Earlier this year, a very special production of Away premiered at the Sydney Opera House, to huge critical acclaim. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Michael Gow's beloved play, Malthouse Theatre teamed up with Sydney Theatre Company to present a new vision of Away, directed by Malthouse Theatre artistic director Matthew Lutton.
The play is set in the summer of 1967; a time when Australia was recovering from the Vietnam War and undergoing significant social upheaval. In these tempestuous times, three families head to the coast to get away – but find themselves caught up in a storm of family secrets.
Last year, Lutton masterfully breathed new life into another classic Australian work in his adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock. In Away, he again sets out to challenge theatrical conventions, through bold staging choices and a deep respect for the core of the play: the struggles of three mothers, determined to lead their families into a more hopeful future.
Away is one of the most popular Australian plays ever written, and arguably, its success lies in the universality of its characters and the challenges they face.
Here's what Time Out Sydney had to say in their four-star review of Away:
Lutton’s production is a tribute to – and perhaps also revelation of – the core strength of Gow’s play: that it doesn’t manipulate an audience into an emotional reaction. It just shows people who are trying their best to deal with hard times, and honours their complicated emotions. It’s hard not to relate to that.