With the silly season kicking in, Hunters Hill Theatre Company has made an astute choice for its final production of the year. The Company is currently running a revival of American playwright Ken Ludwig’s fast and frothy farce, MOON OVER BUFFALO (1995). Many will know this playwright for his better known work, ‘Lend Me A Tenor’.
This Ludwig play is set back in 1953 and takes place, mainly, on stage and backstage at the Erlanger Theatre in Buffalo. The short story to the narrative is that the main characters, acting couple George and Charlotte Hay, run a travelling theatre company. The play starts with them touring with two shows in rep, ‘Private Lives’ and ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ (a one nostril version). Continue reading KEN LUDWIG’S ‘MOON OVER BUFFALO’ @ HUNTERS HILL TOWN HALL→
So … I went a few years ago to visit my friend who lives alternatively in the bush. Her life is subsistent but she makes a bit of cash as a feral pig hunter. She is surrounded by dogs of all kinds. Many of them scarred and scary. Her advice to me, should I ever need it. If there is a pack of dogs causing trouble, in the middle there will be a little one who is meanest, fiercest and smartest. That one started the fight. This brings me to Barbara of BARBARA AND THE CAMP DOGS.
Bold , striking and original this is a sensational reworking of JM Barrie’s PETER PAN as part of the NT Live series .It was a co-production with the Bristol Old Vic , as directed by Sally Cookson. It is enchanting and is at times childlike and playful, vibrant and colourful, at others quite melancholy ,or dark and sinister . The ending is extremely moving . There is a haunting sense of loss and of the wearing away of innocence. Continue reading NT LIVE:PETER PAN IS STRIKING AND ORIGINAL→
The 2018 season contains:
3 World Premieres (including a musical)
3 Australian Premiers
2 Sydney Premieres
2 Of the great contemporary love stories
Plus the Launch of Red Line UNDERGROUND, Monday Night extravaganzas: including Burlesque with Hannah Raven
Just The Two Of Us with Scott Witt
Bang Bang Rodeo with Jane Watt
There is nothing quite like the start to an opening night at the Stables Theatre. The buzz in the foyer. Then the bell ringing. The Artistic Director Lee Lewis giving her brief, always chirpy welcome. The audience slowly making its way to the narrow entrance into the theatre and filling it up to more than capacity as people are squeezed in tightly next to each other.
We take our seats in the theatre to see three dudes, seated at different angles to the audience, looking out at us rather nonchalantly. The play, running at just under ninety minutes straight through, sees us follow their very different journeys.
The three dudes, the Cowboys of the rather ironic title, Sam, Kieran and Dale, are regular sort of guys who work together at a local Subway store. We presume that their chat is taking place during a lunch break. Their conversation revolves around Sam’s resolve, that at this stage of his life, his goal is to be the dude, the cowboy who wants to break in a virgin. He wants to feel, to take in on every level, the intense experience that this will be.
Sam has his eye on two Virgins from amongst their friends and acquaintances; 29 year old Steph and 19 year old Lane. Kieran and Dale egg him on. This is the starting point for a play which takes off in many different tangents.
In 1979, award-winning British playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, wrote TAKING STEPS, which he describes as “the only true farce I’ve ever written”. In a decade where English humour was making huge waves, particularly in Australia, with ‘Monty Python’ and ‘Fawlty Towers’, TAKING STEPS has the same impact, offering eccentric, flawed characters and tantalising dialogue.
The play is set in an old, dilapidated Victorian mansion called The Pines. It is reputedly a former bordello and said to be haunted by a deceased prostitute. Enhancing the play’s farcical humour, the three storeys of the run-down house become one storey on stage. Two sets of banisters mark two imaginary staircases on which the actors frantically or cautiously prance up and down. It’s a wonderful theatrical technique by Ayckbourn and works beautifully.Continue reading TAKING STEPS @ THE ENSEMBLE→
Kate Tempest is a phenomenon. The front page of her website has Musician, Poet, Novelist, Playwright in large block lettering but this artist is much more than that. Ground-breaking doesn’t do her work justice either. Her spoken word album Everybody Down (Big Dada) was nominated for the 2014 Mercury Prize and she was shortlisted last year with Let Them Eat Chaos. She has been the recipient of the Ted Hughes award. Her work is bold, challenging and exhilarating.
And very much associated with the poet herself. In the many available videos on YouTube, her East London accent is an integral factor in the music of the works. But WASTED is her first play, it’s from 2013. Has it travelled well and will it translate?
MAD MARCH HARE Theatre has announced their work for 2018.
“In 2018 we aim to continue our mission to tell stories with strong female protagonists, challenging themes, outstanding production values and basically well…to just provide a damn good night at the theatre! “
The company will be returning to two renowned and well-loved independent theatre venues: Kings Cross Theatre (KXT) and The Old Fitz.
Since its launch as an exciting new theatre space in 2015, KXT – Kings Cross Theatre has been renowned for showcasing new, risky and exceptional theatre. In 2018, the dynamic theatre company behind the programming for KXT, bAKEHOUSE, will continue their commitment to presenting works driven by diversity, gender equity and exciting collaboration.
2018 is KXT’s year of theatre for change. The season has been carefully curated to showcase some of the city’s most accomplished independent theatre makers while also featuring the work of our most promising directors. It includes five world-premieres, nine Australian premieres, five new works from Australian writers, and the development of new works by nine writers. bAKEHOUSE continues its radical community engagement with two major social justice programs developed from community collaborations working in partnership with two NGOs.
It is very evident that Courtney Powell and her trio of actors have put in a lot of time and taken a lot of care in putting together this revival of one of Pinter’s masterworks. Their efforts are well rewarded as they have come up with a strong, memorable production.
The show’s uncompromising tone is put in place straight away. We walk into the theatre to be greeted by a set depicting a very run down, decrepit apartment I have seen. Stuff is thrown everywhere, the roof is leaking with a bucket ‘thrown’ underneath to catch a few of the many drops. There are two very lonely single beds looking particularly grotty. The only window looking out is broken with the winter draught coming through.
We soon learn that this is Aston’s apartment – chaotic and emblematic of his disordered mind, the result of a nervous breakdown and ensuing shock treatment.
Pinter’s story pivots around Aston’s decision to share his digs with Davies, a homeless man he befriends at the local pub. Aston soon finds out that Davies is not as grateful as he should be. This is a view that is shared by his older brother, Mick, who actually owns the apartment. Tensions between Davies and the two brothers escalate leading to an inevitable, distressing resolution. Continue reading HAROLD PINTER’S ‘THE CARETAKER’ @ THE PLAYHOUSE, THE ACTORS PULSE→
After debuting with a critically acclaimed sell-out production of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, Little Triangle will present
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG with emerging Australian performers this coming March (7-14th March 2018) for a limited 3-week season as part of The Depot Theatre‘s 2018 line-up.
“It’s our time, breathe it in; worlds to change and worlds to win”
Franklin Shepard, a successful songwriter and movie producer in his late thirties, reviews his life, both professional and personal, especially his relationships with his best friends, Mary Flynn and Charley Kringas (his song-writing collaborator), and his two wives, Beth and Gussie.
The action moves backward in time from 1976 to 1957, from the disappointments of adulthood, to the hopeful idealism of youth.
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG has been ‘long regarded as one of the beautiful and damned misfits of the Sondheim canon’ and
yet remains ‘emotionally resonant’, bringing out the ‘sharpness in the showbiz satire’ following this ‘friendship under siege’
(Ben Brantley, The New York Times).
Sydney Arts Guide reviewed Little Triangle’s first production in 2017.
Carriageworks today announced 1.2 million visitors will engage with the Carriageworks Program in 2017 whilst unveiling a dynamic program for 2018 spanning contemporary art, dance, performance, music, screen, food and ideas. In 2018 the Artistic Program will support 690 artists and will present 70 projects, including 10 world premieres, 17 international works and 17 new Australian commissions.
Highlights include three large-scale, site-specific exhibitions by international contemporary artists Katharina Grosse (Germany), Ryoji Ikeda (Japan) and Nick Cave (USA), as well as three world premiere works by Carriageworks Resident Companies: Sydney Chamber Opera, Marrugeku and Force Majeure, and the presentation of leading cultural events including the 21st Biennale of Sydney, the 2018 Sydney Writers’ Festival and Sydney Contemporary 2018.
In 2018 Carriageworks will continue to be home to eight artists in supported studios in the Clothing Store in partnership with UrbanGrowth NSW. From January Carriageworks will introduce 10 new food events, including masterclasses, live cooking demonstrations and continue The Night Market series presenting Australia’s very best chef’s and producers.
Secret House Theatre brings THE SEAGULL to the Depot Theatre.
A bunch of bohemians gather on a country estate to talk about art and love and fishing. Relationships crisscross and unravel, and regardless of how messy things get, no one seems to get what they want. Yet love and the burning need to create drive them all to keep on striving.
In a letter to his friend, the publisher Alexie Suvorin, Chekhov wrote that he was flagrantly disregarding the basic tenets of the stage to write a play that has four female roles, six male roles, four acts, a view of a lake, much conversation about literature, little action and five tons of love.
Seagull is Chekhov’s celebration of art and love and life.
Directed by Anthony Skuse with Jane Angharad, Matt Bartlett, Charmaine Bingwa, Matthew Cheetham, Alan Faulkner, Deborah Galanos, Tony Goh, Leilani Loau, Abe Mitchell, James Smithers and Shan-Ree Tan.
Founded in 2015, Secret House is a Sydney based theatre company. Our focus is the language of performance. They collaborate to create a shared experience, exploring the relationship between artist and audience.
For information about Secret House or THE SEAGULL visit:
Belvoir is bringing rock ‘n’ roll back to Surry Hills this December with the powerful new Australian work, BARBARA AND THE CAMP DOGS. It’s co-written by Alana Valentine (PARRAMATTA GIRLS) and Ursula Yovich (THE SAPPHIRES), directed by Leticia Caceres (THE DROVER’S WIFE), and features stunning new songs.
The extraordinary Ursula Yovich plays Barbara, a gutsy front woman burnt out by the Sydney music scene. When the feisty Barbara heads back to country with her sister René, she is forced to face the past she’s been running from her whole life.
Draw three curved lines. Move them in infinite space. Random and pointless yet purposeful and with motivation unchanged. Eventually these three lines will fall near each other and create a shape that the human brain can complete. Probably a broken circle.
NIGHT SLOWS DOWN has three protagonists. Their lines cross as they are propelled by their own motivation but the audience will not see the shape complete until the final scene. By Phillip James Rouse, the play was written as world politics shifted and fears around the theocratic, racist, elitist rise of the right grew. And it is chilling. Drawn breath, head shaking dialogue and how dare they viewing. Continue reading NIGHT SLOWS DOWN: WELL MAY WE SAY NEVER→
Following sell-out, critically acclaimed seasons in Edinburgh, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth, The Last Great Hunt’sFAG/STAG comes to Griffin’s Stables Theatre for its Sydney premiere 10 – 27 January 2018.
Sydney Theatre Company announced today that Yael Stone has withdrawn from Sydney Theatre Company’s 2018 production of SAINT JOAN by George Bernard Shaw following the news that she is expecting her first child. New casting for the iconic role of Joan of Arc will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
“We’re absolutely thrilled for Yael and wish her all the best for this exciting new chapter of her life,” STC Artistic Director Kip Williams said.
Saint Joan features a distinguished ensemble of actors including John Gaden and Socratis Otto, directed by STC Resident Director Imara Savage. The production is at Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay from 5 June – 30 June 2018. (Opening Night: Saturday 9 June 2018)
A feminist icon, Joan of Arc made history in her time. Her faith and her visions, which inspired an entire army to victory, were both her greatest strength and her downfall.
George Bernard Shaw’s classic play, written in 1923, three years after Joan’s canonisation, was a key factor in his receiving the Nobel Prize in 1925. Based on the records of her trial, it follows the true story of Joan’s life as she fights – first for her country, then for her life. Taking us from the battlefield to the courtroom, Shaw’s text is thrillingly alive with political machinations, moral questions and the fatal betrayal that made Joan an icon.
Director: Imara Savage. Set Designer: David Fleischer. Costume Designer: Renée Mulder. Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper. Composer & Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert.
Cast includes: John Batchelor, Gareth Davies, John Gaden, Brandon McClelland, Sean O’Shea, Socratis Otto, Anthony Taufa, David Whitney, William Zappa.
For more information about Sydney Theatre Company’s SAINT JOAN visit :
These pics were taken by Ben Apfelbaum capturing the very festive atmosphere of the party following the opening night performance of Sydney Theatre Company’s major production for the year. Featured image is of Ben Bennett who plays the gruff parking inspector with the star of the show, Maggie McKenna.
TROPFEST ANNOUNCES NEW INDUSTRY HUB, NEW PARTNERS AND ADJUSTED DATE!
Tropfest Australia, supported by foundation partner CGU Insurance, today unveiled plans for TropNest, a groundbreaking creative hub for filmmaking, collaboration, workshops, screenings and events in Western Sydney, thanks to a new partnership with Melrose Park urban developers – PAYCE.
Young emerging filmmakers from around Australia will be invited to apply for a limited number of spaces at the Nest, where they will work rent free — with no strings attached — on their film and television projects.
Years ago, audiences fell in love with Muriel Heslop on the big screen, and now they are falling in love with her all over again, this time at the theatre.
Has there ever been a more likeable dag/outsider?! One just has to admire her daring, her nerve, that she will do anything to achieve her dreams, and damn any-one, or even any notion of her own self pride, that can get in the way.
5 February – 17 March 2018: FRESHWORKS FRESHWORKS is a short, sharp season of experimental and new works returning for the fifth year. FreshWorks provides experienced artists an opportunity to test out new ideas and young artists an opportunity to work with 505. This year 505 will present six one week seasons plus the new FreshWorksFEMME a season of feminist work, talks and readings by young theatre makers.
6–11 February 2018:JACK DATA
Written and directed by RUTH BELL
A one act comedy set in the not to distance future. On Alice's 31st birthday her worried parents present her with Jack Data. Jack is the 'perfect man' robot, with reproductive options.
A classic “who-dunnit”, this murder mystery farce by Charles Dyer, is an excellent end to Castle Hill Players highly successful 2017 season. It is set in some unspecified time in the past in the recently deceased Mr Barraclough’s gloomy mansion on the day of his funeral. Amongst the stormy weather in this isolated spot a cast of suspicious characters are assembled for the reading of his will. Two solicitors, Mr Blundell, played by Ben Freeman and Mr Mickleby, played by Jono Burt arrive, but are initially mistaken as undertakers and so the laughter begins. Their spot on timing and clever slapstick routines continue throughout the play.
Gathered at the house are the highly unpleasant stepdaughter Faith Barraclough, expertly played by Leigh Scanlon, Mabel the maid played with ingenious innocence by Holky Bramble, Agnes the hapless and worried cook portrayed by Anthea Brown, Anne Beale the secretary complete with seductive outfit and gorgeous hairdo, played most convincingly by Samantha Camilleri and Ted Johnson the somewhat threatening and sinister chauffeur, played by Ian Fletcher.Continue reading WANTED ONE BODY :CASTLE HILL PLAYERS ENDS THE YEAR WITH A MURDER MYSTERY→
For its final main season production of the year, UTS Backstage revisited an old classic, American Jewish playwright Lillian Hellman’s THE CHILDREN’S HOUR.
Hellman’s play premiered in the 1930s and was radical for its time in its depiction of a lesbian relationship.
The setting is a country town boarding school. Two female school teachers, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, have formed a close relationship, building the school’s reputation and importance in the local community. Their feelings turn/transform into more than friendship.
Their relationship is exposed by Mary Tilford, an enormously bratty schoolgirl who ‘dobs’ them into her grandmother, Amelia Tilford, who then ‘rings the alarm’ in the community. The 1930s weren’t exactly a great time in regards to enlightened thinking around the whole issue of same sex relationships!Continue reading UTS BACKSTAGE : LILLIAN HELLMAN’S ‘THE CHILDREN’S HOUR’→