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The Mill On the Floss


Wed 10 Aug 2016, 7:30pm–9:00pm
Thu 11 Aug 2016, 7:30pm–9:00pm
Fri 12 Aug 2016, 7:30pm–9:00pm
Sat 13 Aug 2016, 1:30pm–3:00pm
Sat 13 Aug 2016, 7:30pm–9:00pm

Where: Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda East, Victoria

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Full Price: $35.00
  • Concession: $26.00
  • Preview: $20.00
  • Additional fees may apply

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Listed by: pressrelease

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, adapted by Helen Edmundson (by arrangement with The Agency (London) Ltd)
Directed by Tanya Gerstle
With Zahra Newman, Grant Cartwright, Luisa Hastings Edge, Tom Heath, Rosie Lockhart, EmmaTufrey Smith, George Lingard, James O’Connell

Maggie Tulliver grows up in a provincial English town, where her quick imagination and intelligence are stifled. Her story spans 15 years, beginning when she is nine years old, and explores relationships with her parents, brother and various suitors, and the social norms she is forced to embrace.

Based on George Elliot’s 1860 novel, Helen Edmundson's adaptation distills the essence of Eliot's feminist novel and reveals how Maggie is shaped by her environment and circumstances.
Both Maggie Tulliver and George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) were women ahead of their time. At the time of publishing under the pseudonym, George Eliot, no one suspected her gender because the writing was considered to be too good to be written by a woman.

In an Australian premiere, OpticNerve weaves this tale for both women highlighting the collision of opposites and the tension between inner and outer forces. The intense physicality of the work becomes a language of innermost thoughts and emotions where eight actors playing 17 characters promise a world of haunting resonance and mesmerizing moments.

One of Melbourne's most celebrated independent theatre ensembles, OpticNerve is committed to theatrical research; the investigation of performance-making processes, the adapting of narratives from other media to the stage and the re‐visioning of original texts. In search of a dynamic, text-based physical theatre, its vision is to push the boundaries of theatrical form. The final product is an experience for the audience where they are listening to a coherent and literal narrative, but are seeing an altered world through the action of the actors.

The Company’s earlier work includes Five Kinds of Silence, a radio play by Shelagh Stephenson re‐worked for the stage; Manbeth, after Shakespeare’s Macbeth; YES, based on a film by Sally Potter; and Pale Blue Dot, an original work as part of Malthouse’s 2012 Helium season.

Directed by Tanya Gerstle, former Head of Acting at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and founder of OpticNerve, The Mill on the Floss will be the culmination of a six-week residency by OpticNerve at Theatre Works.

“I had an instinctual response to The Mill on the Floss as dramatic material,” said Tanya Gerstle. “I could delve deeply into the female psyche to tell a story of the dispossessed and I ‘smelt’ the potential for a delicious collision between content and form. Downton Abbey meets Chunky Move.

“This production combines such urgent veracity and technical accomplishment that it is impossible to remain unmoved.” - Cameron Woodhead., The Age (on Five Kinds of Silence)

“Yes, directed by Tanya Gerstle, makes the stage sexy and dangerous. It is a beautifully wrought, physical adaptation.” - Kate Herbert, Herald Sun

“Pale Blue Dot is utterly unique, making me feel at once alienated and connected.” - Rebecca Harkins-Cross, The Age

Director Tanya Gerstle
Performers Zahra Newman, Grant Cartwright, Luisa Hastings Edge, Tom Heath, Rosie Lockhart, Emma Tufrey Smith, George Lingard, James O'Connell
Producer Hannah Liddeaux
Workshop Manager Loraine Little
Workshop Director Stephen Phillips
Sound Design Russell Goldsmith
Lighting and Set Construction Lucy Birkinshaw and Stewart Campbell
Stage Manager Luke Preer
Costume Design Martelle Hunt
Voice and Dialect Coach Geraldine Cook
Singing Design Richard Lawton
Production Intern Hayley Sorrel

Previews: Thursday 28 & Friday 29 July.