Jasper Jones takes place in the hot summer days and nights of 1965, when the meek and bookish Charlie Bucktin tries his best to escape the monotony of small-town bush life by distracting himself with stories of far-off lands and epic adventures. The 14-year-old is used to days filled with boredom and bullying, where very little happens in the course of a day – until he’s plonked smack-bang in the middle of his own mystery. At the stroke of midnight, the town’s resident light-fingered and dark-skinned criminal Jasper Jones comes seeking Charlie’s help – Jasper’s witnessing of a gruesome crime coupled with his troubled past make him a prime suspect, and Charlie is the only one he trusts to help clear his name. Suddenly Charlie is thrust into a race against time to crack the case and get Jasper off the hook.
Based on Craig Silvey’s novel, the stage adaptation of Jasper Jones has been expertly translated by Kate Mulvany to convey the themes of the original. Sitting somewhere between Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird and cult classic film Stand by Me, Jasper Jones strikes just the right balance of comedy, crime drama and coming-of-age sensibilities. The production is carried by an all-star team that does true justice to the story – Queensland Theatre’s Sam Strong’s expert direction has seen the play sell out its season with the Melbourne Theatre Company and even pick up four Helpmann Award nominations.
Want to see what all the fuss is about? You can pick up tickets to Jasper Jones through QPAC right now.