It was one of the most delightful Australian films of the 1990s.
Directed by Mark Joffe, Cosi was also one of the most successful. The 1996 screenplay was by Louis Nowra who adapted it from his own play of the same name. Cosi the play premiered at the Belvoir Theatre in 1992. It has been produced on numerous occasions since including several times recently in London and in New York in 2012.
The story concerns an unemployed young man, Lewis, who lands a job as a drama teacher in a psychiatric hospital. He is to direct a production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, in Italian, with cast drawn from the patients who are not singers and have no command of Italian.
One of the patients, Roy, sweeps all before him, organising everything; his enthusiasm results in a successful production. This is a romantic fantasy after all; there is a parallel love story for Lewis, Mozart provides much of the magic.
The MTC and the STC have commissioned a co-production to be directed by Sarah Goodes with an interesting looking cast including Glenn Hazeldine and Robert Menzies.
It will open in Melbourne at Southbank Theatre on 30 April (until 8 June) and in Sydney at the Drama Theatre on 1 November (until 14 December). This play is worthy of a major revival; it seems a play for our time. A New York critic described it as ‘quick witted and warm-hearted’. As I said: a play for our time.
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