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South Australian premiere of multi-award-winning work at Flinders Drama Centre

Flinders Drama Centre students and alumni will converge on stage this month in the South Australian premier of the multi-award-winning play, WHORE, with performances from July 24-27.

The production is a new initiative of the Drama Centre, which sees the play directed by the inaugural graduating student of Flinders’ new Bachelor of Performance in Directing, the only specialist undergraduate degree for theatre directors in Australia. 

Written by prominent trans playwright, Glace Chase, WHORE was first seen at the famed Belvoir Theatre in Sydney and is the winner of the Griffin Award, and the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award.

The story of two young Australians, Sara and Tim, who lose their way while undertaking the ritual adventure of living in London, the play is a noir-ish parable which grapples with the commodification of young bodies. WHORE is an unflinching exploration of the hazards of self-discovery and sexual awakening in the digital age of dissolving personal, moral, sexual and economic boundaries.

Directing student Hannah Smith will direct this production and says she is thrilled to direct Glace Chase’s WHORE.  

“Chase’s work challenges us to confront uncomfortable truths with honesty and compassion, and I am honoured to have the opportunity to bring this powerful story to the stage,” says Smith.

Smith reached out to Drama Centre alumni actors, to share their experience and expertise on the production. 

WHORE stars Franca Lafosse and Connor Pullinger, 2023 graduates who are both recipients of the Adelaide Theatre and More graduate grant, enabling them to travel to Sydney and Melbourne to build their professional employment network. 

Since graduating, Lafosse has already moved to Sydney and worked on several independent film projects, including the shorts Chokeberries and Spiderdust, and competed in the 2024 Short+Sweet Sydney Theatre Festival performing the one-woman play Main Character Energy at the Gala Final. 

“Being able to come back to the Drama Centre and experience this production as a graduated actor has been a wonderful gift,’ says Lafosse. “I’ve returned to Flinders with a fresh perspective after working in the industry, and Sara is a dream role.”

Meanwhile, Pullinger has already worked on a variety of film, TV commercial and theatre projects, including the award-winning Dirty Energy for the Adelaide Fringe, as well as two Mercury CX funded short films The Hitcher, and Great Deliverance. Most recently he was cast in the Stop Flirting with Death SAPOL campaign across South Australian screen platforms. After WHORE, Connor is thrilled to be reuniting with The CRAM Collective on an exciting theatre opportunity, as well as pursuing interstate opportunities. 

“I feel extremely fortunate to return to Flinders with a play as refreshing as Glace Chase’s WHORE,” says Connor Pullinger. “Chase creates such a vivid world with her writing and exploring it with the team led by Hannah has been a joy. It’s so different to anything I’ve done before.”

Flinders Drama Centre Manager Dr Christopher Hurrell said that these types of productions provided a unique opportunity for emerging South Australian artists to develop their skills through collaboration. 

“From Gale Edwards (1975) to Benedict Andrews (1995) and through to the present, Flinders Drama Centre has developed world-leading directors for stage and screen,” says Dr Hurrell.

“Now that expertise has been distilled into a dedicated degree course for directors, the only one of its kind in Australia.”

WHORE premieres on Wednesday 24 July at the Flinders Drama Centre. 

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