Catherine at Avignon
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation,
and pay our respects to their elders, past and present.
CAST AND CREATIVES:
Shaw Cameron - Cardinal De Courville/ Player 2
Richard Cotter - Gregory/ Player 1
Romney Hamilton - Marguerite
Shawnee Jones - Catherine
Rosie Meader - Eloise
John Michael Narres - Raymond
Written and directed by Paul Gilchrist
Set & Costume Design by Rachel Scane
Lighting Design by Michael Schell
Intimacy Coordinator Diana Paola Alvarado
Produced by Daniela Giorgi
In the 14th century the church was the most powerful political institution in Europe. By 1376 the papacy had resided in Avignon in France for over seventy years. Many called for the pope to return to Rome. Italy at the time was not yet a united nation, but rather a collection of constantly warring city states. It was believed that the papacy’s return would stabilise the political situation and bring peace to the Italian peninsula.
A note from the writer
Though based on historical events, this play doesn’t purport to be historical truth. Several of the characters are amalgams of various people I have found in the records. Catherine, Gregory and Raymond were real people, but I will not pretend that my dramatic creations are accurate portrayals.
I was drawn to Catherine’s story because she was unafraid to challenge authority. In the telling she became a model for anyone who wants to leave the world a better place but is unsure of the means, and has difficulty finding the confidence. Our actions begin in our thoughts. A society bombarded by advertising slogans such as “Just do it” is tempted to view thought and action as opposites. But in a healthy, sustainable life they are intertwined. And so the play explores not just how authority is challenged from the outside, but also how it is created on the inside - through storytelling and playacting, and through truth claims and judgement.
This play was the first time I had written about a character not purely fictional. It was and continues to be an altogether different experience.This woman we conjure once walked the earth. She laughed and wept, and knew all the aching complexity of life. And now a revelation that will make me appear a complete eccentric. I have felt her presence. Remember theatre practitioners work ridiculously long hours, and often don’t get enough sleep. But as I have watched an actor, or painted a prop, or spoken to the designer, I have felt her. She does not judge. She entreats. Live life fully.
I hope in this production to have captured something of her spirit.
Cast & Creatives
Shaw graduated from NIDA with a BFA in Acting in 2021. Shaw is interested in exploring the highs and lows of the everchanging idea of what masculinity is within our society. Some of his theatre credits include: Scott Curry in KXT’s One Hour No Oil (Dir. Kenneth Moraleda), Man/Boy in Burning (dir. Amy Sole). Nida Productions: Sandy Curry in Nathan Maynard’s God’s Country (dir. Liza-Mare Syron), Barry in Hillary Bell’s Perfect Stranger (dir. Kate Champion), Hamlet in Hamlet and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (dir. Sean O’Riordan), Sick Boy in critically acclaimed sell out show Trainspotting at Limelight Theatre (dir. Simon Thompson), and was part of Clitorosity, Cocktastrophe and Other Things You Can’t Get Your Mouth Around which toured to Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Shaw is a proud MEAA member.
Theatre Credits as an actor include: For Crying Chair: Big Horn (Ray Bold),The Hope Song (Birdman), Marbles (Stanley). For New Theatre: Collaborators (Stalin), School For Scandal (Sir Oliver), King Lear (Cornwall). For Sqabblelogic: The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot (Judge). For BTC: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Egeus), Romeo & Juliet (Mercutio),Clan (Eagle), The Case Of The Metaphysical Whore (Rabbi). FOR ITC: Twelfth Night (Toby Belch), Taking Steps (Tristan). For GTC: Tons Of Money (Aubrey Allington), By Jeeves (Jeeves), The Unexpected Guest (Inspector Thomas). For The Theatre Troupe: Breaker Morant (Hamilton), Journey’s End (The Colonel). For UFT: Nasty Neighbours (Jim), The Art Of Success (Frank). For Belvoir: Edmond (Concierge). For Second Bite: Rosa & Leo (Leo). For Enmore Theatre: Amadeus (Emperor Joseph). For Sydney Comedy Festival: Plaything (Man). For Old 505: Jack Data (Dad). Film and Television credits include: Ozmar, Victim, Uncharted, A Clean Well Lighted Place, Zabobon, Orders From Above, Roller Coaster Testers, Talons & Tampons, Parisian Jam, Dog’s Breakfast, Les Norton, Australian Gangster, Underbelly: Razor, A Place To Call Home, Rake, Love Child, All Saints, Murder Call.
Romney is an actor, voice over artist, director, yoga teacher and very proud owner of Darlo Drama. Romney is an acting graduate of AFTT and her most recent theatre credits include: ‘Molly’ in Love Song (Little Cup Productions for the Sydney Fringe Festival), ‘Elizbeth/Nikki/Isabelle’ in Control (New Theatre, understudy), ‘Lady Macbeth’ in Macbeth - The Installation (Barestage Theatre), ‘Rose’ in Scarecrow, for which she was chosen as Suzy Goes Sees’ ‘Top 5 Best Supporting Actors for 2018’ (Deadfly Productions), ‘Paulina’ in The Winter’s Tale (Secret House), ‘Pisanio’ in Cymbeline (Secret House), ‘Ros’ in Henna Night (Mercury), ‘Alice Flack’ in That Eye, The Sky (New Theatre). Recent directing credits include The Jungle by Louis Nowra, Sunrise by Louis Nowra, Websters Bitch by Jacqueline Bircher, DNA by Dennis Kelly, An Ordinary Person by Robert Allan, 100 Reasons for War by Tom Holloway, Welcome to the Moon & Other Plays by John Patrick Shanley. Romney has been a proud member of Equity since 2015.
Shawnee is a Sydney-based actor. She studied at the Victorian College of The Arts (VCA) earning BFA in Acting, graduating in 2019. In 2023, she will be in the upcoming Australian stage-to-film adaptation of, The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race and will guest star in the third season of NBC’s television series La Brea. While at VCA Shawnee received the prestigious Lionel Gell Scholarship for excellence in her second year. Shawnee's credits at VCA include Othello in Othello and Johnna in August: Osage County. Shawnee also co-devised and wrote a new work, Woman, while at VCA for the inaugural theatre festival. Shawnee is a member of the MEAA
Rosie is an actor, singer, and writer from Sydney who has performed at the Sydney Opera House, Belvoir St Theatre, the Sydney Town Hall and the Seymour Centre as a member of many different projects and ensembles. In 2020 she graduated from Brent Street with her Musical Theatre Diploma, after which she completed her course at NIDA’s Actors Studio and multiple Hub Studio programs. In June of 2022, Rosie wrote and starred in her original musical, Everybody Loves A Wedding, which was performed at the Flight Path Theatre to sold-out shows. Rosie recently produced the first development workshop for her new work, Spitfire Girls The Musical, funded by the Brent Street Inaugural Artist Award. This piece tells the inspiring true story of young female pilots during World War II.
John Michael Narres
John Michael (JM) graduated from ACTT in 2000 with an Advanced Diploma in Acting. JM was a resident actor with the Sydney Shakespeare Festival between 2010-2013 while also taking part in the inaugural Actors Lab Intensive with Bell Shakespeare. JM has worked with Belvoir St Theatre, Theatre Travels & Seymour Centre, Riverside Theatres, NIDA & Q Theatre. JM has just come off playing Constable Hicks in Alex Tutton’s Come Again (June 2023), produced by Purple Tape Productions as part of their Tape Over Festival at KXT Theatre. Other roles have included Ian in How To Win A Plebiscite (and Tennis), NIDA 2022 Festival of Emerging Artists; Louis in Angels In America Part I, B in 5 Guys Chillin, New Theatre Queer Fringe; & Kurt/Solomon in Pinball, Revival Production. After working in the indie theatre circuit since 2009, JM will be making his professional theatre debut in late 2023. You can follow JM’s acting work on his Facebook Page John Michael Narres_ACTOR
Paul Gilchrist - Writer and Director
Paul is a co-founder of subtlenuance. Plays he has both written and directed include: Softly Surely (with Daniela Giorgi) (Flight Path Theatre, 2022); Live a Little (KXT PopUpStairs, 2021); Shut Up And Drive (with Daniela Giorgi) (KXT, 2016); All the Difference (Old 505, 2015); Joan Again (Old Fitz, 2014); Blind Tasting (Old 505, Ensemble, Street Theatre Canberra, 2012/2013); Cristina in the Cupboard (TAP, 2013); Rocket Man (TAP, 2013); Life is Impossible (Newtown Theatre, 2010, and Old 505, 2020); and A Thing of Beauty (Old Fitz, 2010). Plays he has directed include: TickTickBoom by Melissa Lee Speyer (Actors Pulse, 2018); Talc (TAP, 2010), The Poor Kitchen (Old 505, 2016) and Seed Bomb (Old 505, 2019) by Daniela Giorgi; Losing You (Twice) by Kate O'Keeffe (Newtown Theatre, 2017); and A Quiet Night in Rangoon by Katie Pollock (New Theatre, 2011). In addition his play Turning Up was produced by TTT (dir. Daryl Currie, Crypt Theatre, 2006), his play Atlantis was produced at KXT (dir. Kit Bennett, 2016), Cristina in the Cupboard by the Depot Theatre (dir. Julie Baz, 2016), and Appropriation by Fledgling Theatre (dir. Chris Huntly-Turner, 2019).
Rachel Scane - Set and Costume Design
Rachel Scane is a Sydney based designer. trained at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga with a Batchelor of Arts (Design for Theatre and Television), she moved to Sydney to follow her passion for the arts. Rachel works across a range of disciplines, anything to satisfy her creative itch. Her recent theatrical credits include: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged (dir Madeleine Withington), Mum, Me & the IED (dir. Kevin Jackson), A Nest of Skunks (dir. Travis Green), The Shoe-horn Sonata with Emu Heights Theatre Company, Romeo and Juliet dir. Angela Blake, Shivered with Mad March Hare Theatre company, Furies Theatres The Importance of Being Earnest, Haircuts presented by the Greek Festival, and Emu Heights Production of The Crucible. Rachel has peviously worked with subtlenuance, having designed Joan Again and Rocket Man, and is happy to be helping bring another of their shows to life.
Michael Schell - Lighting Design
Michael has designed lighting for over 375 productions ranging from children’s plays to opera and nearly every form of theatre in between. He has worked with many major companies in Australia from Nimrod, Sydney Theatre Company, Q Theatre, Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet. Recent productions include Peer Gynt (Endangered Productions), The Wasp (Flightpath Theatre), Jellyfish (New Theatre) and Bronte (Genesian Theatre).
Diana Paola Alvarado - Intimacy Coordinator
Diana Paola Alvarado is a movement and intimacy director, director, producer and actor. She completed her theatrical studies at the School of Art, Kodaly Studio and at the Theatre Company CETAU (Urban Experiment Theatre Company) in Guatemala (1992- 2001). She obtained her degree in Theatre with high distinctions at the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico (2002-2006). In 2006 she was accepted to study the technique of Jacques Lecoq at the International School of Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France (2006-2008), and completed the second year of this specialization at the Estudis de Teatre Berty Tovias in Barcelona, Spain. In 2018 she completed her master's degree in Movement: Directing and Teaching at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England. (2016-2018) And in 2018 also she was invited as part of her thesis to do an Internship at the Sydney Opera House in Australia as a Movement Director (January 2018 - May 2018). In 2013 she decided to return to her homeland Guatemala and was invited to become a professor at the Drama Club at Universidad Francisco Marroquin,(UFM), the People's University (UP), La Universidad Mesoamericana , Universidad de San Carlos (USAC) and the Theatre School Escenarte; she is the Artistic Director, founder and director of her own Theatre company La Fábrica de Microobios. In 2019 she returned to Australia and has dedicated herself to perfecting her technique of Intimacy and Movement Direction. Recent projects include: Labyrinth (dir. Margareth Thanos 2022), Tom at the Farm (dir. Danny Ball 2022) She was also part of the Pandemonium Festival (2022) hosted by KXT where she was part of five different plays.
Daniela is a writer and producer, and co-founder of subtlenuance. Her writing credits include: Softly, Surely (with Paul Gilchrist, Flight Path Theatre, 2022); Seed Bomb (Old 505, 2019); Shut Up and Drive (with Paul Gilchrist, KXT, 2016); The Poor Kitchen (Old 505, 2016); Friday (Sydney Independent Theatre Company, Old Fitz, 2013) and Talc (TAP, 2010). She has also had short stories, poetry and fiction published and blogs at sagesomethymes.com
Daniela has produced over thirty original shows, in venues throughout Sydney and Australia, such as The Old Fitz, KXT, New Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Old 505, The Street Theatre Canberra, Flight Path Theatre, and the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringes. These include: Softly, Surely, 2022; Live a Little, 2021; Simple Souls, 2019; One Way Mirror, 2018; TickTickBoom, 2018; Atlantis, 2016; Shut Up And Drive, 2016; The Poor Kitchen, 2016; All the Difference, 2015; And Now To Bed, 2015; Joan, Again, 2014; High Windows Low Doorways, 2014; Cristina in the Cupboard, 2013; Rocket Man, 2013; The Political Hearts of Children, 2013; Blind Tasting, 2012 / 2013 / 2014; Lucy Black, 2012; A Quiet Night in Rangoon, 2011; Bare Boards Brave Heart, 2011; Toy Box, 2011; Life Is Impossible, 2010 and 2020; A Thing of Beauty, 2010; Talc & Two Gates, 2010; Before The Embrace, 2009; Catherine at Avignon, 2009; and True Times Three, 2008.
Prior to that she produced Gloss, Sold, Turning Up and Dead Money, for Thrown Together Theatre’s "pop-up theatre" experiment; theatre created for performance in a range of eclectic non-traditional venues.
A Special Thankyou to:
Luke Holmes, Kieran Took and the team at Meraki Arts Bar
Victor Kalka and Virginia Plain Theatrical Productions
Purple Tape Productions
Ship's Cat Theatre Company
and of course, to you, our audiences, an enormous thank you
for coming along and making independent theatre possible.
Catherine at Avignon has been published by Australian Plays Transform and is available HERE
subtlenuance is a Sydney based, independent theatre company dedicated solely to the creation of new work.
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