History is about to be made at the Opera House when the iconic Australian soapie characters of Scott and Charlene are reunited, 17 years after they disappeared from TV screens.
While they may not be the Scott and Charlene, as made famous by the talents of Donovan and Minogue in their Neighbours heyday, they are, nevertheless, beloved TV soapie figures Scott and Charlene, as portrayed by actors Todd MacDonald and Roslyn Oades in the play Blowback.
Blowback, written by David Pledger, toys with the iconic position these roles have in TV history. In the play, Scott and Charlene are the sweethearts of an Aussie soapie named A World Of Our Own, which is about to screen its final episode.
The soapie has been given the axe because authorities believe it has become far too political, with scripts containing too many subversive messages which could unsettle Australian society.
Blowback takes a biting swipe at the current state of Australian culture and politics by portraying a time in the not too distant future when Australia has been occupied by the United States.
During the occupation, any promotion of local culture or dissention against the political machine is deemed rebellion and quickly stamped out.
This play is very relevant for our times, particularly after the past 18 months, Todd MacDonald says. This is a chance for us to investigate what is going on, who we are and what we are doing about it.
This is all a hypothetical which deals with the idea of -˜What if?’. We take the idea of looking at the possibility of things, which in some way have begun now with the relationship with the United States. We have taken those ideas and expanded them to a far degree.
Blowback is framed by the story of the TV soapie, but also woven through the plot are the tales of an American military officer in command of an Australian base, an American interrogating an Australian suspected of resistance and another suspect who becomes the topic of a reality TV show called Military Intelligence Abroad.
We ask the questions, but we don’t necessarily have the answers -“ it really is a hypothetical, MacDonald says. It lets people walk away and question what they would do if this happened. On top of all this, it is also very comical and funny too.
At the same time, it is important for us to get our heads around this, particularly in light of all the Guantanamo Bay stuff and David Hicks being held.
Blowback plays 26-29 April at the Studio, Sydney Opera House. Bookings on 9250 7777.