Married couples pair up in Black Swan’s The Vibrator Play

Two married couples acting in the production Rebecca Davis and Stuart Halusz with - Elizabeth Blackmore and Tom Stokes. In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl is an hysterical parlour drama set in the 1880s, revealing the history of the vibrator and directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler (Blithe Spirit, The Eisteddfod) in the Heath Ledger Theatre from 20 Oct to 4 Nov.Two married couples acting in the production Rebecca Davis and Stuart Halusz with Elizabeth Blackmore and Tom Stokes.
Taken by Andrew Ritchie.
Two married couples acting in the production Rebecca Davis and Stuart Halusz with - Elizabeth Blackmore and Tom Stokes. In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl is an hysterical parlour drama set in the 1880s, revealing the history of the vibrator and directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler (Blithe Spirit, The Eisteddfod) in the Heath Ledger Theatre from 20 Oct to 4 Nov.Two married couples acting in the production Rebecca Davis and Stuart Halusz with Elizabeth Blackmore and Tom Stokes. Taken by Andrew Ritchie.

IT seems quite fitting to have two married couples acting in Black Swan State Theatre Company’s next production given its intimate nature.

Perth stalwarts Rebecca Davis and Stuart Halusz, as well as LA-based Elizabeth Blackmore and Tom Stokes, are both married in real life – however neither couple’s characters are married in In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play.

Blackmore and Stokes, who met at WAAPA and married in January this year, grew up in Perth.

After graduating in 2008, they made their way to the US via Sydney where Blackmore picked up roles on The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural.

“Like anyone working as an actor, you try to take what you can get, wherever you can get it and we’ve found LA to be pretty good for us,” Blackmore said.

“We relish any time we get to come home to work, especially in theatre because the theatre scene is pretty bleak over there.”

Director Jeffrey Jay Fowler first cast Stokes in the production, which led Blackmore to wonder if there was also a part for her.

There was a part for her as the wife of Dr Givings in the role of Catherine Givings and she successfully auditioned for the role in Perth over the Christmas holidays.

“Playwright Sarah Ruhl was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for this play; it’s a pretty special piece of work,” 32-year-old Blackmore said.

“She’s re-imagined a real part of history set in 1880s New York where electricity has just come in and they were diagnosing women with hysteria from symptoms of feeling depressed, lethargic, having a headache or anything that basically made them unpleasant to be around.

“They were treating women with these vibrating machines… it was seen purely in a medical context and not at all about pleasure.

“Ruhl has re-imagined it to this world where Dr Givings is one of the creators of these new vibrating instruments and he’s testing out his theory that it will cure women’s hysteria.

“Catherine is deeply curious what her husband’s work is, in the next room, and trying to figure out what it all means.”

Blackmore said the play was a perfect combination of comedy and emotion.

“Obviously there’s sexual content in it, but it’s also about intimacy, love and marriage,” she said.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play

Where: Heath Ledger Theatre

When: October 20 to November 4

Tickets: www.bsstc.com.au