Long-listed for the 2020 Theatre503 Award in London Short-listed for the 2021 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award HEARTH is an extraordinarily prescient play for our times. With its mixture of pathos and humour, it’s seamlessly crafted from go to woe. The characters are complex and highly conflicted, their stories delicately woven and delivered through emotionally charged language that leaves you floored. – Raimondo Cortese, Playwright
I enjoyed it… You write with acuity, elan and a keen awareness of our shared cultural flashpoints. There is heart and honesty in your work. - Chris Mead, former Literary Manager at MTC
I enjoyed it immensely. The piece offers a very strong evocation of so many of the present-day realities of regional family lives. It touches on a range of things that often get dubbed 'issues', but it does so in a way that is so authentic that the audience never feels they are being pushed to a certain position or judgment. I feel sure this work will resonate with audiences and particularly those who have experienced or who are living in regional Australia. We often bemoan the lack of original work coming out of the regions. Even though the author is now city-based herself, there is no doubt this play 'comes out of the regions' and speaks of that significant place in our national society. Thank you Fleur for your fine script. I look forward to seeing it becoming a fully-fledged performance that will have a strong claim to be presented widely. - Rob Robson, former Manager of West Gippsland Performing Arts Centre
Shadows of Angels (Writer/Producer) "The National Trust of Victoriaaims to make historical properties of heritage value accessible to a modern generation and thus in recent years it has aimed to increase its community partnerships and open up these buildings to be enjoyed for a range of purposes.In partnership with TBC Theatre Company we are inviting new audiences into the Old City Watch House and challenging them to experience this space in a way that is contrary to its original purpose, yet complimentary and respectful. Thus the Trust’ s mission “every moment an amazing story” lives on in this space after dark through the work of companies like TBC.We are very excited to be a part of this partnership." - Jessica Simmons, Program Coordinator, Old Melbourne Gaol, Crime and Justice Experience.
5 STARS “Shadows of Angels” is faultless. Chris Saxton directs a show that astounds with its technical brilliance, whilst also making you physically ill at its graphic portrayal of abortions and prostitution. Saxton’s direction and Fleur Murphy’s descriptive screenplay combine to create an intense sensory experience. - New Adelaide Theatre Guide
Wonderfully descriptive and carefully and meticulously executed, Shadows of Angels will leave you with a chill and a deeper understanding of these dark women of our past. - The Theatre Nerd.
Fleur Murphy’s writing crackles with dark wit and beauty, luring audience members into imagined places with such precision that you’d swear to have been in the bar, the room, the house, or the street with the characters. The script is beautifully crafted. It is steamy and strong, blackly comic and heartbreaking; you barely notice the time passing as you sit and watch these women stripped bare onstage. Chris Saxton’s direction is subtle yet deliberate, and works seamlessly to provide the actors with focus and guidance to bring the script to life. Shadows of Angels shows just how much can be done in a small space, with a barely-there set and simple costumes. It is a play that crackles with the raw talent of its writer, director and actors, and tells an Australian story most people have never discovered, but most definitely deserves to be told. - 4 STARS -Theatre People
Superb performances in a dark and gritty play… Chris Saxton has directed a show that stays with you long after it’s over. His efforts in creating the right blend of horror and sympathy both emotionally and physically on stage are what theatre is meant to be about: creating a world that envelops you until you feel like you are actually there. – Theatre Press
Featuring a sharp script from a talented emerging playwright, deft direction and lighting along with convincing performances Shadows of Angels is well worth experiencing if you don’t mind theatre with a bit of bite. - Buzz Cuts
Fleur Murphy's story-telling sparkles in this gritty piece about four 'femme fatales' … The brothel world of desperate women and disgusting men is painted with bold strokes, energy, and movement, across four monologues. Grimy smudges and humidity hang as the piece grows creepingly confrontational and raw. Murphy writes whirling, unfiltered emotion most powerfully. Not only does it suck the audience into the imagined place, but it guides the actor with the precision of tram-tracks. – Australian Stage
The actors gave remarkable, believable performances bringing their own interpretations to each character… Shadows of Angels is a dark, haunting play…crime is the only way they can survive in the harsh conditions, but there is a frailness and vulnerable quality in all of these women, which makes this play a must-see at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival. – 4 STARS. - UKFringe Review
Staged as part of the 2013 SheppARTon Festival, the play proved a popular hit – with seats selling out for two of the three weekend performances…Murphy weaves a tight script that packs an emotional punch - members of the Shepparton audience were visibly moved by the production. Subtle direction by Chris Saxton allowed the actors to reveal the characters’ motives and the pain of their internal lives. This is a play that confronts, moves and challenges. If it comes your way, see it! – John Lewis, Shepparton News
Project: Hysteria (Producer)
4 STARS - "Beautifully staged, beautifully designed and beautifully performed; a strikingly contemporary imagining of a modernist classic… The sexuality, tension, and denial smoldering under the surface of Williams’ words are all brought to centre stage.Powerful and moving." - Arts Hub.
"EXCELLENT" - The Age.
“Hot, heavy and dramatic” - Weekend Notes.
“Compelling… captivating performances all round… This one isn't to be missed” - Plus One.
"Fierce…Tremendous… Wonderfully performed and directed" - Theatrepeople.
"Powerful… Excellent Performances… Mr Smith is clearly a talented Director to watch" - Stage Whispers.
Educational testimonials: PROJECT: HYSTERIA had all the stagecraft elements required for an Outcome 3 prescribed performance for VCE Theatre Studies’ students to analyse and evaluate. Outstanding set and lighting; props, costume and sound. Actors were terrific in their roles – with plenty for student discussion. - N. Andary, Theatre Studies teacher, Mentone Grammar
As we entered the space, it was if we were transported into the world of Tennessee Williams. The actors drew us in to the hysteria, working very physically with William’s lyrical text.Incredible performances from every member of the ensemble, every prop and set piece meticulously gathered and placed with care.PROJECT: HYSTERIAwas a delight for the senses and a wonderful insight into the writings of this great man…My students had so much to discuss after the performance and in class the next day. Their analysis of the acting and other stagecraft was excellent as they all felt they could understand the production. It was a great introduction to real theatre for these students who have been brought up on musicals. - M. McNamara, Co-ordinator of Drama, Ruyton Girls’ School
This was the most incredible night of theatre. It was my first real play and I couldn’t believe how detailed the set and the props were. The actors were brilliant and I felt as if I was mesmerised, forgetting everything. There were so many aspects of this production that were unexpected. It made it so interesting to watch and great as the subject of our analysis at school. S. Adams, student (Year 11)