Wake in Fright! (Issue 13, 2012)

Student theatreLa Trobe University Student Theatre was selected as the Australian representative at the International Student Drama Festival in Sheffield in the UK on 22 to 30 June.

As part of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, La Trobe University Student Theatre’s production of Wake in Fright was selected to perform at the prestigious International Student Drama Festival (ISDF).

Originating 40 years ago as the National Student Drama Festival this is the first time the festival organisers have opened the program to international students to coincide with the 2012 Olympic cultural festival.

The play, adapted from Kenneth Cook’s iconic Australian book and directed by Bob Pavlich, Wake in Fright out shone up to 140 other student productions from around the world. The cast of Wake in Fright performed a fundraiser season on 6 to 8 June at the Menzies Theatre on campus, before embarking on the incredible journey overseas. 

Wake in Fright tells the story of a young city teacher, John Grant, who is eager to escape his one-room outback school for the summer holidays. He heads toward Sydney, passing through the rough mining town of Bundanyabba. Grant becomes hopelessly stranded, losing his entire wages in a game of two-up and over the subsequent five days sinks into a cycle of drunkenness, hangovers, fumbling sexual encounters and increasing self-loathing. Trapped in a hellish limbo, the once ordinary world of rural Australia becomes the setting for his grotesque and at times surreal nightmare.

The IDSF program consisted of twenty productions, ten of which were from the UK, the remaining plays were from countries such as Germany, Georgia, Japan, Israel, Iran, Palestine, USA and Zimbabwe.

For more information on La Trobe University Student Theatre, visit unione.latrobesu.org.au