Midnight. Central desert. A troop-carrier rolls over in the bush, trapping its sole occupant – Ash – upside-down, inside the car. Ham – a local SES volunteer – comes across the accident. He CBs into Alice Springs for an ambulance and goes into emergency response: cutting Ash loose from the car, stabilising her, administering CPR.
In a house on a rural block outside Alice Springs, Mia is gripped by grinding stomach cramps; enough to bring a woman to her knees. If her husband were here, he’d know how to help; he’s trained for it. But he’s not here – and she has no idea where he is.
Ash finally gasps her way back to life: broken, but intact. Ham waits for the ambulance to arrive and does what he’s trained to do: bandages her bleeding head, splints her broken leg, lights a fire to ward off the night. He keeps her talking, cracks bad jokes and takes her mind off herself. He makes her feel warm and safe.
As a single fraught night unfolds, secrets are shared and promises broken. Time shifts on its axis and three worlds collide: from the past to the present, and back again – scattering broken pieces of lives along the way.
This is Broken, the award-winning play from local playwright Mary Anne Butler. A distinctively Northern Territory work with a universal theme, Broken wrestles with matters of chance, choice, hope and fate posing the question: When you find yourself empty, how do you start again? Poetic, visceral and extremely moving, this haunting story of resilience and survival takes you into the heart of its characters and the Australian landscape, offering up a devastatingly fresh look at our national identity.
Broken is the first play ever to receive Australia’s richest literary prize, The Victorian Prize for Literature, in 2016. It was also the winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama, the 2014 NT Literary Award for Best Script and was shortlisted for the 2016 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the 2014 Griffin Theatre Award. If you missed last year’s sold-out season of this unforgettable theatrical experience, this is your chance to see what everyone was raving about.