Lost in Venice - “Wake in Fright meets Mad Men meets Twin Peaks…”
As a playwright and director who has followed and admired Julia Foenander's work for a number of years, It gives me great pleasure to write this letter of support for her exceptional new work, Lost in Venice.
The play debuted at the Doncaster Playhouse in Melbourne in April 2018. The work has strongly resonated with me since that time for a number of reasons.
Lost in Venice is a work of significant Australian cultural and historical currency. Utilizing family biography as its main source and as a starting off point, the work reminds us of an isolated Australia, of a time where travel was indeed a luxury or a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
On one level Lost in Venice is a potent drama of social realism exploring a couple with conflicting wants. It effortlessly adopts a rich mid-20th century Australian vernacular and dry humour rarely seen on our stages. Importantly, too, the play’s further uniqueness shines through in its sweeping use of cabaret and burlesque elements, and treasured historical footage. These elements are used to significantly further develop two opposing worlds: an Australia of simple and modest values versus a Europe full of decadent and tempting night visions.
Lost in Venice is a genuinely accessible work for both city and regional audiences. It breaks boundaries in the best possible way and fuses genres seamlessly to create a story built from the foundations of Australian family life and the struggles of working people.
I believe Foenander has created a work that will strongly resonate right across Victoria and that audiences, young and old, will be both highly moved and genuinely entertained.