Portraits: The Godfather meets The Haunting of Hill House in Observatory Theatre’s new show

New independent theatre company, Observatory Theatre will present Portraits, an intense new Australian drama that confronts audiences with the dark side of traditions, for three performances from 1 – 2 October 2021 the Old Museum in Bowen Hills.

Observatory Theatre creates meaningful, vibrant experiences for audiences in ways traditional theatre does not. They aim to devise inventive works that bend the boundaries of traditional theatre and transport audiences to the world on stage.

Portraits is the second show of their 2021 season and will pull the audience into a unique immersive experience applying a surround sound design to construct the fictional, Godbold Mansion.

Director and playwright, Lachlan Driscoll said the show and its themes are relevant for a 2021 audience.

“We talk a lot about legacy in 2021 and the society that future generations will inherit. This play is a warning about festering traditions that refuse to die, specifically around masculinity and the expected social roles people have to play. The story shows that we as unique individuals can break the chain of bad habits and norms.”

Lachlan Driscoll
Image Credit: Bethany Moore

This confronting, emotional piece follows youngest child, Martin Godbold, who has been living in the shadow of his philanthropist father and now wants his rightful place in the family company. But as a criminal investigation looms and familiar faces appear on their doorstep, old ghosts and loyalties threaten to tumble the Godbold’s now crumbling empire.

The show asks audiences: What are we made of? Who will carry the torch when no one else will? And at what point does tradition overtake humanity?

Actor, Rebecca Day, says audiences should expect the unexpected and be ready to dive deep into the effects traditions have on families.

“What I love about Portraits is the exploration of self and how a place can mould the person you become. With my character, the past has come back to haunt her when she returns home, and she’s being challenged by what she knew not being what was.”

Rebecca Day

The cast includes four Brisbane locals: Emile Regano, Rebecca Day, James Hogan, and Robert Wainwright. The show is directed by Lachlan Driscoll with dramaturgy by Alex Macdonald and immersive sound design by Gabby Fitzgerald.

Tickets are on sale now through Observatory Theatre’s website.

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