Director’s Note: Janine Watson, A BROADCAST COUP

19 Jan 2023

Welcome to A BROADCAST COUP. A rigorous, funny, complex play. Interrogating themes and issues that are unquestionably discomfiting. And, depending on whose perspective you most align with, deeply uncomfortable. It reminds me of ancient texts, in a way. The audience must bear witness. Melanie Tait presents every character to us with substance, history, wisdom, compassion and humour. Like the ancient first plays of the Greek and Roman canon, we’re not told who we’re supposed to hate or find morally reprehensible. It’s not the story of baddies and goodies where justice and revenge are a foregone conclusion. Society isn’t like that and humans are far more intricate a species than that. Rather we’re asked to bear witness to ordinary human beings encountering incredibly challenging events in their lives. Events that could be an opportunity for growth and learning, for connection and understanding, for absolution. Whether they are or not becomes the journey the audience follows. Ultimately, it’s the vertical power structures of society that need to transform in order for human beings to really change, or to even want to try. The message needs to come from the very top down that the human plight is real and seen. In the ancient texts the top of the structure was the Gods. The human beings would face off with each other and their egos until one flaw emerges as the most embedded and immovable. Then the previously fearful mortals would raise their voices in anguish or protest until the Gods heard them. In punishing or absolving that flaw the Gods illuminated the wisdom of our collective need to evolve. The Gods said ‘You will evolve. Whether you surrender to the inevitable or get dragged along kicking and screaming. Evolution will happen.’

Melanie Tait’s play is, in my opinion, brilliant. The laughs disarm me. The arguments thrill me. I feel a responsibility to it in the room. To hold space with the actors and creative team for sustaining its heartbeat. We needed to pay great attention to time, pace, rhythm, both in the physical and verbal language elements of the play. My main task has been to create a sense of immediacy so you, in the audience, might feel like active participants in the seeking of an answer to the questions it asks. My main aim has to been to create a world that helps you to bear witness, rather than spectate. Where you feel included in the story and it’s unfolding. What’s the point of being a spectator to one person’s downfall or elevation if we can’t see ourselves in their story? If they are separated from our experience as a villain or a hero? Deified or denigrated? So, all you needed to do was show up. Thank you for coming to the theatre.

– Janine Watson

Playing 26 Jan- 4 Mar, don’t miss this world premiere that will have you laughing in the aisles.