★★★★ Time Out
★★★★ Stage Noise
What would you choose to remember? What would you choose to forget? If you could rebuild the past and bring a loved one back to some kind of life, would you do it?
“Marjorie Prime” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
In the not too distant future a service has been introduced to resurrect loved ones in holographic form. Eighty-five year old Marjorie has brought back her husband. But when he was 30. When they first fell in love…
Intimate in setting yet ambitious in scope, MARJORIE PRIME, like Spike Jonze’s film HER or sci-fi series BLACK MIRROR, delves into a world of artificial intelligence and robotics and virtual assistants, but through the lens of the everyday, the everywoman and her family. It explores the benefits and joys that technology could bring but also the possible heartache. It raises poignant questions about the impression we leave on others, the details we remember, the stories we re-craft and the love we’re lucky to experience.
Written by Jordan Harrison (writer on the Netflix hit ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK) and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, this acclaimed Off-Broadway sensation arrives at Ensemble Theatre with a stellar cast led by award-winning director Mitchell Butel. Don’t miss this thought-provoking and unique family drama.
“A thoughtful, elegant and quietly unsettling drama … [that] keeps developing in your head like a photographic negative, long after you’ve seen it.” New York Times
MARJORIE PRIME contains content that may be distressing for some audience members. Please contact Box Office for more information. If you or someone you know needs support, the following organisations can help: Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 and Headspace.
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★★★★ "A neatly structured and deeply human story about love, loss, memory and what we leave behind... constantly intriguing" Time Out Sydney
"On a simple, elegant set by Simon Greer, Mitchell Butel directs a thoughtful, beautifully paced production drawing performances of great humanity." The Sunday Telegraph
★★★★ "This clever, tender, strange play... is a vote for humanity and the power of love and laughter... Recommended." Stage Noise
"Cannily directed by Mitchell Butel, this superb cast conveys a great deal of nuance in their portrayal... delivering richly resonant and emotionally devastating performances.... an intellectually stimulating, emotional gut-punch of a play. Highly recommended." Australian Stage
Cast & Creatives
Jordan Harrison was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for MARJORIE PRIME, which premiered at the Mark Taper Forum and had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons. A film adaptation by Michael Almereyda debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Harrison’s other plays include LOG CABIN (Playwrights Horizons), THE AMATEURS (Vineyard Theatre), MAPLE AND VINE (Playwrights Horizons), THE GROWN-UP (Humana Festival), AMAZONS AND THEIR MEN (Clubbed Thumb), DORIS TO DARLENE (Playwrights Horizons), ACT A LADY (Portland Center Stage), FINN IN THE UNDERWORLD (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), FUTURA (NAATCO), KID-SIMPLE (Humana Festival), and a children’s musical, THE FLEA AND THE PROFESSOR (Arden Theatre). He is the recipient of the Horton Foote Prize, Guggenheim and Hodder Fellowships, the Kesselring Prize, the Roe Green Award, the Heideman Award, and a NEA/TCG Residency. A graduate of Stanford University and the Brown MFA program, Harrison is an alumnus of New Dramatists. He has developed TV series for Sundance and TNT, and wrote for three seasons of Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.
Mitchell holds three Helpmann Awards, two Green Room Awards and a Sydney Theatre Award for his work as an actor and director. He has worked for STC, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare, MTC, QTC, STCSA, ATYP, Bell Shakespeare, Griffin, Malthouse, Opera Australia, The Production Company and the Sydney, Adelaide and Perth Festivals.
Recent acting highlights include THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, MR BURNS, DISGRACED, ARMS AND THE MAN, ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, STRANGE INTERLUDE, MEOW MEOW’S LITTLE MATCH GIRL, THE MIKADO and AVENUE Q and on screen, HOLDING THE MAN, GETTIN’ SQUARE, THE BANK, DANCE ACADEMY, HIDING and JANET KING.
Mitchell’s directing credits include the Hayes Theatre/Blue Saint production of VIOLET (Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Director of a Musical and Best Independent Musical), SPRING AWAKENING for ATYP (Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Young People), APPROXIMATE BALANCE for Griffin and PORGY AND BESS for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Cast - Tess
Lucy Bell will next be seen in the much anticipated Foxtel drama series FIGHTING SEASON and the fifth series of the ABC’s RAKE.
Lucy has performed extensively on stage including productions of ROMEO AND JULIET, THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, PERICLES and TWELFTH NIGHT for Bell Shakespeare; THE CHERRY ORCHARD, AS YOU LIKE IT and DARLING OSCAR for the Sydney Theatre Company; EMERALD CITY for which she received the Glugg Award – Norman Kessell Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Actor, SPEAKING IN TONGUES, THROUGH THE WIRE, THE FALLS, WOLF LULLABY and DREAMS IN WHITE for Griffin Theatre Company; TWELFTH NIGHT and BLUE MURDER for Belvoir; and FOR JULIA for the Melbourne Theatre Company.
Recent feature film credits include THE SQUARE and TEN EMPTY, as well as the short films SECOND BEST and DOTS.
On television, Lucy has appeared in HERE COME THE HABIBS, HOME AND AWAY, CATCHING MILAT, LOVE CHILD, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, 30 SECONDS, CITY HOMICIDE, WILDSIDE, DIRT GAME, BASTARD BOYS, FARSCAPE, ALL SAINTS, GRASS ROOTS, MY HUSBAND, MY KILLER, MURDER CALL, CROWNIES, and the ABC Telemovie MAGAZINE WARS.
Cast - Marjorie
Trained at the Independent Theatre at 16 – appeared in THE CRUCIBLE, RHINOCEROS & THE GLASS SLIPPER. Further theatre credits include THE TURQUOISE ELEPHANT – Griffin, SEVENTEEN and ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID‘S CITY – Belvoir, BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO – Old Fitz, KOOKABURRA AND THE SEA – Nimrod, THE MAN FROM MUCKINUPIN, MONGRELS and FOUR LADY BOWLERS – STC, THE ONE DAY OF THE YEAR and NOISES OFF – Ensemble, THE AUNT‘S STORY – MTC, THE SEASON AT SARSPARILLA – STC of SA, SWEENEY TODD and GOOD WORKS – Q Theatre, SEE HOW THEY RUN and A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS – Marian Street.
TV credits include THE MAVIS BRAMSTON SHOW, THE SULLIVANS, KINGSWOOD COUNTRY, A TOWN LIKE ALICE, PRISONER, NEIGHBOURS, WONDERLAND, RAKE, BLACK COMEDY and READY FOR THIS.
Films: WAKE IN FRIGHT, THE BIG WISH, LOOK BOTH WAYS, and the 25th Tropfest short film festival prize winner, THE MOTHER SITUATION. First female recipient of MEAA/Foxtel Lifetime Achievement Award and proud member of MEAA since 1962.
Cast - Walter
Jake Speer is a graduate of NIDA. During his training Jake made a memorable impact as Richard in Shakespeare’s RICHARD III, amongst other roles. Following graduation Jake booked a series regular role on Australia’s highest rating drama series, HOME & AWAY playing Oscar Maguire.
Between graduating from NIDA and signing on to HOME & AWAY, Jake found time to produce, direct, write and star in the documentary film, LEETON: THE FORMATIVE YEARS. His next screen project is the short film INSIDE WATER which he wrote, and will star in alongside Myles Pollard and Maggie Dence.
On stage Jake was most recently seen in HAND TO GOD (The Alex Theatre) and in the musical KINKY BOOTS for Michael Cassell. Other theatre credits include BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (Ensemble Theatre) & THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR (regional tour). Film credits include BACKYARD ASHES directed by Mark Grentell.
Cast - Jon
Richard’s notched up an impressive list of stage credits: ABSENT FRIENDS, CLYBOURNE PARK, MURDERERS, THE BIG DRY (Ensemble Theatre), SPRING AWAKENING (ATYP), THE DAPTO CHASER (Griffin Theatre + tour), MACBETH, TWELFTH NIGHT, THE ALCHEMIST, TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, HENRY IV 1 & 2, CORIOLANUS (Bell Shakespeare), ROCKN’ROLL (Melbourne Theatre Company), THE TEMPEST, LOVE FOR LOVE (Sydney Theatre Company), TWELFTH NIGHT, THE UNDERPANTS, THE SMALL POPPIES, THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (Belvoir), PORGY & BESS (SSO at Sydney Opera House).
On the small screen he’s been busy with roles in THE HIGH ROAD, LOVE CHILD, GINA V ROSE: THE HOUSE OF HANCOCK, WONDERLAND, CARLOTTA, POWER GAMES: THE PACKER MURDOCH STORY, RAKE, HOME AND AWAY, ALL SAINTS, CHANGI, and WATER RATS.
Feature films include BLOOD PULLS A GUN and MATRIX 2. Richard was asked to participate in the 2016 Lysicrates Prize where he read from the prize-winning piece, APPROXIMATE BALANCE.
Richard is a NIDA graduate.
Set and Costume Designer
Simon graduated with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Production Design from NIDA in 2001 and has designed over 100 productions.
Recent design credits include the set and costume design for SPRING AWAKENING at ATYP and the set design for VIOLET at the Hayes Theatre, which was nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award, GREY GARDENS and MAN OF LA MANCHA for Squabbalogic at the Seymour Centre, the Australian Premiere of THE MOUSETRAP at the Zenith Theatre for Bump In Productions and the set design for ROPE and AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, also for Bump In Productions. Simon has designed the set and costumes for Merrigong Theatre Company’s productions of FOUR PLAYS ABOUT WOLLONGONG and VALLEY SONG, SKATE for ATYP, LA BOHEME for Opera South and ANGEL CITY for Tamarama Rock Surfers at the Old Fitzroy. Simon has designed over 20 productions for the Marion Street Theatre for Young People and the 3 plays for NSW State School Drama Company. Simon has also designed sets for many Sydney schools including Shore, Ravenswood, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, Newington, Ascham, Sydney Grammar and Barker College.
Simon has been a regular design judge for the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge and has tutored Production Design for the NIDA Open Programme. Simon was a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year Award 1999 and the 1999 Australia Day Youth Awards for Arts.
Alexander is a Sydney based Director and Lighting Designer. Recent credits include: As Lighting Designer: Sydney Theatre Company: CLOUD NINE. Griffin Independent: NOSFERATUTU, THOMAS MURRAY and the UPSIDE-DOWN RIVER. Sydney Chamber Opera: VICTORY OVER THE SUN. Old Fitz: 4:48 PSYCHOSIS, DOUBT, CRIMES OF THE HEART, THE JUDAS KISS, THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT, THE WHALE, MEN, FREAK WINDS, HOWIE THE ROOKIE. Old 505 Theatre: THE BLOCK UNIVERSE, HILT. ATYP: WAR CRIMES, MOTH, BETWEEN US. Sydney Dance Company: PPY15: REVEALED. Hayes Theatre: DOGFIGHT. CRITICAL STAGES: SONGS FOR THE FALLEN. As Assistant/Associate Lighting Designer: AN INDEX OF METALS. Alexander was a participant at the 2014 Watermill Center International Summer Program and was also awarded the 2013 Peter Baynes Memorial New York Scholarship and the 2014 Leslie Walford AM Award. Alexander holds a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Production) and Masters of Fine Art (Directing) from NIDA.
Thomas E. Moore
Sound Designer Thomas E. Moore is a 2014 graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Sound Production. His sound design credits include CRIMES OF THE HEART for Imperial Artistry at the Old Fitzroy Theatre, AFTER THE END for the Kings Collective at KXT, BRIGHT THOSE CLAWS THAT MAR THE FLESH for The Hermetic Theatre Company at the Old Fitz Theatre, DIRTY PEOPLE with Jack Rabbit Theatre for The Depot Theatre, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISSOCIA with the Kings Collective and WE WERE ONCE KINGS for Third Culture Kids at the Blue Room Theatre in Perth. Thomas has worked in audio post-production with Soundfirm Sydney and the West Australian Screen Academy, also as venue technician with Fringe World Perth and audio crew for PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE with MTC. He currently works as an audio technician for Carriageworks, most notably with Sydney Dance Company and as senior technician for Björk Digital. Thomas’ greatest passion is live music and jazz recording, and has worked extensively in Perth’s live music scene and festivals including live mix for Downsyde and stage crew for Empire of the Sun.
Max is a multi-award winning composer, sound designer and stage director.
Max’s composing screen credits include: the miniseries THE KETTERING INCIDENT (Winner 2016 AACTA, Best Original Music Score in Television along with composer Matteo Zingales) and THE DEVILS PLAYGROUND, feature documentaries: GAYBY BABY, AFTER THE WAVE, choir arrangements for feature HEY HEY IT’S ESTHER BLUEBURGER.
For theatre, his Composer and Sound Designer credits include: TOP GIRLS, DINNER, TESTAMENT OF MARY, HAY FEVER, THE GOLDEN AGE, ENDGAME, MACBETH, PERPLEX, WAITING FOR GODOT (Sound Design) FURY, MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION, GROSS UND KLEIN, TRUE WEST, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, ORESTEIA, ELLING, THE CRUCIBLE, KING LEAR, WAR OF THE ROSES, THE VERTICAL HOUR, DOUBT, FESTEN PENTECOST, LA DISPUTE, FIREFACE, LADY IN THE VAN and LIFE IS A DREAM for STC; ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, MERCHANT OF VENICE and OTHELLO for Bell Shakespeare; THE WINTER’S TALE for QTC; THE WIZARD OF OZ, OEDIPUS REX, THE HAM FUNERAL, UBU , GULLS, MACBETH, THE THOMAS IDIOT, COURTYARD OF MIRACLES, CLOSER, THE ROSE TATTOO and TWELFTH NIGHT for Belvoir; ART AND SOUL and DESIGN FOR LIVING for STC of SA; EL DORADO, and DIARY OF A PLAGUE YEAR for MTC.
Max has won two Helpmann Awards for Best Sound Design and been nominated for seven Sydney Theatre Awards.
Lauren’s passion is to create the magic of theatre for the audience; as a young girl she was enthralled by many theatrical and musical productions. However it wasn’t until her finnal year in high school that she discovered her local musical societies. This led to three years of skills development in Stage Management before attending NIDA, completing a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Production) in 2009.
Theatre credits include THE GRUFFALO and THE GRUFFALO’S CHILD for CDP Theatre Producers which toured Australia and New Zealand extensively. Lauren believes she has now seen the back of nearly every theatre in Australia! She also toured THE GRUFFALO: SONGS FROM THE SHOW for Tall Stories UK to Singapore. Lauren then worked at Sydney Opera House for a season of CHARLIE AND LOLA’S EXTREMELY NEW PLAY. Most recently Lauren has Stage Managed CALAMITY JANE at Hayes Theatre Co. Other productions include: LIGHTEN UP at Grif n Theatre, BETRAYAL at Ensemble Theatre, SPRING AWAKENING at ATYP, THE FANTASTICKS and VIOLET at Hayes Theatre Co, SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD and VIOLET at Chapel Off Chapel.
Margaret is a freelance theatre milliner, costume cutter / maker
Film credits: AUSTRALIA; THE GREAT GATSBY; X MEN ORIGINS, WOLVERINE; UNBROKEN; THE GODDESS; PETER RABBIT. Theatre credits: FAME (John Frost ); KING KONG (Global Creatures); HENRY V (Bell); HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (Global Creatures /Dreamworks); THE KING & I (OA); THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Sport for Jove); THE NUTCRACKER (Aust Ballet); ALADDIN (Disney); MY FAIR LADY (Gordon Frost/OA); SIDESHOW ALLEY; LET’S MISBEHAVE; VELVET ROPE; SEVEN; LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (Grayboy Entertainment/Nigel Shaw Designs). TV: SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE; A PLACE TO CALL HOME; HI 5; BROCK. For Ensemble: SEMINAR; CAMP; A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD; OTHER DESERT CITIES; DARK VOYAGER; LADIES IN LAVENDER; RELATIVELY SPEAKING; THE GOOD DOCTOR; 6 DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS; DREAM HOME; WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?; EDUCATING RITA; THE ANZAC PROJECT; THE SHOEHORN SONATA. This year Margaret has had the pleasure of working on the soon to be released film PETER RABBIT (2018) as costume maker and as a milliner on THE MERRY WIDOW (OA).