Invoking the expansive, isolating beauty of rural Australia, Reg Cribb’s epic play Thomas Murray and the Upside Down River is about a man ravaged by drought, family secrets and love.
The Murray family has been farming the land along the Darling River for five generations. For Tom Murray, it’s all he’s ever known.
When his childhood friends Lucy and Billy reappear, deep friendships are tested, and secrets, long buried, are finally awakened – Tom must make the long journey downstream to reconcile past wrongs and to fight for his wife.
From the multi-award winning screenwriter of Last Cab to Darwin comes a thrilling Australian drama which will grace the stage at Orange Civic Theatre on Thursday night..
Indigenous themes are central to the work, with a story that revolves around Thomas Murray uncovering evidence of a massacre that his family were involved in.
There's an enjoyable bigness to the play. The setting? Big. A 30,000-hectare sheep station. Through it flows the Murray River. That's pretty big, too. Or rather, it used to be. After years of drought, the river that always flowed in this part of the country, no matter what, is down to a turbid 15 centimetres.
Bringing its epic scale to the stage has been a hugely exciting challenge for us all.Director Chris Bendall
The themes? Huge. Nothing less than the whitefella's place in this country, the future of the bush in a drying climate, and need to acknowledge and accept responsibility for environmental and genocidal crimes.
Big sky. Big river. Big betrayal. Big secrets exposed as the river recedes. Thomas Murray is a lot of play for your money.
Director Chris Bendall said: “As much as this is a play about dealing with one man’s past it is also very much about our country’s present and about our relationship with the land”.
“It is both a memory play and an odyssey, traversing time and unearthing secrets buried long ago. Bringing its epic scale to the stage has been a hugely exciting challenge for us all.”
Bendall’s direction is backed up by the cast of Valerie Bader, Grant Cartwright, Nicholas Papademetriou, Francesca Savige and Bjorn Stewart.
Thomas Murray and the Upside Down River will be performed at Orange Civic Theatre at 8pm on Thursday. Tickets are available through Ticketek. Phone 6393 8111 for more information.