St Andrew's beds star in Queensland Theatre co-production


Two former hospital beds from St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital have been modified for a starring role in a play staged in Perth, and soon to arrive in Brisbane.

St Andrew’s recently passed down the decommissioned beds to Queensland Theatre and Black Swan State TheatOnce in Royal David's City - resizedre Company for their production of Once in Royal David’s City, which features a singular bed on stage for the majority of the production.

Queensland Theatre Production Coordinator, Canada White, says the bed plays a central role in the staging of this life-affirming story, which explores the ordeal of coping with the inevitable loss of a loved one.

“We are so thankful to the staff at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital for their interest in this production and their generosity in providing us with realistic hospital items,” Canada said.

Michael Gow’s Once in Royal David’s City tells the story of Will (Jason Klarwein) who finds himself questioning the meaning of life during a bedside vigil of his dying mother. The production also marks the directorial debut of Queensland Theatre Artistic Director, Sam Strong.

“The bed adds to the beauty and poignancy of the play and the set design, by Stephen Curtis. As Will struggles to face the death of his mum, the bed moves ever so slowly closer to the audience throughout the play,” Canada said.

“Our workshop team modified the electronics in each bed and added an extra motor and set of wheels so that the entire unit can move independently across the stage.  The beds are remotely controlled by someone offstage and can be manoeuvred forward, backwards and steered to the left and right.”

Once in Royal David’s City will show at Playhouse, QPAC from Saturday 22 April to Sunday 14 May 2017.