The Griffin Theatre Company is back with The Floating World, an Australian black comedy from the seventies that deals with xenophobic attitudes and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The play’s protagonist Les Harding is a returned serviceman on a Women’s Weekly Cherry Blossom cruise bound for Japan. The drama develops when Les suffers flashbacks to his days in the Changi POW camp.
“It’s a vaudevillian look at post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Peter Kowitz, who plays Harding, “the play uses a lot of musical and vaudeville techniques to express quite a serious story.”
“It’s more like a circus than a play,” continues Kowitz, “the actors address the audience directly as though they’re another character.”
The current production brings a more contemporary feel to The Floating World giving emphasis to themes concerning Australia’s role in Asia and fears surrounding this.
Along with Kowitz the strong cast comprises of Valerie Bader, Tony Llewelyn-Jones, Justin Smith, Justin Stewart Cotta and Shingo Usami. The play is directed by Sam Strong (The Boys).
On working with Strong, Kowitz says, “He’s unique and on his way, so it’s a great privilege for someone of my vintage to be able to work with this young director.” (PG)
Oct 4- Nov 16, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $32-49, griffintheatre.com.au