Water follows the journey of families born at different times in Australia’s history, who are united in their determination to create safe passage for their loved ones. It begins in Western Australia in the not-too-distant future, where we meet with a once powerful politician about to celebrate his birthday at the family’s island home – a retreat from the world that has clearly seen better days. There’s no water in the taps, there are no birds in the sky and to top it off, an unexpected guest arrives for dinner. With party politics high on the agenda and questions about who is to blame for crimes against humanity, celebrations are derailed and tensions run high.
Jane Bodie recently won the 2019 Lysicrates Prize for Best New Australian Writing and is an internationally renowned playwright, whose plays have been performed from London to New York. This marks Clare Watson’s first commission as Artistic Director. Clare discussed with Jane to look at what’s happening in Australia at the moment, what are the kinds of issues of our time, and it was decided to look at both the asylum seeker crisis and the environmental crisis going on globally.
Jane decided “to write a play that somehow looked at exploring both of these elements. And that’s why the play’s called Water, ’cause I think what both of those issues have in common is that potentially at some point, and there already is in some parts, a water crisis here in Australia, and also for most people seeking asylum, they have to travel over a body of water in order to find sort of a safe place.”
Water is presented by Black Swan Theatre Company, showing in Studio Underground from Thursday, May 9 until Sunday, May 26.