'Louis Nowra’s Radiance is an exuberant black sabbath for three great Indigenous dames. It begins conventionally enough: Mae, Nona and Cressy gather at the old Queenslander in the tropics for Mum’s funeral. But these three sisters are forces of nature, and they haven’t been in the same room for years, and years. It isn’t long before that old house can’t contain the joy and pain of them all being together again…
'Radiance began its life at Belvoir in 1993. After 22 years, Nowra’s feat of playwriting – almost Shakespearean, a Tempest-like packet of lust, rage, grief and high-flying foolery – is ready to be unleashed again. Leah Purcell is the woman for the job.
'Purcell is a powerhouse. She burst onto the national stage nearly two decades ago and is as full of fight and life as she ever was. What better idea than for this all-round theatre elder to direct herself in this mighty little classic?' (2015 Production summary)
Radiance tells the story of three women who reunite, after many years apart, for their mother's funeral.
Unit Suitable For
AC: Year 10 (NSW Stage 5). It could be used for possible extension work in Year 9 but be aware of mature themes and references: use with discretion.
acceptance, family relationships, grief, identity, loss, memory
Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Literacy, Personal and social
First produced at the Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney, 21 September 1993.
Performed Upstairs at Belvoir : 3 January - 8 February 2015.
Director: Leah Purcell.
Set & Costume Designer: Dale Ferguson.
Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper.
Cast: Leah Purcell, Shari Sebbens, and Miranda Tapsell.
Supported by the Balnaves Foundation.