Two solo shows are set to challenge and inspire Brisbane audiences in February in a provocative assessment of society’s priorities in a world full of crisis.
UK theatre company Hoipolloi brings The Duke and Me & Robin Hood to Brisbane Powerhouse, a duo of shows created by and starring award-winning artistic director Shôn Dale-Jones.
The Duke is a semi-autobiographical tale of Dale-Jones, his mother, and their complex relationship with a cherished china figurine of the Duke of Wellington belonging to his late father.
The one-man show playfully and poignantly blends fantasy and reality as it weaves together the tragi-comic fate of a family heirloom, the moral quandry of a scriptwriter and an unfolding disaster as thousands of children flee their homes. The Duke received The Scotsman’s Fringe First Award in Edinburgh in 2016 and since raised tens of thousands of dollars for Save the Children’s Child Refugee Crisis Appeal.
The second show in the series –Me & Robin Hood–takes a nostalgic look at Dale-Jones’s longstanding relationship with his favourite fictional character, questioning the value of art and the power of story. The performer has “talked” to Robin Hood since he was a child and said the thought-provoking show was the Nottingham native’s idea.
“Recently, we’ve spent a lot more time discussing the state of the world,” Dale-Jones said.“Robin is 100 per cent convinced that the main reason for the recent turmoil is down to the growing gap between the rich and poor. “He’s convinced we need to change the story of money and share the opportunity we’ve been given if we really want to do something about this.”
Me & Robin Hood has also raised several thousand dollars for Street Child United, a charity that uses the power of sport to support and inspire street-connected children.Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewartsaid audiences will be given the chance to take action and support these global charities during Hoipolloi’s Brisbane season.
“We’re joining Shôn by asking our audiences to bring a little extra cash with them to these shows so they can embrace the spirit of Robin Hood and give hope and help to the poor,” Stewart said.“Great theatre challenges us, it stays with us long after the houselights have come up, and it can inspire us to take action and look at things from a new perspective. “Shôn is at the forefront of creating theatre that weaves the personal with the political which I’m sure will resonate with Brisbane audiences.”
The two shows can be viewed as standalone works or as a double-feature on February 15.
The Duke + Robin Hood & Me
Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 February 2019
Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse