Critical Stages Touring
Written by Tony Kushner
Directed by Chris Bendall
Assistant Director: Dan Graham
Sound Design: Jethro Woodward
Senior Producer: Melanie Carolan
Creative Producer: Bernadette Fam
- Caroline Brazier
- Simon Burke
- Tyler Coppin
- Geraldine Hakewill
- Reza Momenzada
- Wahibe Moussa
- Mansoor Noor
- Osamah Sami
- Majid Shokor
“HOMEBODY/KABUL is the most remarkable play in a decade … without a doubt the most important of our time.” New York Observer
By special arrangement with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, Critical Stages Touring presents a livestreamed reading of Homebody/Kabul in support of two charities – Women for Afghan Women, and Mahboba’s Promise.
Presented in two parts over Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October this rehearsed reading, directed by Chris Bendall, will reunite cast members from the award-winning Melbourne production alongside feature performances from Simon Burke (Pippin), and Geraldine Hakewill (Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries).
Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul is the story of a lonely London housewife and the far-reaching effects of her fascination with Afghanistan, set off by an outdated guidebook. Set in 1998, and written long before “September 11” and “Taliban” became part of our vocabulary, the story begins with a thrilling monologue performed by Caroline Brazier as the Homebody. After the Homebody disappears into Afghanistan, her husband and daughter desperately search for her, becoming ever more ensnared in a culture ripped apart by centuries of turmoil.
“ a sparkling web of grandiloquence woven by a spider before a storm” Cameron Woodhead, The Age
How To Watch
Performing from their homes across Australia, this special presentation will not be recorded or available after the livestream and this extraordinary team of creatives invites you to join them online as they bring Kushner’s powerfully resonant story to life.
New York 3:00am
No tickets are needed. Simply tune in on the day and donate to one of our chosen charities. Register via Eventbrite for an email reminder.
“The monologue is breathtaking… Kushner weaves out of the dreams and fantasies of his characters a complex and communicable truth which is, perhaps, merely the truth of human pain.” Alison Crogggon, TheatreNotes
The play alternates between two settings, London and Kabul. Homebody, the title character, is a middle-class, middle-aged British woman. In many respects, she is easy to recognise – a Western woman with privilege and opinion – a product of her post-colonial British . The play opens with a lengthy monologue in which Homebody explains her orientalist fascination with Afghanistan, including a sudden ability (real or imagined) to speak Pashtun.
Much of the rest of the play is set in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, where Homebody’s husband, Milton, and their daughter, Priscilla, are visiting. Rather than being an armchair enthusiast back in England, it is revealed, Homebody has actually travelled to Afghanistan and now is missing. Her family tries desperately to locate her.
“HOMEBODY/KABUL brings a passionate, critical voice to the conversation about world events… The Kabul we see here is a place of great history and great cruelty, where Eastern and Western characters alike search for redemption in God or heroin or other people. It is a product of astounding timeliness. The cultural artifact of the moment.” Los Angeles Times
Mahboba’s Promise is an Australian non-profit organisation dedicated to helping disadvantaged women and children in Afghanistan.
Mahboba’s Promise was founded by Mahboba Rawi, an Afghan refugee and now an Australian citizen, who has experienced first-hand the effects of a country torn apart by years of war and civil unrest. With Mahboba’s intimate knowledge of Afghanistan, Mahboba’s Promise was able to respond effectively and flexibly, to directly meet the needs of the country’s orphans and widows. Since then, Mahboba’s Promise has established schools, shelters and health clinics across Afghanistan and provided numerous sponsorships to widows and orphans in need.
Through Mahboba’s intimate knowledge of Afghanistan, Mahboba’s Promise is able to effectively respond and meet the needs of the country’s most vulnerable orphans and widows. Since Mahboba’s Promise was established, Mahboba’s determination has led to the establishment of Hope Houses, education for both boys and girls, primary health care services in rural areas and vocational programs for women and young people.Mahboba’s Promise is currently running an emergency appeal to raise funds to supply shelter, food, water and other necessities to 500 displaced families in a camp outside of Kabul. Learn more at www.mahbobaspromise.org
Women for Afghan Women
Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is the largest women’s rights organization in Afghanistan and the only culturally competent organization serving Afghans (and other immigrants) in the NY area. We rescue and defend women who are survivors of violence, including helping them escape the Taliban. We also conduct culture change work to gain and advance women’s rights in all levels of society. We have now improved the lives of 1.6 million women, children, and families through our programs in Afghanistan and our NY Community Center. WAW has 32 centers and programs that reach all 34 provinces in Afghanistan.
Currently, WAW have staff and teams on the ground in Kabul and other cities who are working hard to provide direct support and assistance to our clients and other staff. As reported by most news outlets, banks and shops in Kabul and other major Afghan cities are closed at the moment, but that doesn’t deter us from our mission. We are using our available resources at the moment to ensure that our clients and staff have what they need until they can be moved to safety.
Visit them online at www.womenforafghanwomen.org