WRITTEN BY LYLE KESSLER
Directed by Gabriella Rose-Carter
Lyle Kessler’s Orphans is the story of Phillip and Treat, two grown orphaned brothers living in an abandoned North Philadelphia Row House in 1985. Phillip is kept captive in the house, whilst Treat spends his days self employed through petty thievery so he can provide for his younger brother. Phillip whilst hungry for knowledge and something beyond the window he dreams through, idolizes Treat and is left to conclude that his brother knows best.
We have a dreamer and delinquent, both yearning for a mother and father seemingly surviving as a dysfunctional duo, until one night Treat brings home a prisoner. Harold, a racketeer, gangster, orphan and magician all in one drunkenly stumbles home with Treat one night. Dressed in a fine silk suit and carrying a briefcase full of stocks & bonds, Treat decides to hold Harold for ransom. As the story unfolds, in the attempt to go from prisoner to parent, Harold tries to help set them both free from the prison Treat has created for Phillip and himself.
“The cast of Ashley Mckenzie as Treat, Mark Davis as Phillip and Gareth Reeves as Harold all gave powerful performances while maintaining excellent American accents. Direction was tight and the build up of tension was palpable as the power shifted between characters and the relationships transformed.”—Stage Whispers
Ashley McKenzie as ‘Treat’
Mark Davis as ‘Philip’
Gareth Reeves as ‘Harold’
“My Saturday night at the theatre was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Experienced a great venue, discovered a new company and saw a fantastic show!” “Orphans has heart, wit, humour, stellar performances and great direction (Gabriella Rose-Carter). Q44 are one to watch in Melbourne and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”—Aussie Theatre
“Two shows in, Q44 are setting a strong standard for their productions, that’s creating excitement for what the remainder of this first season will bring. Easily as good as the best of Melbourne’s current crop of independent theatre…”—Theatre People
“Q44’s founder, Gabriella Rose-Carter directs this poignant one-acter, summoning a realism that’s cementing as her company’s signature.”—Milk Bar Mag