From Brisbane, QLD


by Sasha Janowicz

A Matrix Theatre Production

 Awards: 2007 Bell Award for Best New Play.
Best New Australian Play, Matilda Awards.
Best Direction, Matilda Awards.
Best Independent Production, Matilda Awards.
 Genre: Drama
 Duration: 80 minutes
 Suits: Proscenium Arch, Black Box
 Minimum Stage: 7m x 7m
 Touring: 2009 and 2010

“....possibly one of the best pieces of Independent Theatre I have had the pleasure of seeing... a fast paced piece that will have you on the edge of your seat.”
Nigel Munro-Wallis, 612 ABC Brisbane

A clever, thrilling and masterful production about the trapped survivors of the Kursk disaster. Winner of a 2007 Bell award for Best New Play.

After a decade of inactivity caused by the turmoil of the 90s The Russian Navy undertook a major naval exercise in August 2000. During the training, the pride of the Russian fleet, a nuclear submarine the Kursk, vanished. The wreckage was eventually discovered on the bottom of the ocean with the sailors trapped inside. The Russian Navy faced severe weather conditions and an impossible rescue.  On top of this a serious international crisis was brewing with suspected foreign involvement in the disaster. In the meantime the whole world waited desperately for the survivors to be rescued.

This extraordinary and inspired play is the true and human story behind the ill-fated Kursk. Australian Playwright, Sasha Janowicz, travelled to Russia to seek out the truth behind the controversy.

Sasha was also sent an anonymous package. In it he found a submariner captain’s uniform complete with medals. The Russians donated their time, artefacts and pieces of uniforms for the project. It was clear that the true story of The Kursk had to be told.

We meet Admiral Popov, a proud and obstinate man, deeply distrustful of the foreigners who have come to help. We meet the sailors, their wives, their friends and their families who wait as the rescuers’ fight against the impossible while the fate of their loved ones hangs in the balance.

This unique production magically captures the submariners’ claustrophobic world and the terrifying ordeal that the trapped sailors endured as they awaited rescue.

“...proves yet again that the best theatre really is about the best stories” - Time Off

Michael Futcher’s clever and masterful direction captures the suspense and the humanity of this potent story. Inspired lighting and haunting sound design accentuates the extreme suspense and tension of this unique production.

Michael Futcher is an established Brisbane based artist who has won several Matilda awards and a Green Room Award (for the direction of his play A Beautiful Life) as well as being nominated for several other awards including The Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, The AWGIES and the Green Room Awards for best play.

The Kursk features prominent Queensland performer Eugene Gilfedder, who is a tour de force as Russian Admiral Popov. He has received 5 Matilda Awards and has also won a Green Room Award for Best Actor for his role in 'A Beautiful Life'.

“One of the best productions of 2007...a compelling and highly theatrical script...Exceptional” William McBride, Rave Magazine

“the type of drama that will have you thinking long after you have left the theatre.” Nigel Munro-Wallis – 612 ABC Brisbane

“The strong cast of six slides seamlessly in and out of their multiple roles in this fast paced piece that will have you on the edge of your seat.” Nigel Munro-Wallis – 612 ABC Brisbane

“a gripping theatrical performance” Vanessa Lahey,  Australian Stage

Featuring Sasha Janowicz, Eugene Gilfedder, Edward Foy, Amanda Mitchell, Dirk Hoult, Julienne Youngberry
Director Michael Futcher
Lighting Design Jason Glenwright
Composer Luke Lickfold

Originally co-produced by Sasha Janowicz and Matrix Theatre with Metro Arts, Brisbane




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