Death in a Statesman
8 – 12 November 2022
Judith Wright Centre, Fortitude Valley
Content warnings: mild swearing / offensive language, adult themes and haze / smoke effects. Suitable for ages 15+.
Murder in Queensland. Yeah, noir.
Of all the rum joints in all the world, it had to happen in Bundy. Combining a suspicious death, strained family relationships, generational change, and a reckoning of what being Australian actually means, Death in a Statesman is funny, smart, and wears the hell out of a fedora. The play is set in Bundaberg and spans from 1985 to the present day. Although the range of characters will be immediately familiar to anyone with a nostalgic love of regional Queensland, all the typical tropes of noir, including the centrality of the white, middle-aged male detective, get turned on their head.
Written by Robert Kronk, directed by Bridget Boyle, and developed with regular debase collaborator Allen Laverty, Death in a Statesman will be performed by a top-tier cast including Laverty, Emily Liu, Kate Wilson, Anna Yen, Peter Cossar & Helen Cassidy.
Anna Yen, Emily Liu, Helen Cassidy, and Peter Cossar, photographed by AJ Moller
Growing up in the Bundaberg region, Kronk has written this play as an ironic but warm love letter to his hometown. Speaking about the development of the play, Kronk says “I love the noir genre and I just wondered what that would look like set amongst the cane paddocks and the hot sleepy streets of Bundy that I remember from my childhood. All these incredible characters just started emerging.”
Award-winning director Bridget Boyle is Kronk’s long-time collaborator and has worked closely on the development of many of his works. This one is special, she says.
“The title is more than a typical Kronkian play on words. Just like in Death of a Salesman, our hero has to have a reckoning with himself about his relevance in a changing world. This show is going to make you laugh and then cry. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”