23 Aug 2023

Allee Richard’s A Light In The Dark

by Jason Allen

Regular CX contributor Allee Richards is having her second novel, A Light In The Dark, published by Hachette Australia on August 30.

Allee Richards is a lighting technician, and has been a fly on the wall on major Melbourne productions like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Phantom of the Opera. However, she’s seen the darker side of theatre, which often is not spotlighted. From the power abuses, to drug and alcohol reliance, to mental health issues, and sometimes even suicides of colleagues. As Allee says: “This book is in many ways a love letter to the magic of theatre, but that love it is not uncomplicated. How is an industry dedicated to creating joy so often found to be hiding the most sinister behaviour?”

Allee Richards

Allee Richards’s short fiction has been published widely in Australian literary magazines and anthologies, including The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings, The Best Australian Stories, New Australian Fiction, Best Summer Stories and Australian Book Review. Her debut novel, Small Joys of Real Life, was shortlisted for the 2019 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

A Light in the Dark is a compelling novel that distils the magic of theatre as the backdrop for an unforgettable examination of friendship, vulnerability, power and abuse.

From the press release ahead of the book’s launch; “Iris doesn’t remember the first time she met Nina. But she remembers the first time she paid attention to her. It was when he did.

The first year of high school brought Iris into a type of privilege she’d never felt part of. But then she found her place. The magic of performing in school musicals and the freedom of the stage opened her up to a new world. Her drama teacher gave her a glimpse of the adult she wanted to be. But, just like in the theatre, when the spotlight is off you, it can be a lonely and neglected existence. For Iris, jealousy and bitterness will grow. For Nina, something more dangerous. Reckless anger and rumours will come to a head. And, years later, there is a reckoning for them all.”

And don’t you love the fact she’s called the character Iris? Allle is such a domie..


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