Thursday, 21 June 2012


Without wishing to trivialise the company, Out Cast Theatre are best remembered for their slightly sexual plays. The Jane Austen guide to Pornography, The Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger - well, the titles ought to have been fair warning. So memorable are these titles, it's surprising that Out Cast have actually been away for two years, and are coming back with two new shows: Monstrous Acts and Mr Braithwaite Has a New Boy.
Artistic director ands script-writer Steven Dawson is aware of his reputation - and both shows do contain adult content warnings - but has a warm sense of humour about his work.

"In Australia I am known for my risqué comedies and disgraceful one-liners with a little willy-wobbling along the way," he admits. "However some of my more recent works have nobler aspirations with historical themes, settings and characters - Jane Austen, Michelangelo. I have also enjoyed playing with more stylised language than most of my audiences are used to. There is hardly any swearing in this one!"

There is also a considerable difference in the tones of Monstrous Acts and Mr Braithwaite. Dawson acknowledges that this might be an attempt to break out from the stereotyping of his plays. "It was noted in one of the reviews last time we hit Edinburgh that they would like to see something in my work not obsessed with sex," he remembers. "So I have given them just that. Some sex AND violence."

Monstrous Acts
is a prison drama that deals with issues of faith and punishment. A two-hander, it looks at the last days of two killers - one unrepentant, the other facing execution for a crime that was more accidental than malicious. Yet in their last days, the condemned find that their redemption could be found in the other's embrace.

"I found the story fascinating and surprisingly little known. I wrote it very quickly for the actors, keeping just one scene ahead of the actors to challenge myself and them," Dawson explains. "

It is harrowing, haunting, erotic, sometimes humorous but there is a beautiful sadness that stays in the memory. Though audiences may be challenged and confronted at times by the raw sexuality and violence there are stronger themes of power, faith and violence in the work."

Out Cast Theatre is Australia’s longest running, totally self-funded LGBTIQ theatre company. In 2009, Out Cast received an Edinburgh Festival Fringe Sell Out Wreath for "Jane Austen’s Guide to Pornography", and in 2008 was nominated for a Fringe First award for "Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger".

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