Wade Doolan is a founding member of Little Spoon Theatre Company and one half of the cast of Stitching, opening at TAP Gallery this month. He took five minutes out of rehearsals to talk about the play, getting banned in Europe and his real-life relationship with his onstage girlfriend.
Tell us about Stitching.
Stitching is a play about couple, Abby and Stu, who are struggling to deal with the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. But really it’s a play about grief and loss. About the searing, inescapable pain of loss, the grief that follows, and the many ways in which we attempt to heal our wounds. People can and will do terrible things to each other and themselves in order to survive the trauma of personal tragedy.
Is it true that Stitching was banned in Europe?
It was banned in Malta, on the grounds that the play “exalted perversion as if it was acceptable behaviour.” Malta is clearly a much more conservative and inherently religious society, so themes of blasphemy and sexual deviancy, taken out of context, are going to ruffle some Maltese feathers.But I think they miss the point of the play. This play doesn’t glorify ANY of the things that the Maltese court deemed offensive, Neilson may want to shock us out of our passivity, but you get the sense that he wishes the world was all peaches and cream, but he knows that it isn’t, and it grieves him. He isn’t afraid to explore those areas of life that most of us would prefer kept behind closed doors. It remains banned in Malta, despite the case being taken to the European Court of Human Rights.
What’s it like acting a relationship with your real life partner?
I am playing opposite my real life partner Lara in this play. I thought that it would be easier than creating the illusion of a relationship with a stranger. However, I’ve found it to be much tougher to reveal the truth of a real intimate relationship in front of strangers. We’re not creating an imaginary couple, we’re allowing an audience of strangers to eavesdrop on something very real, something very personal that has always been private until now. This is a challenging play for the actors and the audience, but I think that if people are willing to see beyond the initial shock, they will see a play of true beauty about two people coming to terms with a tragic loss, that will move and disturb them in equal measure.
Stitching is on at TAP Gallery until April 12.
Please note the error in the print version of this Q&A.