On the brink of artistic discovery, Michel’s plans for the future are interrupted by a diagnosis of schizophrenia – he must rely on his sister – yet Karen has dreams of her own, how long can she push them aside to care for him?  

Drawn from the writer’s lived experience of schizophrenia, this powerful play explores the relationship between siblings who grapple with managing this condition, which interrupts their focus on transforming the world through art.  

Michel is writing his first novel, Hipflask, his older sister Karen is in Europe turning the world into paintings. Michel’s letters take a strange turn. He believes Joan Miro and Franz Kafka are his companions and he can speak with them. His sister Karen rushes home. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he is unable to accept it. Karen becomes her brother’s carer, which tests but cannot destroy their strong bond.  

Content warning: References the experience of being forcibly restrained by police and taken to an institution. Related to the experience of acute mental ill health in the form of schizophrenia. 

Writer: Michel Tuomy 

Director: Cathy Hunt 

Dramaturg: Peter Matheson 

NDIS Arts Mentor: Tania Smith 

Sound designer & composer: Jess Keeffe 

Lighting designer: Shane Grant 

CAST:  

Michel: Adam Cass 

Karen: Jane Barry 

Image by: Darren Gill 

“Seriously exciting theatre; beautifully realised and expertly crafted, urgent work that makes you sit on the edge of your seat.” 

Bryce Ives, Artistic Director, Theatre Works 

Director and dramaturge Cathy Hunt has created an innovative roving performance exploring the grand Victorian interiors of the Prahran Council Chambers…there is an aspect of poetic wit in staging this update in a surrounding that would be familiar to Ibsen. Rather than pushing an overly heavy-handed dramatic lens onto Warner’s often urbane dialogue, Hunt keeps the action in the eye of the storm.  

Maxim Boon, The Music  

This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria