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First Seen: Sherpas

16 June 2018

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Performance Details

Saturday 16 June, 5pm
Street 3

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“It is hard to beat the feeling of being on stage in front of an audience.” Peter Cook talks about performing solo in Breaking The Castle, the new Australian work he has written that reflects what is happening in the world around us.

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Sherpas by Tom Davis                                      

“Australia has always been very good at leading from behind. It is what makes you so hard to negotiate with. Please, I beg you, talk to these ridiculous Europeans.”

A new play and political satire centered around the July 2017 G20 in Hamburg, and Georgia, an Australian senior Foreign Affairs official who drinks too much, falls in and out of love, has a breakdown, sings 99 Luftballoons a lot, and tries to destroy the foundations of the global economic order. She is a ‘Sous-Sherpa’, deputy to the ‘Sherpa’,  a country’s lead G20 negotiator. Together, they  get the elected officials ‘to the summit’.  

The play follows Georgia as she comes to the hard realisation that, if she keeps on being a Sous-Sherpa in the service of the nation-state instead of being an individual, she will be broken completely. On her path to save herself, she tries to change others and open up the closed world of foreign affairs.  Her journey is helped along by a post-punk soundtrack, which reflects her inner world and the state of the world around her.

“I was wondering, would you be interested in dinner tonight? We’ve got 20 minutes between the opening ceremony review and your meeting with the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance.”

Tom Davis

Tom Davis is a mid-career artist. Sherpas is Tom’s sixth full play. The Faithful Servant (2016) and The Chain Bridge (2015) were produced by The Street Theatre, receiving critical and audience acclaim. Both plays were written with the assistance of The Street's Hive playwriting program and First Seen performed readings seasons. His work The Poet had a reading at Playbox in Melbourne in 2004.

Two of Tom's earlier plays were produced in Melbourne under the direction of Alice Bishop: Last Tango in Brunswick (2000), a kaleidoscopic work about love, sex and heartbreak; and,  After the War (2002) an exploration of the battles faced by Australian women who, after being nurses in WWI, returned home to become second-class citizens.

Tom has a PhD in political science and worked for a number of years as a lecturer, researcher and consultant in international development and public policy.


Cast: Tracey Bourne, Christopher Samuel  Carroll, Isha Menon, and Dylan Van Den Berg

Director: barb barnett

Dramaturg: Peter Matheson


About First Seen

Ever wondered about the steps a writer takes to develop works for the theatre? Or how new plays and performance works are chosen for upcoming seasons?

The ever popular FIRST SEEN: new works-in-progress offers Canberra audiences the opportunity to be part of our creative process helping The Street  progress performance works to production-ready stage. First Seen offers a unique insight into development and is a vital part of our planning for future years as we seek to bring original and diverse Canberra stories to the stage.

Each writer has a dedicated workshop offering time, space, support, and expertise.  Canberra audiences (that's you) are given the opportunity to participate in the development process through the public showings where we open up the floor for a conversation with playwright, director, dramaturg and the actors. By sharing your thoughts with the creative teams you help assist us progress the works to production and get a sneak peek into Canberra’s ingenious artistic community.

FIRST SEEN is a major investment in new ACT work and is supported by the ACT Government through artsACT.

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