If you robbed a bank where would you stash the dough? In your dead mother’s coffin of course, or so goes the premise to the 1965 scandalous satire by pop culture icon Joe Orton.

Director and NIDA veteran Darren Gilshenan took some time out to chat about the black comedy featuring the drama institute’s talented final-year students. “I’ve put more of a brutal edge on the production,” he explains. “It’s more anarchic and how I imagine Joe Orton would have been as a young man. I’m trying to push the themes of the play down the audience throats.”

Set in the swinging 60s in London, when the play first premiered in 1965 English audiences were outraged. Gilshenan maintains modern audiences are just as likely to be shocked with the play’s themes: the hypocrisy of war and religion, police corruption and attitudes towards sex and violence.

“It’s definitely still relevant today,” he continues. “To examine the truth would be a great thing for people to come away with.” And failing that, audiences may get the chance to see the next Cate Blanchett, Baz Luhrmann or Hugo Weaving.

Published in City News online and in print on Jun 3, 2012.


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