AIRDATE: Monday 7 December – Thursday 10 December 2015 at 9.30pm on ABC
Get ready for one surprising divorce party!
After a long and satisfying marriage, glamorous and wealthy couple Iris (Marina Prior) and Jed (John O’May), throw an extravagant party to celebrate their divorce. The four-part series, The Divorce is a witty, sophisticated and comedic “soap opera”, starring a stellar line-up of Australian performers including; Lisa McCune, Marina Prior, Hugh Sheridan, Kate Miller-Heidke, Melissa Madden Gray and John O’May.
Written specifically for the screen, by multi-award winning playwright Joanna Murray- Smith and internationally acclaimed composer Elena Kats-Chernin, The Divorce is an opera for today, taking a playful look at the universal themes of love, passion, regret, greed, morality, fear, identity, loyalty and longing.
Luminary art critic Jed (John O’May) and his wife Iris (Marina Prior) are throwing a big bash at their vast country estate to celebrate their divorce. Their P.A., the pretty and well-meaning Caroline (Kate Miller-Heidke), is organising the event. What Jed and Iris don’t know, is that Caroline has spiralled into debt and tonight the loan sharks have come to make their claim – the money she owes – or her life. Iris’s little sister Louise (Lisa McCune), near deafened by her biological clock after a series of failed relationships, anticipates a life with Jed once the divorce is final. But during the evening she finds herself irresistibly drawn to another.
Iris and Jed’s closest friends, Ellen (Melissa Madden Gray) and Patrick (Peter Cousens), find the notion of celebrating a divorce callous. They reassure themselves that their own marriage is unwavering – until the events of the evening leave them both reeling. Iris’s younger lover, William (Matthew McFarlane), is looking forward to spending more time with her, but instead has a life-changing encounter that affects his future in more ways than one.
While Toby (Hugh Sheridan) the waiter harbours ambitions to be a big name artist and is determined to attract the attention of the party’s host. But Toby’s encounters with Jed have unexpected consequences.
Jed and Iris’s decision to divorce sets everyone off on unforseen paths and as the evening unfolds, chaos and mayhem ensue.
Production Credits: A Princess Pictures Production in association with Opera Australia and ABC TV.
Composed by Elena Kats-Cherin.
Libretto by Joanna Murray-Smith.
Based on an original idea by Lyndon Terracini.
Director Dean Murphy.
Music Director/Conductor Vanessa Scammell.
Producer Andrea Denholm.
Executive Producer Emma Fitzsimons.
ABC Executive Producer Christopher Gist.
Financed with the assistance of The Opera Conference, Screen Australia and Film Victoria. The Opera Conference partners are Opera Australia, the State Opera of South Australia, Opera Queensland and the West Australian Opera.