Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
BLAK Yak Theatre (note to subs: there is no ‘C’ in Blak) is taking a dark turn this June and July, exploring the psychology behind two families who are shaken by sudden violence.

Written by Pulitzer-prize winning American playwright Sam Shepard and directed by Matt Longman, A Lie of the Mind is set in the gritty American west and alternates between the families after a severe incident of spousal abuse.

Exploring family dysfunction and the nature of love, the play looks at the search for meaning after one of the characters suffers brain damage.

It won the 1986 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best play and 1986 Drama Desk Award for outstanding play.

Longman said A Lie of the Mind looked at love between family and lovers in its true form, warts and all.

“As the story progresses, we see the relationships between the families in all their facets, wrong or right,” he said.

“Sam Shepard is a master playwright and incredible poet; the dialogue is vibrant and well-structured and every character has depth and is integral to the plot.

“The thought patterns and concerns of the characters themselves show a huge deal of empathy and understanding on the part of Shepard, who has written many family plays that are explorations of his own family.

“The play itself is enormously detailed, moving and thought-provoking.”

Involved with a variety of theatres since age 17, including Skipping Stone, BSX, Playlovers, Harbour, Old Mill, Deckchair, the WA Youth Theatre Company, Irish Theatre Players and the WA Academy of Performing Arts, Longman was nominated in the annual Finley Awards for directing The Pillowman last year.

He was also recently assistant director to Marisa Garreffa on Aesop and his Fables for Barking Gecko Theatre Company and will appear in Three Sisters at the Dolphin Theatre.

Longman said the main challenge ahead of him in A Lie of the Mind is the level of pace from his actors, which he is constantly monitoring.

“Shepard has carefully written pauses and beats and I find the tendency is for actors to try and insert their own rhythm into a scene because they haven't fully grasped its concepts yet,” he said.

“My job is to make sure they change their pace to fit the script, not the other way around.

“For the most part, this play is a dream to direct.

“Because of the intelligence of the playwright, the blocking is simple enough – I just need to keep actors from letting their own habits sneak into their performance.”

A Lie of the Mind plays at the Midland Junction Arts Centre at 8pm June 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, July 1 and 2, and the Old Mill Theatre at 8pm, July 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book through https://blakyak.epicevent.com, [email protected] or call 0468 901 570.

The Midland Junction Arts Centre is on the corner of Cale Street and Great Eastern Highway, Midland. The Old Mill Theatre is on Mends Street, South Perth, opposite the Windsor Hotel.

lie1: Alan Kennedy, Joy Northover and Alex Jones search for meaning in A Lie of the Mind after Michelle Berg’s character suffers brain damage. (Picture: MICHAEL McALLAN)

lie2: Michelle Berg plays the brain-damaged Beth in A Lie of the Mind, after suffering domestic abuse at the hand of Jake (David Bowyer). (Picture: MICHAEL McALLAN)

lie3: David Bowyer and Ben Kotovski-Steele play two brothers, facing off in A Lie of the Mind this June and July. (Picture: MICHAEL McALLAN)

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Blak Yak Theatre

Established in 1993, Blak Yak is committed to producing high quality theatre. Productions have been taken from such diverse sources as William Shakespeare, Tom Stoppard, Terry Pratchett and even television sitcoms.

We’ve always been an advocate for the underdog, and were originally founded to give first time writers and directors a chance to stage their shows. We still have that nurturing attitude, and we’re always looking for people, which means that Blak Yak is a great first step into theatre for performers, directors and technicians.

Blak Yak does not have a home. We are one of the few nomadic clubs in the Perth metro area. From Wanneroo to Kwinana and from Fremantle to Kalamunda, we have taken our unique and award-winning brand of theatre all over Perth.
Matt Longman
P: 0402 667 263
W: blakyak.epicevent.com


WA Western Australia Perth South Perth City of Swan Midland theatre performance acting stage drama things to do what's on event nightlife A Lie of the Mind Sam Shepard Blak Yak Theatre Midland Junction Arts Centre Old Mill Theatre



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