Total Theatre - They Shoot Horses Don’t They?
Programmed by Rick Billinghurst, this production coincided with Malcolm Blaylock’s arrival in 1979 as the new Artistic Director. They Shoot Horses Don’t They? was directed by David Bell and designed by Mike Bridges with a cast of 36.
It could not have been a better introduction for Blaylock to the creative possibilities inherent in La Boite’s seemingly small performance space. A sell-out season, it attracted wide media coverage and positive critical reception. Reviewer Jeremy Ridgman in Theatre Australia (December 1979 p.34) described “David Bell’s magnificent production” as “total theatre” and Bridges’ set as "transforming La Boite’s cockpit into a mighty ballroom, complete with varnished dance floor” – overall “a promising start to a challenging season under new Artistic Director Malcolm Blaylock”.
For the 1979 Telegraph Queensland theatre awards, theatre critic, David Tickell awarded Best Director and Best Actor to David Bell and Errol O’Neill respectively for They Shoot Horses Don’t They? Tickell wrote[i], “Brisbane Repertory at its exciting venue … is the undoubted success of 1979. The company consistently came up with stimulating, exciting and entertaining theatre”.
[i] The Telegraph, Nov.15, 1979.