magic realism and all heart. It leaves you pondering the question: when your heart goes missing, what lengths will you go to, in order to find it again?

Bathurst’s own Lingua Franca in collaboration with BMEC present this truly regional story, in a brand-new production starring theatrical powerhouse Kate Smith, with original live music by Central West icons Smith & Jones.
This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

KANGAROO, 9 – 10 July @ Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, 7 Aug @ Cowra Civic Theatre & 13-14 August@ Q Theatre, Penrith

Three strangers, intricately entwined by the events of one fateful night.

In a small regional town, three people share their own funny, yet tragic, stories that cause their lives to converge.

Melissa, a mother at 18, escaping a home life with an emotionally abusive father. Her daughter is now 5, and Melissa is coming to realise that history is repeating itself.

Mick, an enthusiast for his work – tending the sewage facility and collecting the town’s garbage. Once a bright child, betrayal by a trusted adult forms his home-grown philosophy about life’s disposability.

Barbara, a former university lecturer in art, who has made a fresh start in the town with her investment speculator husband. Settling into country life, her academic understanding of death is confronted by the reality of life and death among rural animals.

Kangaroo is a truly classic Australian gothic tale of regional and personal isolation. The funny and damaged characters are vibrant, engaging and reflective of the diverse experiences of life outside of the metropolitan Australia. The script is three monologues magically woven together, creating a poetic and compelling new, one act Australian play.

With a truly rural energy, this play talks to personal isolation that people irrespective of their relationship with the country can connect with. These monologues are magnificently woven, subtly revealing each character’s part in the death of Kane Heckford – none realising the others’ role in the act or subsequent cover up.

The underlying themes of familial abuse and our communities’ ineptitude to deal with violence, is cleverly embedded in the work without being bluntly political. This production will privilege the emotional journey of the characters, leaving the audience with a satisfying, compelling and confronting theatrical experience prompting reflection on revenge, loneliness, violence and rural Australia.