Crime, comedy and coming of age combine when Jasper Jones hits the stage
Cast your mind back to your early high-school years and the glorious stretch of summer holidays, before the internet was around to keep you occupied. Most of us had to rely on our imagination and the other kids in the neighbourhood to make our own fun – but oftentimes we would crave a bigger adventure. What do you think you would have done if your town’s resident bad boy came tapping at your window one night asking for your help when they were placed at the scene of a grisly crime? Coming to QPAC from July 28 to August 18, the beloved Australian novel Jasper Jones is getting the stage treatment and is here to answer some questions about morality, guilt, race and growing up – all with impeccable flare.
Jasper Jones takes place in the hot summer days and nights of 1965, when the meek and bookish Charlie Bucktin tries his best to escape the monotony of small-town bush life by distracting himself with stories of far-off lands and epic adventures. The 14-year-old is used to days filled with boredom and bullying, where very little happens in the course of a day – until he’s plonked smack-bang in the middle of his own mystery. At the stroke of midnight, the town’s resident light-fingered and dark-skinned criminal Jasper Jones comes seeking Charlie’s help – Jasper’s witnessing of a gruesome crime coupled with his troubled past make him a prime suspect, and Charlie is the only one he trusts to help clear his name. Suddenly Charlie is thrust into a race against time to crack the case and get Jasper off the hook.
Based on Craig Silvey’s novel, the stage adaptation of Jasper Jones has been expertly translated by Kate Mulvany to convey the themes of the original. Sitting somewhere between Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird and cult classic film Stand by Me, Jasper Jones strikes just the right balance of comedy, crime drama and coming-of-age sensibilities. The production is carried by an all-star team that does true justice to the story – Queensland Theatre’s Sam Strong’s expert direction has seen the play sell out its season with the Melbourne Theatre Company and even pick up four Helpmann Award nominations.
Want to see what all the fuss is about? You can pick up tickets to Jasper Jones through QPAC right now.