Cowards, murderers or heroes? Kelly comes to the Civic

Newcastle Live -


Written by young Queensland Playwright Matthew Ryan, the new Australian play, Kelly hits the stage at the Civic Theatre Newcastle on Thursday the 2nd of July.

Produced by the Queensland Theatre Company for their 2012 main stage season, the contemporary and accessible play wrestles with themes surrounding one of our country’s greatest historic icons, the Kellys.

The Story

Ned Kelly sits in his prison cell. Tomorrow he is going to hang. A wounded beast in a cage, defiant till the end. A priest enters to give him his last rites and it is revealed to be Dan Kelly – Ned’s younger brother believed burnt to death at Glenrowan. Dan is desperate and needs one last thing from his older brother and Ned stands firmly against him. History tells us that Dan and Ned never saw eye to eye and there is also myth that Dan escaped the fire and disappeared to Queensland. This makes for a brilliantly charged premise, explored beautifully on stage in 80 gripping minutes, weaving Kelly fact, theory and myth while exploring masculinity, brotherhood and the dangerous dynamic of mateship. Kelly boasts a brilliant cast of three of Brisbane’s finest actors – led by the Matilda Award winning Stephen Rooke who plays Ned Kelly in a powerhouse performance with humour, heart and depth.

The Set

Without walls and raked – this award winning set by Simone Romaniuk, is a simple minimalist metal gaol cell that seemingly floats in space – beautifully lit by Ben Hughes with a haunting and powerful sound design and composition by Guy Webster.

The Reviews

“Kelly is a subtle, smart imagining of Ned Kelly’s last night alive, charged with unfulfilled potential and torturous regret, and deeply moving to the bitter end. 4.5 stars” – Brisbane Times

“Nothing in this production is overstated, which contributes to its absolute success. As said by MacDonald in his notes for the piece, ‘in this play the walls of the legend are stripped back to reveal a deep and complex story of guilt and entitlement between brothers’. A stunning, exalting and truly authentic piece of theatre. 4 ½ stars out of 5″ – ArtsHub


WHAT: Kelly
WHERE: Civic Theatre Newcastle
WHEN: Thursday the 2nd of July


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