State Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre in association with Adelaide Festival Centre
By Sue Smith
A decorated war correspondent and a talented young journalist meet, fall in love and set off on a global adventure, leaving scandal behind them in post-World War II Australia.
It’s 1956 and Australia’s famous literary couple, George Johnston and Charmian Clift have moved to the Greek island of Hydra to focus their lives fully on their writing. Charmian, a burgeoning writing talent, creatively dominated by the tuberculosis ridden George, throws herself into this new community. Meanwhile, as George determinedly crafts what would become his Miles Franklin Award-winning masterpiece, My Brother Jack, their marriage becomes increasingly strained and they discover that living in paradise has a price.
State Theatre Company favourite Sue Smith (Kryptonite, Machu Picchu, Brides of Christ) has crafted a sweeping tale told from the perspective of George and Charmian’s eldest son Martin, chronicling George Johnston and Charmian Clift’s time as the figureheads of Hydra’s bohemian expat community. Starring Nathan O’Keefe (Macbeth) as Martin and Anna McGahan (from TV’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, Dr Blake Mysteries and Underbelly) as Charmian, Hydra brings a soaring emotional tale of two extraordinary literary lives to the stage.