Buckle up for an exhilarating ride this March! Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) will present George Brant's powerful psychological thriller, Grounded, from 14th to 23rd March 2019.
Engaging, fast paced and emotionally charged, Grounded follows the story of a female pilot who matches her male colleagues flight for flight, drink for drink, and drives down the freeway blasting AC/DC.
The pilot's world takes a drastic turn when she is forced to stop flying and become a drone operator. The vastness of flying military jets over deserts and being at one with the blue has now been replaced with drones. Death delivered by remote control. A virtual battlefield.
Grounded is directed by Dom Mercer (Old 505 Theatre's Little Borders and The Block Universe (Or So It Goes), and Sydney Fringe's Silent Theatre); and stars stage and screen regular, Emily Havea (Bell Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Griffin Theatre's Kill Climate Deniers; and TV's Wentworth and Sisters).
Mercer said, "Timely, pointed and unflinching, Brant's script is a rare and brilliant gift for an actor, and Emily Havea is primed to give a tremendous and memorable performance."
Brant's celebrated play is an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First award winner, a Lucille Lortel Award winner and has a screenplay in development starring Anne Hathaway.
NTofP Executive Producer Joanne Kee said, "NTofP is thrilled to present Grounded as our first show in 2019, it's a stand out script having won numerous awards around the globe. In a world where fiction can become fact and fake news is all around us, this story is really important and relevant as it questions our beliefs in the institutions in which we are supposed to trust."
"With rapid advances in technology and virtual reality, it also questions how they are becoming so ubiquitous in our lives, that there may come a time when it is hard to tell which world we inhabit, and do we want to live in that world?"
Playwright: George Brant Director: Dom Mercer Cast: Emily Havea Set and Costume Designer: Jonathon Hindmarsh Lighting Designer: Alexander Berlage Sound Designer: Mary Rapp
DATES & TIMES
Thursday 14th March at 7.45pm
Friday 15th March at 7.45pm
Saturday 16th March at 7.45pm
Tuesday 19th March at 7.45pm
Wednesday 20th March at 7.45pm
Thursday 21st March at 7.45pm
Friday 22nd March at 7.45pm
Saturday 23rd March at 2.15pm and 7.45pm
Tickets: Adult $49, Concession $44 From the Box Office (02) 8839 3399 or www.riversideparramatta.com.au. Transaction fees: phone $4.60, web $3.60 and counter $2.60. Discounts available for Riverside Theatres' Members.
Venue: Riverside Theatres – Corner of Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Question: How would you describe Grounded?
Emily Havea: Grounded is an actor's dream. It's an emotionally engaging one woman show that demands and commands attention.
Question: What originally attracted you to the project of Grounded?
Emily Havea: The character is a highly skilled, highly educated woman who excels at her job in a male dominated field and yet we also see this loving, maternal side of her. To find a female character that's written with such nuance and complexity can be a rarity.
Question: Can you talk us through the difficulties you've had to overcome through rehearsing for Grounded?
Emily Havea: There's really no time to chill when you're rehearsing a solo show! In every other rehearsal room I've ever been in, there's a moment to switch off whilst the director works with the other actors. So this process is demanding a lot of me! And I'm a born multi-tasker so I'm trying to consciously not bite off more than I can chew outside of the rehearsal room and give myself space to do justice to this piece.
Question: What have you learnt about yourself during this project?
Emily Havea: That I'm capable. The idea of standing onstage alone for 80 minutes was daunting to say the least leading up to the project beginning but now that we're in it, I'm feeling very comfortable. I think the beauty of playing a character who's at the top of her field is that, as an actor, I get to inhabit and embody that feeling and I'm definitely drawing my own power from that.
Question: What do you hope audiences take from Grounded?
Emily Havea: This script is a stunning piece of work and gives a real insight into the complexities of modern war from a very personal, female perspective. I think that audiences will walk away with an appreciation of how difficult it is to balance being a mother, a partner and a military weapon and the PTSD that's bound to arise as those worlds collide.
Question: How does performing on-stage differ to filming for television?
Emily Havea: It's hugely different. In theatre, the show starts and you see the whole show through until it ends. On screen, you'll spend most of your time waiting whilst they set up different shots so you are required to be on instantly once that camera's recording. Acting for an audience who are literally in front of you in the room, you get to feed off their energy whereas acting for a camera, you often generate that energy alone or off the eyeline of your cast mates. They are surprisingly different skill sets.
Question: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Emily Havea: It changes for every show I'm in but for this one it'll be a circuit workout whilst listening to AC/DC cranked up loud.
Question: What's next for you?
Emily Havea: I'm doing the studio artists program with Griffin Theatre Company this year so after this show I'll be spending some time focusing on writing my own work.
Interview by Brooke Hunter