4th - 15th of December 

PUNK ROCK 

by SIMON STEPHENS 

Intelligent. Articulate. F***ed. Tucked away in a grammar school library, the dreaded exam period looming, seven students on the cusp of adulthood humiliate and lustfully toy with each other, their latent fury skirting dangerously close to the surface.

 

From British power-house playwright, Simon Stephens, Punk Rock is a violent and urgent examination of contemporary adolescence. Stephens defies expectation and unpacks puberty with an unparalleled authenticity. Punk Rock grounds itself in an unsettling honesty and exposes the extreme behaviour displayed on the stage as only a degree removed from what we consider normal in our everyday.

Direction: Ruby Rees

Direction Consultant: Iain Sinclair

Producer: Ben Walter

Associate Producer: Lucy Holz

Set and Costume Design: Freya Allen

Design Consultant: Dann Barber

Lighting Design: Richard Vabre

Sound Design: Daniella Esposito and Finnian Langham

Stage Manager: Ash Walwyn

Assistant Stage Manager: Brooke Simmonds

“Stephens’ play confronts young people as they really are and builds inexorably towards its tragic and violent climax”

                                                                              Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Any catharsis provided is strictly for grown-ups, who can at least feel relief in knowing their adolescence is behind them”

                                                                                   Ben Brantley, New York Times

our cast

LAURENCE BOXHALL

Laurence graduated from NIDA in 2018 and recently featured as key cast in Melbourne Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare in Love directed by Simon Phillips. Laurence is the Gen Z captain in Nine’s popular Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, with Shaun Micallef, Andy Lee and Robyn Butler. He was recently in the award-winning web series Dave and Theo, from Grannyflat Pictures, and is well known for playing the main cast role of Daniel in both seasons of ABC’s hilarious Ronny Chieng: International Student. Laurence made his professional stage debut in 2015 opposite Jane Turner in the Melbourne and Sydney Theatre Company co-production of Jumpy. In his final year at NIDA, Laurence played Vladimir in the NIDA production of Waiting for Godot, directed by Susanna Dowling. He made his television debut in teen series The Worst Year of My Life … Again and was in Michael Rymer’s critically acclaimed Deadline Gallipoli for Foxtel/Matchbox Pictures, as well as the feature Mormon Yankees: The Spirit of the Game. Laurence emigrated to Australia in his teens and performed many times with the Adelaide Youth Theatre, including roles in Peter Pan, Annie and Bugsy Malone.

RUBY DUNCAN

Ruby is a graduate of the 16th Street part-time program, and has been performing regularly around Melbourne in the years since. In addition to numerous theatre experiences – this year alone saw performances in The Importance of Being Earnest, A View from the Bridge, Almost, Maine & Twelfth Night – Ruby played the role of Molly in Season 3 of Glitch (currently on Netflix) and Ellie in Sandra Sciberras’ The Dustwalker (Cannes Film Festival,  Monster Festival). She has also appeared in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Conspiracy 365 and numerous short films.

 

This is Ruby’s first production at fortyfivedownstairs with the incredible Patalog Theatre, and she absolutely cannot wait to be sinking her teeth into the gut-punching Punk Rock.

BEN WALTER

In addition to his acting work, Ben is the Artistic Director and founder of Patalog Theatre, which he has been developing since 2017. He starred as Eliot in Patalog’s most recent project, Polly Stenham’s Tusk Tusk, which received acclaimed critical success. Ben has undertaken classes at 16th Street Actors Studio, The Royal Shakespeare Co. and NIDA. Earlier this year, he was a key cast member and the assistant director for Lightning Jar Theatre’s production of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play at fortyfivedownstairs, directed by John Kachoyan. 

 

Other recent credits include playing Katurian in The Pillowman at Chapel Off Chapel; Derb in Rainbow Man at fortyfivedownstairs, with emerging group Goodnight Darlings; and Baby in Patalog Theatre’s maiden production of Jez Butterworth’s Mojo, which he also directed and produced. Ben has played iconic characters from a young age; most notably, Javert in Les Miserables and Daryl Van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick, for which he received nominations for Best Junior Performer in the Victorian Music Theatre Guild. In 2016, he toured with Adamson Theatre Company, performing at schools around the UK in the role of Francis Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors.

KARL RICHMOND

Karl Richmond is an Aotearoa born actor who trained and graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in 2018. Recent stage credits include Truly Madly Britney (Theatre works), Jared in Blackrock, Mercutio in Romeo and JulietThe Skin of Our Teeth (dir. Dean Bryant), Peter Pan (dir. Benjamin Schostakowski) and The Cherry Orchard, which he performed at the Asia Pacific Bond Theatre Conference, 2017, Shanghai. Recent film credits include Heaven (Sydney Indie Film Festival, Setting Sun Film Festival), Fuming (winner of Melbourne Queer Film festival ‘Keep the Vibe Alive’) and web series Winging It.

Whilst at VCA Karl was the recipient of the Grace Marion Wilson Trust, directed a development for the new musical Living for Dummies and performed alongside Teatro De Los Sentidos in their Melbourne Festival show The Echo of the Shadow. Next year Karl will be performing in Kim Ho’s new play The Great Australian Play as apart of Theatre Works 2020 Season. 

ANNIE SHAPERO

Annie is a graduate of the 16th Street Actor’s Studio Full-Time program and continues to train extensively since having graduated. She was fortunate enough to be chosen to take part in the Larry Moss Melbourne Masterclass where she worked on a scene from ‘Four Dogs and a Bone’ by John Patrick Shanley. She is also alumni of the Patsy Rosenberg Ancient Text Masterclass, delving into the world of Oedipus Rex. Earlier this year, she had the opportunity to work with the esteemed Ian Rickson in the Royal Court Retrospective Masterclass where she work-shopped a scene from ‘Road’ by Jim Cartwright. Annie also had the chance to work with the wonderful Paul Currie in his Melbourne Masterclass where she explored a scene from ‘The Honourable Woman.’

 

Earlier this year she was fortunate enough to land a role in an international feature film which is to be released in 2020. She was also part of Company 16’s soft opening where they looked at a collection of short plays by Australian writers, called ‘Campaign and Afterplay’s.’

FLYNN SMEATON

Flynn has an ongoing involvement in the Melbourne theatre scene as a performer. He most recently starred in UMMTA’s Legally Blonde, which saw a sold out run. Other highlights with this company include debuting the role of Johnny in Lachlan Boldt’s original music theatre work GP, and playing Governor Slaton in Parade which was met with local critical acclaim.

 

Previous credits include his performance of a monologue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream at both Top Class and Top Acts 2017, which was also chosen as subject matter for the Focus On Theatre Studies short docuseries; as well as his presentation of a number from Bye Bye Birdie at the awards night for the Victorian Music Theatre Guild; and his role in the Melbourne WWI Commemoration performance under the musical direction of Paul Grabowsky. Alongside his acting, Flynn has a continuing engagement with local creative industries as one of the selected ambassadors for the Malthouse Theatre’s Vanguard Program, which organises events to connect young audiences to theatre. This is Flynn's professional theatre debut.

ZOE HAWKINS

After graduating high school in Hobart, Tasmania, Zoe studied film acting at Cooper Screen Academy. In Hobart she worked on feature films Breeding in Captivity (Mast Films) and A Step in the Right Direction (Yeti productions), as well as voice acting with award winning animation company Blue Rocket in their children's series Buzz Bumble (Go!). After relocating to Melbourne, Zoe continued acting in short films while attending Monash University where she studied Ancient Cultures and Archaeology.  Her recent stage credits include: Blue Stockings (Heidelberg Theatre Company), Second Sight (Dir. Deborah Fabbro) and most recently, in the sold out debut season of Independence (Three Fates Theatre).

 

This year Zoe has been studying with Actors Studio alum. Bronwen Coleman. Along with acting, she is also the co-founder of Three Fates Theatre Company. 

JESSICA CLARKE

Jessica graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2011. For Feature Film, Jessica has numerous credits including: The Menkoff MethodThe Moon And The Sun and 2:22. For Television her credits are equally impressive with: The Beautiful Lie, Home And Away, Harrow, Offspring, Sisters, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Blue Heelers and more. And finally for for Theatre, Jessica has worked with some of Australia's best theatre groups: Pomona (Red Stitch), Therese Raquin (Critical Stages), Rules For Living (Red Stitch), Please Continue, Hamlet (Melbourne International Arts Festival), Good, Die Young (Sydney Fringe Festival), Starchaser (Arena Theatre Company), Waltzing the Wilarra (Yirra Yaakin), Heaven (La Mama) and more. 

 

In 2011, Jessica was nominated as Best Newcomer and Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Waltzing the Wilarra at the W.A Equity Guild Awards.

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