Big Crow: Lisa Interviews Mark Langham
Big Crow is based, loosely, on a true story. In the early 1930’s two young and destitute Londoners, Tommy and Albie, were offered a spur of the moment trip to Australia. No sooner had they landed than they were
taken off to work as virtual slaves on a huge station, completely at the mercy of the station owner Roy; a man whose life has been a stream of disappointments. Tommy is a weasel – swift, cunning and potentially fatal. Albie could crush you with his kindness but only if Tommy told him to. Their desperation has led them to a decision – they’re going to kill Roy. Roy’s wife Peg and daughter Rosemary enter but are far more interested in watching than saving him. The murder is put on hold and a dialogue begins. Tommy wants out of his poverty and doesn’t care where that takes him or what he has to do to get there. London, Australia or anywhere. Rosemary is sick of living in a place still being made, and longs to live “…somewhere that’s finished!” Albie wants to be warm, fed and have a pair of boots without holes. Peg doesn’t know what she wants but fears that her real life may have died along with Rosemary’s real father – another casualty of the Great War. Roy wants to avoid the rope.
Who stays and who goes? In the end, does it matter? We take what we are with us. No matter where they have come from, these people are equal strangers in this land they occupy. They are all what they were
when they arrived and, so far, have learned little. Just like the crows. They stared at Albie when he left the docks in England. They were waiting for him when he landed in Australia, and he can hear them
on the barn roof now.
When a play sounds this thrilling, I like to grab the opportunity to pop the writer a couple of fast questions. I was lucky enough to grab the attention of Mark Langham for a couple of precious moments, before this production opens today.
Brave New Word has been working collaboratively with writers to produce critically acclaimed new work since 2013. They have been recognised as a leading platform for emerging Australian playwrights
and theatre practitioners, and are excited share the premier of Big Crow with audiences in February. Big Crow is playing at The Actors Pulse in Redfern, 21 Feb to 4 March.