Sunshine Beach local David Williamson, widely recognised as Australia’s most successful playwright, will see his 2001 play Up For Grabs explode onto the Noosa Arts Theatre stage in July and August – but be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
The production will be a Williamson family affair, with David’s sons Rory and Felix also involved. Rory, who runs his own successful real estate agency Williamson & Co in Noosa Junction after moving to the area in 2016, will direct his father’s play, while Felix, a Sydney-based actor and National Institute of Dramatic Art graduate, will play Manny, a successful entrepreneur with a dark secret.
Up for Grabs asks whether art dealers are parasites or prophets. Simone Allen would prefer to see herself as the latter, but when she is given the opportunity of her career, a chance to sell one of the better Brett Whiteleys, her behaviour becomes less than angelic as the pressure mounts. Driven sometimes by greed, sometimes by aesthetics, David’s characters discover how far they will go when more than just a beautiful work of art is up for grabs in this sexy comedy of manners.
It is a visceral, blunt and confronting roller-coaster ride. It may even shock you. David, who has retired from writing, says it is among his most scandalous works.
“He (Rory) is going to do a production of one of my plays, in fact one of my most outrageous plays, which of course he chose and I have to go into hiding,” David says. “It’s the one Madonna played the lead in London. But this will be a local production with the best local actors.”
Rory last appeared on stage at Noosa Arts Theatre in another of David’s plays, Jack of Hearts, in 2017. He grew up in Sydney and graduated from NIDA in 1999 as an actor. His first role was starring in New Zealand’s favourite serial Shortland Street and he has since been in Paper Giants, Underbelly, All Saints and Home and Away. He also produced the AFI Award-winning documentary That Sugar Film in 2015.
Felix has had a long and successful career in film and TV, memorably playing Paul Keating in Hawke, as well as having roles in The Great Gatsby, Palm Beach, Rake, Mabo, Backyard Ashes, Underbelly, Dirty Deeds and many more. He wrote, directed and acted in Avalon Now, a hilarious observational take on pretentiousness on the Northern Beaches in Sydney.
The show runs on various dates from July 22 until August 8, with both evening and matinee sessions. The gala opening night on July 23 is presented as part of the NOOSA alive! festival and has already sold out. Proceeds from the July 29 performance will go to assist the people of Cobargo in New South Wales, whose town was destroyed by the devastating bushfires of last year.
For tickets or further details visit noosaartstheatre.org.au or phone 5449 9343.