The classic Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange comes to life at the Broken Hill Hotel this October, exploring the nature of man’s free will.
Presented by Life on Hold Productions, the adaptation is the brainchild of director Sarah Christiner who set up the production company, co-wrote the script (with Connor Carlyle) and plays the main role of adult Alex, who narrates the show as he looks back on his past.
But if that commitment wasn’t enough, Christiner has also got herself a permanent tattoo in honour of the production – she now sports “6655321” on the back of her neck, the number Alex is assigned as a prison inmate.
A Clockwork Orange chronicles the experience of Alex DeLarge (played by Carlyle), a young man enjoying a debauched life until he gets his comeuppance and is rehabilitated by severe conditioning.
After treatment, Alex can no longer choose his actions and is prohibited from performing violent acts but also from enjoying basic human pleasures.
“If you take away a man’s right to choose his actions, do you take away his humanity?” Christiner said.
“The story has often been misconstrued as being about violence in youth culture but Burgess was simply using hyperbole to illustrate his point.”
Christiner said some people may be expecting to see the film version on stage – but this version is more in keeping with the novel.
“While we are incorporating some of the iconic imagery from Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation, his film did not tell the whole story and was not well-received by Anthony Burgess.
“The stage adaptation already in existence is also very different to what we’ve created.
“I can only pray that audiences come in with an open mind – our telling is faithful to the original work.”
Involved in theatre since 2003, Christiner has performed in a plethora of productions and has also done extensive tech work and stage-managing, recently extending her love of the performing arts to directing and setting up her own theatre company.
“For the past few years, I’ve been directing productions under the auspices of various theatres,” she said.
“These have been great learning experiences and gave me the confidence to set up my own independent company, with the goal of producing productions I’m passionate about – without having to bend to anyone else rules.
“Friends and I have discussed the potential of bringing A Clockwork Orange alive on stage for nearly a decade.
“Burgess’ work has resonated with me since I was about 14 and being able to bring the story to life with such a strong team is not something teenage me would ever have imagined.
“This production, not just as my company’s debut but also as a story to tell, means an awful lot to me.”
A Clockwork Orange plays at 7.30pm October 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, November 1 and 2. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book at www.whatson.com.au/clockwork.
Please note: the play is strictly 18+ and features graphic content, violence, drug and sexual references, nudity and strobe lighting.
The Broken Hill Hotel is at 314 Albany Highway, Victoria Park.