Putting the Nation on Stage

From the Author: Felicity Castagna

July 5, 2017

The Incredible Here and Now is a play about cars and boys and having to grow up too soon. The main character Michael knows everything about the community he lives in and through his stories, he lets the reader in; to the unsettled lives of his family members, the friends he meets in the McDonalds parking lot at night, the swimming pool where he meets the one girl who will acknowledge he’s alive and the classmates who spend their mornings drooling at the Coke Factory on their walk to school.

Parramatta is one of the play’s main characters and through a close look at the small and intimate places it is made up of the text explores the ways in which the places where we are shape who we are right now and what we might become. Fundamentally it is also a play about language and silence. Our personal grief is such a fundamentally hard thing to articulate whether you’re a teenage boy or a mother. That grief therefore, needed to be expressed in the visual language of the play; a box, a stack of pancakes, an older brother who is not there anymore but continually returns to stage like a memory that is always in the back of one’s mind. The original book the play is based on was written in vignettes, a kind of short short story with heightened poetic imagery. It is meant to be like taking a picture of a moment in time and committing it to words. I have tried to capture this in the writing of the play. The sense that life is made up of these small moments of time that we think of as ordinary but are really quite extraordinary if we examine them a little closer and that is what Michael does, after all, he is a writer.

Felicity Castagna


National Theatre of Parramatta have commissioned Felicity Castagna to adapt her award-winning novel The Incredible Here and Now for the stage. This world premiere production is directed by Jeneffa Soldatic and Wayne Harrison at Riverside Theatres from 13-22 July. Click here for times and ticket information.