From Belvoir's stage to silver screen—Ruben Guthrie makes the leap

​A play that was born in the Downstairs theatre at Belvoir and reshaped for Upstairs, is now a film, set to open the Sydney Film Festival on 3 June. Brendan Cowell’s quintessential Ruben Guthrie is on the move.

From Belvoir's stage to silver screen—Ruben Guthrie makes the leap


It was nominated for Best New Australian Play in 2008 at the Sydney Theatre Awards, and for an AWGIE Stage Award and a NSW Premier’s Literary Award in 2009.

At the time it was a piece of theatre, the reviews glowed: ‘It's great entertainment, cutting social criticism, and quality literature’, saidSydney TimeOut.

‘Handsomely scaled-up after its successful debut last year, Brendan Cowell'sRuben Guthrie earns a spot on the top shelf of contemporary Australian comedies’, saidTheSydney Morning Herald.

Ruben Guthrie is Brendan Cowell’s brutally honest comedy about work, family and excess. It’s a play which taps a deep vein of Australian life and asks, is it unAustralian to refuse a drink?

The play was famously based on Cowell's own attempt to have a break from alcohol for a year after over-doing it.

In the film, directed by Cowell, Patrick Brammall plays Ruben Guthrie, a moneyed advertising whiz-kid and party boy with a model girlfriend.

Others in the cast include Alex Dimitriades, Abbey Lee, Robyn Nevin and Jack Thompson.

Filmed over five weeks last year, the $2.5 million production highlights the ‘ugly struggles of the beautiful people’, Brendan Cowell says.

It was shot on location all over Sydney, and is produced by Kath Shelper (Samson and Delilah).


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