River at the End of the Road opens at Butter Factory Theatre, Gateway Village, after two years of development

Two years of development comes to fruition today when HotHouse Theatre opens its 2018 season with The River at the End of the Road – one of the biggest productions the Border company has presented.

The River is a collaboration with acclaimed Sydney-based indoor/outdoor theatre company Sport for Jove.

“HotHouse was really keen for us to do something that was borne out of a community’s relationship with the river,” Sport For Jove artistic director, and The River director, Damien Ryan told The Border Mail.

“Caleb Lewis, a wonderful Australian writer, didn’t want to write a piece of historical drama or something … particularly with the sensitivity to indigenous relationships to the river.

“So he decided a way to look at it would essentially be to make it almost quite timeless.

“It’s modern, contemporary, but is the oldest story known to us, which is that to cross a river is to change and I think the whole inspiration for his story came from a famous saying, that you can never stand in the same river twice.

“That made him think about what life is and what to die is, and why in almost every culture in earth death is characterized as crossing a river and you’ve got to pay the ferryman.”

With a cast of 14 performers from Sydney, Melbourne and the Border, bringing The River together has been a major undertaking. While Ryan worked with the Sport For Jove cast members in Sydney, Anni Gifford worked with the HotHouse Studio Ensemble cast members – before the entire team united on the Border to fine tune in the past week.

“It’s a huge challenge but we intend to have some fun,” Ryan says.

Meanwhile, HotHouse Theatre has announced a new sponsorship deal with Hume Bank for the Butter Factory Theatre.

The Lowdown

What: The River at the End of the Road

When: March 9-17, Butter Factory Theatre, Gateway Village

Tickets: from $30