New Theatre

new theatre is delighted to present two significant, timely and topical plays with Brad Fraser's Poor Superman opening September 17 and the World Premiere production of Gina Schien's Relative Comfort opening October 2, then both performing in repertory until October 30, 1999.

The two plays deal with universal themes of relationships, family, sexual discovery, loss and infidelity. Presented from both a Gay (Poor Superman) and Lesbian (Relative Comfort) perspective, they are nonetheless relevant to anyone who has ever had to confront the truth about themselves and their relationships with family, friends and lovers.


Directed by Stuart Katzen
Shannon: Do you miss your family?
David: No. You're all my family.

Brad Fraser's Poor Superman explodes off the page with an extraordinary vitality, a heavy dose of sarcasm and an enormous amount of sensitivity. Fraser (Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love) grew up in provincial Canada, thousands of miles away from the big theatre centres of Canada and the USA, yet audiences from around the world have responded to his plays. Fraser's fascination with popular culture has given him the kind of cultural literacy that is automatically accessible to anyone who has ever watched a sitcom.

Fraser has the ability to mix the vulnerability of his characters with an erotic directness that leaves audiences gasping. We are introduced to David (Benjamin O'Reilly), his transgender flatmate Shannon (Cameron Sharp) and their friend of 20 years Kryla (Kate Randall). Although all friends, one quickly gets the sense that they live solitary lives making their individual journeys of discovery. Another couple, Matt (Pete Walters) and Violet (Deborah Hanley) are trying to make a go of their new business, The Monterey Diner, and life appears to be going well for them. But soon the characters start to interact in ways that force them to question ideas of loss, friendship, sexual identity and family.

The play is complex and intriguing and so are the characters. It deals with the human condition, about loneliness and the reaching out for human contact. It is a story about life and about people. As Director Stuart Katzen says, "How do we survive in an increasingly Darwinian world - a world of the self - when all we really want is to be loved?"


  • 17 Sep-1 Oct 1999: Fri/Sat 8pm, Sun 5.30pm
  • 2 Oct-30 Oct 1999:Thu/Fri/Sat 8pm
  • Venue: New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
  • $10 Previews: Thursday Sept 16 8pm
  • Tickets: $22 Full, $17 Concession
  • Bookings: MCA Ticketing [+61](02)9873.3575
world premiere production of


Directed by Elaine Hudson

The truth will set you free, but first it will be a pain in the neck (Vito Russo)

Sydney writer Gina Schien has written a play for the end of the century. In one sense it is a play about 'coming out', but it is also about changing relationships and the importance of truth. If relationships are going to survive, they have to be based on truth. As we near the close of the century, the 'unspeakable' can speak its name. Director, Elaine Hudson notes, "Comfort is always relative, but truth need not divide, it can (fingers crossed) unite."

When Cat (Victoria Wells) kicked Jackie (Tanya Denny) out of her life, along came Sally (Sasha Hawley) to pick up the pieces. However, there's more to Cat than visits to the gym and her job as door-bitch at the Fruitwhip would suggest. Meanwhile Sally's publisher father, Des (Charles Zara) wonders why his daughter is hanging around with lesbians. The journey out of the closet becomes something of a family affair when Des and his sister Lorna (Wendy Nash) face truths in their own past. Commitment bells all around!

Relative Comfort is ultimately an optimistic and very funny play about real people, gay relationships and moving forward to the point where it is not what you are but who you are that is finally important.

Gina Schien has written a novel Timing the Heart, has contributed to many anthologies of gay writing including the international short fiction anthology, World Unspoken and recently returned from a writing fellowship at MacDowell Artists Colony in the USA.


  • Opens October 2, 1999 at 8pm
  • Oct 3-30, 1999: Sat 4pm Sun 5.30pm
  • Venue: New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
  • $10 Previews: Wednesday, Sept 29 8pm & Saturday, Oct 2 at 2pm
  • Tickets:$22 Full, $17 Concession
  • Bookings: MCA Ticketing [+61](02)9873.3575

Director and cast are available for interview. Contact Christopher Wynton or Merran Doyle at More Publicity for further details.Telephone: [+61] 02 9908 4644 or 0419 999 607 Email: more@cyber.net.au

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Content © More Publicity. Last Update 2 September 1999.