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Cast member, Jay Wood gives an account of the history and plot of this new classic Australian play by Andrew Bovell.

Date posted: 16th May, 2021

Author: Jay Wood

Production: Things I Know To Be True

Things I Know To Be True originated as a theatre production produced by 

The State Theatre Company South Australia and Frantic Assembly, directed

by Geordie Brookman and Scott Graham. It was written by Andrew Bovell 

and featured the music of Nils Frahm. The play is naturalistic but features

great use of non-naturalistic physical movement to emphasise the emotional

connection between the characters - following the story of the Price Family

and their problems. The play is set in Adelaide, Australia, which is where the

play held its World Premiere in May 2016. 


The plot of Things I Know To Be True follows the story and the many 

struggles of the Price Family. The play begins with a monologue from Rosie

Price, who was last seen by the family leaving on a European getaway during

her gap-year. After discovering things about the people around her, and

having her trust broken, she comes back to the one place she trusts. Home.

‘But I know that at 25 Windsor’s Avenue, Hallett Cove? Things are the same

as when I left and they always will be’.

As Rosie surprisingly returns home, with everyone eager to ask questions why she returned so unexpectedly, we see the rest of the family come to meet her. Rosie’s timing to return to the family home is fortuitous as this begins a year of incredible change and surprises for all of the Price family.


Elsewhere Pip, Rosie's elder sister, desperate for a change, comes to her mother, Fran, about her latest predicament. A mother of two, and wife to her partner Steve (unseen in the show), Pip is forced to make a choice. To follow in her mothers footsteps and settle down with the family, or to find a new path- one fraught with it’s own, and unique challenges. 


The Price's second child, Mark, is still fresh from the breakup of his longtime girlfriend Taylor. Mark, who is a touch reclusive to the family, promises to discuss things with his parents Bob and Fran after Rosie returns home. Expecting a reason for why they really broke up, Bob and Fran expect the conversation to go one way- but Mark surprises the family with a revelation that will seperate him from his family even more.


Over the course of Fran and Bob's marriage, it is revealed that Fran had been saving around $250,000 as a get-out fund for her relationship with Bob, stating that it is "hard to love someone for 30 years straight." She admits to Bob that she once thought of running away. Fran then says that she now saves it for them to treat themselves one day in the future. She asks Bob where he'd most like to go and he replies Kruger National Park.


The final scenes of this play are centred around the younger son, Ben, and his father, Bob. Bob finds a European car parked outside; it turns out to be Ben's and Bob wants to know how he found the money, with Ben answering that he worked hard for it. This appears to be insignificant, until later in the play Ben returns home, sweating and speaking quickly. Rosie is the only person indoors at the time and she realises quickly that Ben is not acting himself. Bob and Fran then enter, now even more curious about his money situation. 


With the Price children all raising unique new challenges, Bob and Fran evaluate their parenting past. Questioning the approaches they have had. Glad for their family and their past they reminisce on what brought them together in the first place. As all this is happening, however, tragedy strikes. The play ends with a jaw-dropping discovery that changes the Price family forever.


Things I Know To Be True, is a wholly original play by acclaimed Australian playwright Andrew Bovell. This is the first production to be staged in Newcastle of this hard hitting, and emotionally resonant play, that’s equal parts comedy and tragedy. The Very Popular Theatre Company team includes a wide variety of Newcastle talent both on and off the stage- incorporating movement and music in a beautiful and unique way for audiences.


State Theatre Company (2016)

By Jay Wood for The Very Popular Theatre Company

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