A new Australian play by award-winning playwright Rebecca Lister, 2:20AM draws from Lister’s own experience of losing a family member to suicide, along with real stories of individuals directly impacted by suicide. Starring Joanne Davis, Zoe Ellerton-Ashley, Michael Treloar and Izabella Yena, the new play is a contemporary drama that tackles the subject of suicide with truth and humour, and pulses with the credibility of lived experience. Based on real events, 2:20AM takes us into the lives of four ordinary people, all bereaved by suicide, who meet as strangers at a creative writing class and are forced into a reluctant bond. Together they grieve, laugh, behave badly, and reveal far more about themselves than they bargained for. In Australia, deaths from suicide are more frequent than those from traffic accidents. It’s a reality that very few in this country (or the world) are not touched by it in some way. In 2016, 2,866 people died from suicide in Australia, more than double the number of people who died on Australian roads. Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 44, and the second leading cause of death among those aged 45 to 54 (Causes of Death; Australia 2016, ABS). “Suicide is not an easy subject to talk or write about”, explains playwright and Anvil Productions Co-Artistic Director, Rebecca Lister.
“People choose to take their own lives for a myriad of reasons and it can be painful, complex and devastating for their loved ones. 2:20AM is based on a series of interviews conducted with those bereaved by suicide, plus my own experiences as both a bereaved community member and the facilitator of numerous writing classes. It shines a light on the torment, bewilderment, and inspiring resilience of those left behind after suicide.” For this premiere season, Anvil Productions have partnered with Jesuit Social Services and Support After Suicide. Both vital organisations, Support After Suicide is recognised as one of the leading Australian suicide bereavement programs, and works with arts projects like this, to connect with individuals and the wider community on this challenging topic. Founded in 2015 by writer/director Rebecca Lister and actor Joanne Davis, Anvil Productions is committed to making contemporary, issue-based theatre that attracts non-traditional theatre going audiences.
Be sure to see 2.20AM, a show that will make you laugh and cry before it ends early September!
Written by Angela Perez
It's not easy to move an audience and draw you into the characters' lives but 2.20AM does exactly that. Opening with the four main characters, which are brilliantly acted by Joanne Davis, Donna Stevens, Michael Treloar and Isabella Yena, we get to experience a range of emotions that both challenge and teach us about the difficulties of life after being affected by a suicide.
Gentle at first, the play slowly divulges the secret lives people live after experiencing a suicide in the family. Here you get to meet and acquaint yourself with the characters, and experience much of the struggles, and highs and lows of living through the grief, and the process of making peace with it.
During the show the four characters become real, especially Michael Treloar, who seems to live out the survival skills and heartache experienced through the loss of family member - but more importantly the play doesn't offer any quick fix solutions, yet does give a resolution of sorts. Painful at moments, the show is a real and frank conversation on life, survival skills and grief and gives in equal measure quality theatre with great performances and a dose of laughter - with a healthy reality check to go along with it.
Dates: 29 August - 9 September
Location: The Richmond Theatrette (415 Church Street, Richmond)
Times: Times vary - see website for full details