A series of four-line poems written by Newcastle playwright and comedian Grahame Cooper over 400 days has inspired his brand new stage show And That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things.
The major theatrical work was born from a challenge Cooper, the author of the multi award-winning play Pyjamas in the Daytime and the cult novel Vinegar, set himself in 2018 which was to write a four-line poem each day for 400 days.
The series of poems, which became wildly popular on social media, were inspired by things happening around Cooper himself and the world.
"If you drink too much
You'll become an alcoholic
If you eat raw cantaloupes
You'll become melon colic"
While the poems were written as individual pieces, Cooper realised that many of them were interrelated and could make for an engaging theatre piece.
"The night will entertain and provoke thought through comedy, satire and brutal honesty," Cooper said about the show. "At times, confronting or even shocking, these tiny snippets of life weave a world born of contradiction and wonder. The beauty, horror, whimsy and injustices of this world will be unnervingly familiar."
Cooper's trademark humour and acerbic wit undress everyday life, striping bare relationships, social justice, mental health and popular culture in And That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things, which is described as funny, poignant and thoughtful.
Cooper has been writing for university revues, theatre, radio and television since the late 1980's.
His plays have all been received to critical and audience acclaim in his home town of Newcastle, all receiving CONDA nominations.
Cooper is active in the Newcastle theatre community as both a writer and performer.
He released his debut novel Vinegar in 2013.
In Cooper's words, Vinegar, which was some 15 years in creation, is a story of love, hate, fear, retribution, evil, forgiveness and hope.
And That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things will premiere at Newcastle's Civic Playhouse on Saturday, November 2.
It will be performed by the author, Cooper, under the direction of long-time collaborator Fiona Mundie.
The show is presented by Footlice Theatre company, of which Cooper has been a long-time member of.
In keeping with the ephemeral nature of the incisive bites of poetry, there will only one performance of And That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things.
Tickets, from civictheatrenewcastle.com.au, cost $25 for concessions and $45 for everyone else. The show starts at 8pm.