George Abbott, Gabriel Cali, Cassidy Dunn, Ella Ferris,
Aram Geleris, Lucy Rossen, Frazer Shepherdson
Elodie Boal, Marni Mount
Oliver Lacoon Williamson*
Daniella A. Esposito*
Associate Lighting Designer
Assistant Production Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Isobelle De Livera
Workshop Head of Department
Leading Workshop Hand
Olivia Rose Brennan, Charlie Craft, Evelyn Housham
Lighting Programmer / Lighting Operator
* Third year BFA (Design and Production) student
Stagecraft Project Coordinator
James Clarke, Jeremy Ford
Production Academic Mentors
Nathan Burmeister, Katie Sfetkidis, Darrin Verhagen
VCA Production Academic Staff
Anna Cordingley, Justin Green, Amanada Hitten, Lisa Mibus,
Lisa Osborn, Matt Scott, Dr Chris Wenn
VCA Theatre Academic Staff
Dr Sarah Austin, Amy Hume, Assoc. Prof. Chris Mead,
Georgina Naidu, Colin Sneesby
Melissa Reeves’ combines raucous comedy, wit, and humour with Australian politics, in a story that is fast-paced, slap stick, and heartfelt. Underneath the banter, the scenes and outrageous dialogue, lies some very important themes – communism, conservatism, relationships with others, relationships with oneself, and spying. The play was inspired by the true story of a young man who was recruited by ASIO in the 1960s and instructed to pose as a communist to spy on his local party. While based on this story, The Spook is completely fictitious and a somewhat deliciously ridiculous interpretation of the prescribed event.
Originally published in 2005, it’s been eye-opening to see how relevant the text remains – even still, more than 15-years later. Embracing, and learning, from these topics has really grounded us in understanding the many important events that have shaped Australia and our world. From local protests to Greek/Australian communism, espionage, and soviet life. A lot of work and deep-diving research has gone into this show, to present a production grounded in truth and weighted by our history.
Witnessing this production come together has also been a marriage of creativity, much like Reeves’ script. This production of The Spook is a cultivated and courageous collaboration. From Daniela Farinacci’s honest exploration of the text and its thematic, to the VCA design students adding layers of richness to the setting, and finally the graduation VCA acting students breathing life and flair into the words – The Spook has connected, enlightened, educated and inspired those involved.
Watching the process of The Spook come to life has been incredibly joyful and enriching. As an Assistant Director, you do take a fly on the wall approach, much like a spy in the room, and it’s been rewarding to see the many elements of this show come together as one. Daniela has really presented each one of us an opportunity to let our creative colours shine, in and out of the room, and for that I’m incredibly thankful.
We hope you enjoy ‘The Spook’ just as much as we’ve had fun bringing this work to the stage.
- Elodie Boal, Assistant Director