In August, Queensland Theatre Company will bring an incredible local ‘David and Goliath’ story to stage in St Mary’s In Exile.
Penned by Brisbane-based playwright David Burton (April’s Fool, The Voice in the Walls, Hedonism’s Second Album), the play revisits the infamously controversial excommunication of Catholic priest Father Peter Kennedy from his post at St Mary’s in South Brisbane in 2009. Father Peter led more than 700 devoted parishioners, but the Church’s higher powers scorned his unorthodox practices, which included blessing same-sex couples and allowing women into the pulpit. This unbelievable true story unfolds on a stormy night, as an ousted Father Peter is packing up to go into exile. A mysterious young homeless visitor walks in out of the rain, wanting to know the story behind this unconventional holy man and what drove him to defy one of the world’s most powerful authorities. “St Mary’s Catholic Church is just around the corner from us,” says Jason Klarwein, Director of St Mary’s In Exile at Queensland Theatre Company, also based in South Brisbane. “For us, telling local stories is important, and right in our neighbourhood this was making national news … It’s a deeply interesting and provocative true story.” Father Peter’s congregation, now called ‘St Mary’s in Exile’ gathers in the Trades and Labor Council building, just metres away from the South Brisbane church. St Mary’s in Exile opens 27 August at the Bille Brown Studio (Queensland Theatre Company). Tickets are available at www.queenslandtheatre.com.au