A New and Exciting Play

Equal parts sad, funny, and shocking, "Things I Know to be True" by Australian playwrite Andrew Bovell will leave you wanting more.


Samantha Venable

An emotional journey through a family's story dealing with drug abuse, gender issues, infidelity and heartbreak, "Thing I Know To Be True" is a revolution in dramatic literature.

Playwrite Andrew Bovell  is from Australia, where the show premiered.
If you were to make a list of all the things you know in your heart to be true, how long would that list truly be? For some, that list would consist of things they’ve learned over years of life experiences. For others, that list may be frightfully short. This is exactly the case for Rosie Price, a fictional character in the new play “Things I know to be True,” by Australian play right Andrew Bovell. In this play, Rosie is a nineteen-year-old girl who has been spending a gap year in Europe where she has just had her heart broken for the first time. Rosie begins to feel alone and homesick so she decides to make a list of everything she knows to be true and for her, it’s a very short list. “I don’t know much at all,” Rosie states in her opening monologue. This is a fantastic play that explore things like family, relationships, love, and acceptance. Jayne Howlett, a freshman at Lafayette who has read the play, says that the most relatable aspect of this play is how easy it is to see yourself in certain characters. When asked what she thought would be the biggest take away from the show, Jayne responded with, “Life is short. Keep and open mind and keep who you love close.” “Things I Know to be True” will take you on an unforgettable and emotional journey as you get a glimpse into the Price family’s life and their daily struggles.

“Things I know to be True” was first produced by State Theatre Company of South Australia and Frantic

The UK has also taken in interest in this new play. After premiering in Australia, “Things I Know to be True” went on tour in the UK.

Assembly. The show was directed by Geordie Brookman and Scott Graham. It is a very select cast containing a cast of only 3 males and 3 females. Originally premiered in Australia, “Things I Know to be True” has since toured the UK and had premieres in America. Although it is a fairly new play, it has already been performed many times and gotten great reviews. “Things I Know to be True” takes place in Adelaide, Australia. The show follows the Price family, a mom, a dad, and 4 adult children. Eugenia Fragos (Fran Price), Paul Blackwell (Bob Price), Tilda Cobham-Hervery (Rosie Price), Georgia Adamson (Pip Price), Tim Walters (Mark/Mia Price), and Nathan O’Keefe (Ben Price) made up the original cast. Fran and Bob are the parents and Pip, Mark/Mia, Ben, and Rosie are the four children. Marina Earle, a sophomore at Lafayette who has also read this play, states that her favorite character is Rosie and she is also the character that Marina can relate to the most. Marina thinks that the fact that she is the baby in her family and has a lot of siblings is why Rosie is who she can identify with. This show does an amazing job of capturing what family means and how families cope with things in different ways.

The garden plays a huge part in this play. It represents many things and seems to always be in the background of scenes.

The plot of “Things I Know to be True” may seem confusing but the playwright, Andrew Bovell, has a way of weaving all the pieces and parts together. Taking place in the backyard of Bob and Fran’s house, the show happens over the course of a year, with each season focusing on the struggles of a certain child. Opening with a phone ringing, the first thing we see as an audience is Bob, the father of the Price family, getting up to answer the phone. As he does, we hear the voices of his children stating his fears about answering the call. His fears include things as deep as “Which one of my children is dead.” Next, we are presented with a monologue by Rosie, the youngest member of the Price family, explaining her trip to Berlin and her mysterious man. She goes on to talk about how she thought this guy was the one and how he ultimately broke her heart. Rosie then makes her list and realizes how shirt it really is and decides that she needs to go home where, in her mind, things will always be the same. When Rosie returns home, we are introduced to the rest of her family. As everything that happened with Rosie is unfolding, it is discovered that Pip, the oldest daughter, has decided to leave her husband and two kids and move to Vancouver. Fran, the mother of the family, is very disappointed in Pip’s decision, especially when she realizes Pip has been having an affair with another man.

The script of “Things I Know to be True” will truly take you on an emotional journey.

Later in the show, Pip moves to Vancouver and sends a letter to her mom that finally emotionally connects the two. Another angle of the plot features Mark, the second oldest of the family. It is revealed that Mark does not want to identify with his assigned gender and has decided to move to Sydney to begin physical transformations to become a transgender woman. The next time we see Mark; he is presenting as a woman and using the name Mia. In the next sub-plot of the show, Fran is discovered to have been saving 250,000 dollars as a just in case fund for her relationship with her husband. She admits that she had thought of running away, just as Pip did, but stayed with Bob for the sake of their children. Fran explains that now she keeps the money so the couple can treat themselves. She asks Bob where he would like to visit and he says South Africa. Fran agrees but the couple never ends up going.

The final sub-plot is centered around the younger son Ben. Bob finds a very expensive car parked in the driveway and discovers that it’s Ben’s. Bob questions Ben and Ben responds by saying he worked hard for the money. Later on, Ben comes home and is sweating and speaking very quickly. Rosie quickly realizes that Ben has been taking drugs and skimming from his work. Bob realizes that Ben used the money he skimmed to pay for the drugs and his fancy car. As all of these things are going on, tragedy strikes the Price family. Fran gets into a car accident and is pronounced dead on arrival. She dies without taking Bob to South Africa, forgiving Ben, emotionally connecting with Pip in person, or making amends with Mark. All the children return to Adelaide for her funeral.

Mason Lane, a freshman at Lafayette, enjoys his perusal of the script for this remarkable, ground-breaking piece of modern drama.

“Things I Know to be True” involves deep concepts and hard to swallow circumstances. Although the show is very mature, it really makes you think about you own family. Suzan McCorry, the Lafayette Theatre director, was the person who introduced many of her students, including me, to “Things I Know to be True.” Mrs. McCorry said that she first was introduced to the show by her colleague in Texas. She states that what she loves about the show is how relatable the material was. Mrs. McCorry has been married for thirty-eight years and has five adult children. This is very simillar to the Price family and that is one reason she found it so relatable. After reading the show, Mrs. McCorry says that she was filled with many different emotions and she was captivated from page one to the final page. This play has many themes such as acceptance and forgiveness. Andrew Bovell’s writing captures audiences with the level of his play and all the themes hidden within the plots.