Presented by The Seymour Centre and White Box Theatre, BLACKROCK, written by award-winning Australian playwright Nick Enright, will play through March 25 at The Reginald Theatre in Parramatta. 

BLACKROCK, an adaptation of the play The Property of the Clan, was written in response to the 1989 murder of Leigh Leigh. Since premiering in 1995, it has found a special place in the Australian drama canon. 

BLACKROCK centres around Toby Ackland’s birthday party near the surf club—a party that will no doubt have heaps of grog, drugs and other good, clean fun. But, by the morning, a young girl is dead—raped by three boys, her head bashed in with a rock. 

Director Kim Hardwick first encountered BLACKROCK, like most Australians do, in her time studying at drama school. The play re-entered her consciousness many years later when, recently, she worked on a production with a group of students. Hardwick was moved by the audience’s reaction to BLACKROCK, coming to realise how current the themes in Enright’s play are, even to this day. 

“I find things in it still startling: the objectification of women, the overt and covert male violence in our society, the appropriation of sexual gesture as a way of communicating between the genders…” Hardwick says.

“But, these things are still actually very current today, so that is what made me go ‘this is well worthwhile doing another production’.”

Hardwick is hopeful that BLACKROCK‘s social message will provoke thought amongst its viewers regarding the themes of peer pressure and mateship.

“I hope audiences go away and ask, ‘What is my responsibility in that event?’ ‘Have I been somebody who has stayed silent or have I been somebody who has taken a stand?’”

BLACKROCK plays at the Seymour Centre through to March 25.

To book tickets head to www.seymourcentre.com 

Contains adult content and themes.

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