Joy – The personal, the political and the pasta – I am getting very excited about seeing The Poor Kitchen, and hungry…what are highlights of the play that audiences can look forward to?
Daniela – ‘The Poor Kitchen’ translates as ‘la cucina povera’, the simple food of the Italian peasants so there is plenty of food in the play: fresh home made pasta, extra virgin olive oil, yummy biscotti, but ironically, it’s not what Elle, the main character, recently arrived from Australia, is interested in. She doesn’t want to cook rabbit ragu, raise milk fed snails, or harvest wild greens from the hill sides. She’s unexpectedly inherited an olive farm and she’s here to sell the place as fast as she can and get back home. But any one that’s ever set foot in Italy knows that it’s not quite so simple! And so we join her on a crazy quest wrangling the quirky locals until she’s confronted with a brutal revelation about her family’s past and that’s when the real adventures begin.
Joy – The debut of The Poor Kitchen was a limited one, are you excited for the longer run?
Daniela – Absolutely! It was first produced in 2016 as part of the Old 505 Theatres FreshWorks season and a lot of people asked me if it would be put on again. So I’m very grateful to Dave Jeffrey and Julie Baz who’ve set up a great new theatre called Limelight on Oxford. The play runs for three weeks so I’ll be able to see it plenty of times and so will people who didn’t get a chance to see it the first time. It’s not every day that an offer to have one of my plays produced arrives in my Inbox. It’s very exciting and I can’t wait to see their talented cast of actors bring this story to a Sydney stage again.
Joy – Who is directing the show this time?
Daniela – Julie Baz is directing the play for Patina Productions in their brand new performance space, Limelight Downstairs, part of a lovely converted three story terrace on Oxford Street. She’s put together a great cast for the play: Amy Victoria Brooks, Taylor Buoro, Wendi Lanham, David Jeffrey and Myles Waddell. Julie is a very experienced director who has directed a wide variety of plays in many theatres. She directed my play, Friday, in 2013 at the Old Fitz so I’m very much looking forward to seeing her interpretation of The Poor Kitchen when it opens on 10 May in this lovely new space.
Joy – What is your favourite classic play of all time? Or is it yet to be written?
Daniela – There are so many playwrights I admire both locally and from overseas that I don’t so much have one favourite play but many. I love classic plays but I also love brand new work. There’s a risk in the staging of a new play and a collaborative effort between the writer, director and the other creatives that I believe makes for very exciting and lively theatre. At the same time, it’s wonderful to see plays on stage that either haven’t been seen before in Australia, or that had a popular first run and are being brought back for an audience to enjoy one more time. I love reading and I don’t own a T.V. so theatre is my entertainment and I know the huge effort that goes into producing any play and that’s part of what makes it a treat to watch.
Joy – What is next for you – any new works by Daniela Giorgi this year?
Daniela – It’s been a wonderfully busy year, theatre wise, so far. In March, subtlenuance produced my new play, Seed Bomb, as part of the Old 505 Theatre’s FreshWorks Season. That was very exciting as is this restaging of The Poor Kitchen. Next I’ll be putting on my producer hat for the production of new Australian play, Simple Souls by Paul Gilchrist: a joyous comedy about the wisdom of stupidity and a woman who won’t be silenced. It too will be on at Limelight on Oxford in the Upstairs Theatre so I’m looking forward to working in this new venue with a bunch of great actors. But first I can’t wait to enjoy the political and the pasta in The Poor Kitchen!
The Poor Kitchen runs from 8-26 May, for more information and tickets see: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=487980&