Embark on a psychedelic journey in this world-premiere story by Ian Leete
The Stoned Ape
An emotional feast exploring themes of relationships, drugs and crime
This April, theatergoers are invited to uncover a rich tapestry of deeply layered audacious themes, during the premiere season of The Stoned Ape, an all-new psycho-dramatic tragicomedy coming to the newly renovated Bondi Pavilion Theatre, from 2-13 April.
Exploring the format of some of Hollywood’s most celebrated films, such as Magnolia, Crash, and Babel, The Stoned Ape transcends the typical three-act format by interweaving three seemingly unrelated stories that slowly reveal their true connection as each compelling tale hurtles toward its own devastating climax.
In it, three families will be forever changed by Prue Cunningham (Susan Kennedy), a ruthless and unethical divorce lawyer whose reckless disregard for herself, and the law, will have explosive and potentially deadly consequences.
A husband’s affair will bring out the hilarious worst in Prue just as her law school-dropout son and his girlfriend are about to collide with the psychotic bikie who has been supplying them with stock for their not-so-secret drug dealing. All the while, a crazed young woman has an older man firmly in her grip, but who is really in control?
Director Ruth Fingret has assembled a stellar local cast, including Johnny Boxer (Mad Pizza) as the bikie, to tell this satirical modern tragedy tackling big issues: crime and drugs; the impact of divorce and inequality of Family Law legislation; and the desire to recognise and heal intergenerational trauma.
“Ian Leete’s script brings these three plotlines together masterfully,” said Ruth “Dark comedy like this is the most difficult genre to direct. One must juggle the fine line between playing the comedy or the drama without slipping into slapstick or melodrama. This play has been no exception. Ian’s tight comic writing and our wonderful cast will make you laugh out loud while gritting your teeth – at times not knowing whether to laugh or cry.”
Inspired by Ian’s deeply moving and life-changing shamanic experience in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle with an indigenous tribe called the Achuar Indians, this play guarantees tears, laughs, shock, anger, shame and possibly even enlightenment.
Writer, Ian Leete says: “Bondi is blessed to have a world-class theatre and I am thrilled to collaborate with eight super-talented hard-working actors, guided by Ruth’s extensive experience as a director. It’s been wonderful to watch them transform a combination of biographical and autobiographical anecdotes into a rewarding theatrical experience.”
The Stoned Ape Pty Ltd and Sydney theatre veterans Actors Anonymous Inc, present The Stoned Ape – a theatrical co-production with strong ambitions of evolving into an Australian Feature film. Conversations are already afoot with several Australian distributors.
The Stoned Ape will be showing at the Bondi Pavilion from 2nd to 13th April. Tickets are available at https://stonedape.au/ from $48 and $38 for concessions, plus booking fees.Website: www.stonedape.au
Facebook: The Stoned Ape at Bondi Pavilion
Venue: Bondi Pavilion Theatre
Opening Night: 2 April
Season: until 13 April
Writer: Ian Leete
Director: Ruth Fingret
Designer: Kate Hunter Walker
Lighting Designer: Mehran Mortezaei
Sound Designer: Jessica Law
Susan Kennedy - Prue Cunningham
Sally Williams - Mrs Maxwell
Barrett Griffin - Henry
Veronica Cloherty - Summer
Dean Tuttle - Aldo
Jess King - Tash
Johnny Boxer - Bikie
Harley Connor - Junkie, Policeman and Mr Jefferies