Eureka Day makes its Australian premiere in November with State Theatre Company South Australia

State Theatre Company South Australia | 25-Oct-2021
One of the world’s most hot-button issues right now – vaccination – will be explored on stage next month in the screamingly funny Eureka Day, presented by State Theatre Company South Australia.
Eureka Day makes its Australian premiere in November with State Theatre Company South Australia
The cast of Eureka Day. Photo by Jessica Zeng.
Hailed by the New York Times as the “perfect comedy for our age of disagreement”, Jonathan Spector’s riotous but compassionate comedy of (overly polite) manners will bring together a star cast including Glynn Nicholas (ABC’s The Big Gig), Caroline Craig (Underbelly, Blue Heelers), Sara Zwangobani (Home & Away), Matt Hyde and Juanita Navas-Nguyen.

Eureka Day is set in a private school in California, where all decisions are carefully made by consensus. When a mumps outbreak occurs at the school, divisions go up and a Facebook Live chat spirals out of control as the parents argue over the topic of vaccination. Topical, scintillating and scandalous, the Australian premiere of this award-winning play lampoons fake news, culture wars and social media as it attempts to answer the question: how do you find consensus when you can’t agree on the facts?

Director Rosalba Clemente says Eureka Day uses the topic of vaccination as a springboard to explore the role of the individual in society, and ultimately, the failure of democracy.

“What is particularly funny, endearing and also ultimately tragic in this play is how that failure plays out where you would least expect it – among a group of very woke parents in an alternative community school,” she says.

“The greater universal themes are most interesting, I think. How people behave in a climate of fear and what they will do to protect their own self-interests is an enduring human dilemma. We can certainly watch this playing out in global politics every day, but it is also true of our own personal lives. Even with the best set of intentions and values, it is often difficult to really listen and absorb the other person’s point of view. Can we ever truly agree on anything?”

Ms Clemente says Eureka Day is ‘the comedy we all need right now’.

“One of the things theatre should do apart from provoking our thinking and imagination is to entertain us. This play is not just about important issues, it is built to entertain the audience and hold up a mirror to the possibility that a lot of us, including those of us who attend theatre, might be walking around as disease disguised as virtue some of the time. And that’s a pretty funny idea.”

Eureka Day is at Dunstan Playhouse, Nov 12-27 and is the final show of State Theatre Company South Australia’s 2021 season. Tickets at https://statetheatrecompany.com.au/shows/eureka-day/

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