On Our Shelves Now
Elodie is 17. She's French. She washes her legs before going to church. She believes in God. Otto is 15. He's a German soldier. Bulletproof skin. Eyes that could pierce tanks. He was part of a firing squad today. It's 1944. Outside, the world around them is exploding. Inside, the room shakes. Elodie and Otto's naked bodies touch.
About the Author
Rita Kalnejais studied acting at Victorian College of Arts, graduating in 2001, and has worked extensively as an actor at Belvoir, Griffin, Malthouse and Sydney Theatre Companies. Rita’s first play, BC, was nominated for three Greenroom Awards including Best New Australian Play. Her short plays, Whistling In Bed and How To Get Very Clean were performed at Sydney Theatre Company as part of 2010 Rough Draft and 2011 Next Stage seasons. In June 2013 Tom Littler directed a reading of Whistling In Bed at Theatre503. In 2012 her play Babyteeth had a successful season at Belvoir Theatre and was then produced and performed by the State Theatre Company of South Australia this year; both productions enjoying great critical acclaim.
'There’s a thing that happens right at the end of Jay Miller’s already-extraordinary production of Rita Kalnejais’s astonishing new play that moves it from “one of the best things I’ve seen this year” to “one of the best things, full stop.”... if I did stars it would get at least five.' Andrew Haydon
'A teenage Nazi soldier and a French girl secretly meet on the eve of the American army's triumphant arrival, spending one last night together before their worlds are turned upside down... Rita Kalnejais' kaleidoscopic new play This Beautiful Future mines this compellingly weighted scenario for all it's worth... One of Kalnejais' play's most powerful tools is its refusal to be pinned down, its insistence that nothing is straightforward... An extraordinary work.' The Stage ★★★★★
'Rita Kalnejais’s foxy First Love Is the Revolution at Soho theatre in London was one of 2015’s most distinctive plays, and this uncommon 70-minute show is similarly idiosyncratic, yet direct and truthful... Moments that might come across as sentimental are stupidly beautiful and teary... Combined with our knowledge of how the war ended, it creates a growing sense of loss in an evening that is as tender as a burn... It reminds us that we all become ghosts of our younger selves who once fizzed with the excitement of being alive and in love. We need to hang on to that feeling: the future may depend on it.' Lyn Gardner, Guardian ★★★★
'The young couple are superbly drawn by playwright’s Rita Kalnejais. Charmingly believable as they fumbling over their half-formed, often silly, thoughts, they radiate the warmth of uncomplicated first love... That This Beautiful Future wears this complexity so lightly is a testament to its brilliance... Its plea for more alertness and less judgement is enveloped in a hug rather than a hammer over the head. Let’s hope we haven’t see the last of this play'. Exeunt