Back in the know

• Thomas McCracken (leaning on tree) and the cast of Things I Know to be True.

STIRLING resident and WAAPA graduate Thomas McCracken is back on stage, this time in Melville Theatre’s production Things I Know to be True.

Written by Andrew Bovell, the play is set in suburban Adelaide and follows the Price family over the course of a year.

McCracken stars as Mark, whose parents Fran (Natalie Burbage) and Bob (Phil Barnett) see their four adult children move on with the own lives during that time, often making decisions the couple groan about.

McCracken earned a diploma of Acting from WAAPA as well as studying at the Australian Film and and Television Academy under luminaries such as Cop Shop veteran John Orcsik. 

His resume, which lists sword fighting as one of his talents, includes roles in productions and films such as Surfing the Web (2019) as Charlie, in The Importance of Being Earnest (September 2017, WAAPA) and the lead Jack in Between Wind & Water (May 2018, Agelink Theatre).  

Director Vanessa Jensen first appeared on stage as an 8-year-old and directed her first show at 14. 

“Things I Know To Be True examines family, and love, and moving on and looking back,” Jensen said. 

“It has all the chaos and cohesion, loyalty and loneliness of a close-knit family. 

“A friend recommended the play to me and, upon reading it, I immediately knew that, without a doubt, I just had to direct it. 

“It truly is a beautiful play by an excellent playwright with honestly written characters who are easily recognisable. 

“They are all loveable and yet flawed; strong and yet lost. I love a good, contemporary Australian drama and this one is outstanding.”

Kalgoorlie-born Bovell reckons theatre has had a shake-up in the last decade to keep up with audiences.

In his 2017 paper, Putting Words in Their Mouths: The Playwright and Screenwriter at Work, Bovell noted: “Australian audiences are not satisfied with a repertoire only of Coward, Chekhov, Ibsen and Shakespeare. They want new plays that tell their stories and reflect their lives. 

“Box office results continue to prove that audiences favour contemporary work over the classics. 

“There will always be room for both but contemporary Australian writing and the Australian canon need to remain the central purpose of our theatre.”

Things I Know To Be True plays at: • 8pm October 28, 29, November 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12;

• 5pm October 30; and,

• 2pm November 6.

Tickets are $23, $18 concession at www. 

Melville Theatre is at 393A Canning Highway (corner of Stock Road), Palmyra.

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