New Australian work The River at the End of the Road has been two years in the making.
Inspired by the majestic Murray River, the play to open HotHouse Theatre’s 2018 season was written specially for the Border region by playwright Caleb Lewis and is the result of an exciting creative partnership between HotHouse and Sydney-based indoor/outdoor theatre company, Sport For Jove.
“It’s a really unusual project and I’m still trying to deal with how I'm going to bring it all together,” director Damien Ryan tells The Border Mail, “I’ve certainly never done this before.”
Ryan is working with six actors in Sydney while cast members from the Border are rehearsing with HotHouse Studio Ensemble director Anni Gifford.
“Never the Twain shall meet until the final week of rehearsals when we all travel down there and meet up with them and we have a week on the floor together where we try to join the dots up,” Ryan says.
“It’s going to be stressful and full of discoveries I think, but it should be really fascinating and the play has been written with that in mind.
“I guess it’s kind of very Mark Twain-like.
“It’s almost like a female Huck Finn type journey in a way, and very Australian, almost like a modern Australian take on a Greek Myth. Very clever.”
The story follows Flo Shephard who lives alone with her father Ford on the edge of the river, operating a rundown bait shop and ferry service.
Audiences follow Flo’s wild ride after stealing her father’s ferry dreaming of life with her mother.
“It is essentially about how families resolve growing up and dying,” Ryan says.
“It’s very beautiful and very much an adventure tale. It is very physical, it’s very funny but it’s essentially a Greek Myth in many ways.”