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Playing Around in Ubud

Ubud Writers and Readers Festivals to Bring Range of Exciting Play Readings to Bali.

Bali News: Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Play Readings, Trials of Brother Jero, The City Beneath, Marco Calvani, Wole Soyinka, Diana Greentree, Richard Piper, Nicki Wendt, Kellie Jones, Liz Ralph, Jack Daniels, Agus Darma.
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As reported on, part of the many exciting offerings during this year's Ubud Writers and Readers Festival are a number of theatrical events.

The works of world renowned visiting playwrights will be presented in dramatic readings by several actors, well-known to Australian audiences through their work in theatre, film and television.

Two free performances on the evenings of October 8th and 9th at the Yoga Barn will showcase a new play by Italian actor/writer/director Marco Calvani and another work by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

The Trials of Brother Jero

Wole Soyinka's "The Trial of Brother Jero" is the first of a "Jero" trilogies featuring four characters appearing in four scenes. The play's namesake "Jero" is a beach prophet who survives by enlisting the collaboration of others who rely on him for insights into their future. Chume is a government messenger with aspirations to becoming a prophet. He suffers under the yoke of a shrewish wife, Amope, a woman to whom Brother Jero owes a financial debt. All actions takes place in a single eventful day that also sees a member of Parliament enter Jero's circle of influence and trickery.

On one level Brother Jero examines the materialism of Nigerian society, while on another it examines the nature of change and our ability to affect life's outcomes.

The City Beneath

A dark and disturbing look at modern society and the much discussed "clash of civilizations" - this play looks at Western civilization's decline and loss of humanity. Set in a city under siege, a menacing soldier figure proclaims a series of ad hoc decrees from an unseen despot preparing a wave of ethnic cleansing that are assured will return society to "normality."

Diana Greentree

The two plays have been cast and will be produced by Melbourne actress Diana Greentree, already in Ubud assisting the UWRF in a voluntary capacity. Diana is a veteran of music theatre (e.g. "Rocky Horror Show" and "Cantebury Tales") as well as pursuing a distinguished career with the Melbourne Theatre Co. and Ensemble Theatre Sydney. Recent roles have included "The Night Season" for the Melbourne International Festival. She also has an extensive list of television and screen credits.

The Players

The actors are looking forward to being directed by Italian actor/writer/director, Marco Calvani, author of "The City Beneath" and to meeting Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, author of "The Trials of Brother Jero." Both playwrights are expected in Ubud for the festival.

The same casts will be performing in both plays. Richard Piper and Nicki Wendt are traveling from Melbourne to Bali after completing lead roles in the hit for the Melbourne Theatre Company's World premiere of "Rockabye" by Joanna Murray Smith. Richard will portray a mysteries "Man" in "The City Beneath" while Nicki will present a shrieking shrew in "Brother Jero.

Kellie Jones and Liz Ralph from Australia also star. Kellie recently delighted audiences at the Melbourne Theatre Company's smash-hit "Osage: August County." Completing the casts will be Diana Greentree and ywo local actors: Jack Daniels who appears in both productions, and a Balinese schoolboy, Agus Darma, in his theatrical debut.

A highlight of the Trials of Brother Jero, will be live African drumming accompaniment presented by African poet and musician Thando Sibanda.

As well as the two English language plays, there will be one performance of a play in Indonesian by prominent Indonesian writer Cok Sawitri - "Bubat for Gusmianti Suid>"

Admission to all plays will be free of charge.

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. – "The Trials of Brother Jero"

English language by Wole Soyinka. A satire that presents one day in the eventful life of con-man, and beach preacher, Brother Jeroboam. The larger-than-life characters will delight the audience and the African drumming accompaniment add excitement to this comedic piece.

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. – "Bubat for Gusmianti Suid"

Indonesian language by Cok Sawitri and Teater Tulius Ngayah. A dramatic homage to the perseverance of the country's single women telling the story of the late Gusmiati Suid and how the fate of a single woman divided the nation.

Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 6:00 p.m – "The City Beneath"

English by Marco Calvani. A modern drama that explores the culture clash between civilizations. It looks, without hypocrisy at the West, its loss of humanity and moral decline. Following a reading at La Mama, New York last year, a full production of the play is slated for Paris soon.

Related Links

[A Midsummer Night's Dream]

[Play Readings at the Ubud Writers Readers Festival]

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