Queensland Theatre returns to the mainstage with a localised production of Kieran Hurley’s incisive, darkly funny two-hander Mouthpiece, a powerful and provocative work full of unexpected turns examining authenticity, access, and accountability in art and storytelling.

Mouthpiece Jayden Popik and Christen O’Leary in Queensland Theatre’s  Mouthpiece. Photo © Stephen Henry

Directed by Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Lee Lewis and starring Christen O’Leary and Jayden Popik, Mouthpiecefollows the unlikely relationship that forms between washed-up playwright Libby, in the midst of a mid-life crisis, and talented teenage artist Declan, whose troubled home life often sees him retreat to the cliffs above the city with his sketchbook. It is in this isolated place that they meet by chance, and begin a tentative friendship that becomes an artistic collaboration.

As Libby draws inspiration from Declan’s life, she appoints herself as a voice for the voiceless while continuing to silence him, his experiences framed only through the lens of her playwrighting. She uses her platform to elevate his story for her own benefit, protected by her privilege as she carelessly crosses boundaries in pursuit of...