Cost of Living

Cost of Living

Looking at the title you might think Queensland Theatre’s new production Cost of Living was ripped from the headlines, but the play was actually written back in 2018. Polish-American playwright Martyna Majok received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work, a beautifully rendered story about our need to care (or be cared for) no matter the distance that age, race and disability might place between us.

Drawing from her experience as a former caregiver, Martyna introduces four seemingly disconnected characters whose lives are at a crossroads. There’s John — a wealthy successful PhD student with cerebral palsy ­— who hires the secretive Jess to be his new carer. And then there’s Eddie, an unemployed truck driver, desperately trying to reconcile with his ex-wife Ani, who has become a wheelchair user after an accident. 

The Australian premiere of this highly-lauded work is co-directed by Priscilla Jackman (The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race and the critically acclaimed RBG: Of Many, One) and Dan Daw, who also stars as John. Told with deft humour and enormous heart, the play brings the struggles of living with disability in an increasingly inaccessible world alongside the nuanced power dynamics in a carer/client relationship to the forefront for Brisbane audiences. The play draws on real-lived experience of disability, with the character of Ani portrayed by Kate Hood, a wheelchair user, and the character of John portrayed by Dan, who lives with cerebral palsy.

Cost of Living will run from June 15 to July 13 at the Bille Brown Theatre ahead of its upcoming season at Sydney Theatre Company. Tickets are available here.

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