Six years ago, American playwright Richard Nelson wrote The Apple Family Plays, a four-part cycle centred on a (small ‘l’) liberal American family living in his hometown of Rhinebeck in Dutchess County, New York (population 7,548). Each play was set (and indeed premiered) on the night of a significant moment in American political life – the eve of the 2010 midterms; the 10th anniversary of 9/11 attacks; the 2012 election night; the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK – and the tetralogy went on to tour the world.

PIAF Artistic Director Wendy Martin, who had seen ‘ The Apples’ called New York’s Public Theater the minute she landed the Perth job and asked if she could book it. We’re not doing them again, was the reply, but Richard is working on a new cycle set across the 2016 election year – would she be interested? Martin didn’t hesitate, and the programming of The Gabriels, a few months on from the final play’s election night premiere (and just announced as headed for London’s West End), is a genuine coup for Perth.

Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Lynn Hawley and Meg Gibson

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