The Ensemble Theatre has resumed its popular ‘in conversation’ series again. During Covid last year more than 215,000 tuned in to 32 episodes with some of Australia’s most well known actors, writers and directors.
This week Ensemble Theatre’s Artistic Director, Mark Kilmurry speaks with Lee Lewis.
Each week people can tune in on Facebook for Ensemble Theatre’s latest news and a glimpse behind the scenes.
A lot can change in a year. Lee Lewis last joined us on Ensemble Conversations with Mark Kilmurry in 2020 and now a year later, Mark checks in with Lee and her position as Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company.
To tune in to Ensemble Conversations please follow the Ensemble on Facebook.
Named after ATYP Alumna, Rebel Wilson, the Australian Theatre For Young People (ATYP) will place young people centre stage and Australia’s future leading actors, playwrights and theatre-makers will walk its boards.
ATYP are incredibly grateful to see Rebel Wilson graciously give back to the place that started it all for her, and the Company cannot wait to usher in a new generation of creative Rebels through the doors and into Pier 2/3.
If you want to read more about Rebel’s time at ATYP and her decision to donate $1 million dollars to our new home, you can check out this Sydney Morning Herald article.
I wanted to share with you some of the exciting activities that we have been up to in the BFA (Acting) course AT NIDA, including the Singing Actor stream.
I came to NIDA from WAAPA and moved to Sydney from Western Australia. My artistic practice has been in theatre with music, musical theatre, and operetta, but with acting always at the forefront. The singer is an actor first. NIDA is a wonderful playground for young actors, whether they specialise in theatre with music or whether they are diversifying across film and theatre. It’s exciting for me to be able to foster the emerging actor’s creativity through the music lens. Continue reading NICOLE STINTON, THE NEW HEAD OF MUSIC AT NIDA→
David Williamson’splay dates back to 1987 but is still as fresh and challenging as it was then – the issues it raises are still extremely relevant .
This excellent version was filmed at the Stables/Griffin Theatre with a live audience (pre Covid!)
Directed by Lee Lewis it features a stellar cast including Mitchel Butel and Lucy Bell. Bright, bold and colourful the set design is by Ken Done and is iconically Sydney with terrific costumes by Sophie Fletcher .
Williamson’s play is set in the 1980’s in Sydney with sharp, snappy interweaving repartee and scenes. The various character’s monologues are often portrayed as asides directly to the audience.
Some of the various themes of the play, which examines the film and publishing industries, include the Sydney versus Melbourne rivalry, money vs morals, being true to oneself, politics and power, the ‘cultural cringe’, the funding of the arts, making money in the arts and what makes a good marriage are still very relevant today. We also observe blatant sexism and society’s expectations of how women are treated. Continue reading RIVERSIDE THEATRES DIGITAL : DAVID WILLIAMSON’S EMERALD CITY→
Half a dozen years before Hitler invaded Poland triggering World War II, the sight of the newly minted German Chancellor in a newsreel screened in a country town cinema triggered an apoplectic reaction in one of the community’s leading citizens.
That incident is just one of the triggers that propels CORPORAL HITLER’S PISTOL, the latest in the impressive storytelling arsenal of Tom Keneally.
The book is dedicated to the memory of the author’s mum and dad and the attribution that some of the stories told are theirs, while the rest are entirely the author’s fault.
Not much to fault in CORPORAL HITLER’S PISTOL, though, as chaos in Kempsey erupts on a number of fronts in the year 1933.
Adultery, Adolf, miscegenation, misogyny, homophobia and homicide power the novel’s page-turning narrative with historical chickens coming home to roost and present day revelations ruffling more than a few feathers..
The title alludes to a First World War souvenir brought back from decorated hero, Bert Webber, who acquired the firearm after a first hand encounter with the future Fuhrer in the trenches of France.
The pistol plays a pivotal role in the plot as it impacts upon Bert’s son, Christian, Bert’s employee, Johnny Costigan, and the local cinema’s piano player, the deliciously drawn, Chicken Dalton.
Dalton in contemporary parlance is the town’s pansy, tolerated, albeit that tolerance the tip of an iceberg that camouflaged discrimination, a submerged, barely under the surface suspicion that can, and does, turn malevolent at the drop of a hat.
Bert’s son, Christian, struggling with his own sexuality in a society averse to acceptance, rails against his father’s callous, conservative stance: “He hated the way his father, probity on legs and double-proved hero, had fallen back on casual slang. Are we so few and so fallen that knob jockey business meant guns must inevitably come out?”
Another triggering event in this multi chambered narrative is the realisation by another respectable doyen of the town, Flo Honeywood, that her husband, the appropriately named local builder, Burley, is a philanderer who has sired an Aboriginal son, and sets about making moral and monetary reparations, a crusade that places her in peril.
Pragmatic of the interactions and relationships between black and white Australians in the early twentieth century, the boy in question, Eddie Kelly, is protected by his own mob, deflecting the good intentions of Flo Honeywood, knowing full well that the road of white feller good intentions often leads to hell.
With his mother deceased, Eddie’s immediate elder Uncle Malle’s “duty was to keep pride in a conquered land and endure the curfew and the insults of law and the intentions of white people, the good intentions nearly as deadly as the bad ones, with a clear head and a naked gaze.”
“The world isn’t urgent in spreading any good news.” says one of the sager characters in CORPORAL HITLER’S PISTOL. Thankfully we have Tom Keneally to spread many good stories.
CORPORAL HITLER’S PISTOL by Tom Keneally is published by Vintage
EnsembleTheatre has resumed its popular ‘in conversation’ series again. During Covid last year more than 215,000 tuned in to 32 episodes with some of Australia’s most well known actors, writers and directors. This week Mark Kilmurry speaks with audience favourite DanielMitchell.
It is a way for people to stay connected to the theatre said Artistic Director of EnsembleTheatre, Mark Kilmurry.
Danny is no stranger to the Ensemble stage with over 20 productions under his belt including SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, THE PRICE and the Drover Award-winning TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE.
DANIELMITCHELL’S ENSEMBLE PRODUCTIONS:
SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (1994)
KEYBOARD SKILLS (1997)
THE SUNSHINE BOYS (1998)
VISTING MR GREEN (1999)
OLD TIMES (2001)
THE PRICE (2001)
ALL MY SONS (2002)
UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL (2003)
I’M NOT A RAPPAPORT (2004)
THE DRAWER BOY (2006)
MARY STUART (2008)
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE (2009)
BROOKLYN BOY (2010)
RAIN MAN (2010)
AT ANY COST (2011)
THE ACT (2012)
LADIES IN LAVENDAR (2015)
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (2016)
MURDER ON THE WIRELESS (2019)
Led by EnsembleTheatre’s Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry, each week people can tune in on Facebook for EnsembleTheatre’s latest news and a glimpse behind the scenes.
Ensemble Conversations features interviews with actors and creatives.
Stay connected and join our online conversation. #ensemblesydney
Sydney Theatre Company’s production of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, which was due to open at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House in September, will be rescheduled for 2022. The 2022 season will be presented in two acts, with the Act 1 launch planned for October.
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is the ninth STC production impacted by the Greater Sydney restrictions, with a total of 335 performances cancelled nationally since June.
STC Artistic Director Kip Williams says the Company and its artistic community are strong and resilient, and will bounce back.
“I want to say thank you to those who have sent messages of support, made a donation or taken a ticket credit,” Williams says. “I’m incredibly hopeful given the huge number of people in NSW heading out to get vaccinated. We are buoyed by this at STC and we are continuing to work behind the scenes creatively, developing new work, doing readings via Zoom and making sure we are ready to be back on the stage as soon as we can” Continue reading SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES ANOTHER PLAY POSTPONED TILL 2021→
Critical Stages Touring (CST), Australia’s national touring theatre company, is thrilled to announce a second season of COME TO WHERE I AM – AUSTRALIA the playwriting program produced in partnership with the UK’s Paines Plough Theatre Company.
The new season will engage eight playwrights from around the country to each create a 10-minute story that is a snapshot of what it is like to live in their part of Australia right now. These stories will be turned into short films featuring readings by the playwrights themselves. The readings and works will be showcased in the CST Screening Room, on the Paines Plough website, and via free live watch parties broadcast over YouTube and Facebook.
Plays will be selected via an EOI process, open now, with submissions closing at midnight, Monday 13th September. Writers will be awarded $1500 each to write and produce their story, in addition to dramaturgical support, video editing, and distribution services.Continue reading COME TO WHERE I AM – AUSTRALIA – SEASON 2→
Carriageworks, one of Australia’s largest contemporary multi-arts centres, will present the world premiere of INVOCATION TRILOGY, a major new video work by award-winning Polish Australian artist and filmmaker Kuba Dorabialski reflecting on language, politics and cultural memory; online for free until 10 October 2021.
Conceived through the lens of his biographical ties to Eastern Europe and filmed and performed in Dorabialski’s own fictional Slavic language—designed to be partly intelligible to most Slavic language speakers—INVOCATION TRILOGY investigates what it means to explore memories, real and distorted, as a migrant who now lives in Australia. Through its uneasy mix of brooding earnestness and absurdist comedy, Dorabialski poses the grand and preposterous question: What is this thing we call Eastern Europe? Continue reading CARRIAGEWORKS PRESENTS ONLINE MAJOR WORK BY KUBA DORABIALSKI→
Riverside Theatres Digital presents David Williamson’s EMERALD CITY by Australian Theatre Live & A Griffin Theatre Company Production. The production will stream in an exclusive online Watch Party on Friday 27 August at 7:30pm, and then will be available to watch on-demand until 10pm Sunday 12 September 2021.
Fading screenwriter Colin is not long in Sydney before he’s seduced by its obsession with success. Teaming up with well-connected hack writer Mike, Colin finds himself in a tug of war between artistic ambition and big bucks. Fame and fortune – not to mention Mike’s criminally hot girlfriend – are up for grabs.
In a small town, three strangers become intricately entwined by the events of one fateful night. A story of intrigue set in regional NSW first written for the stage will now be transformed into an online audio experience available for theatre lovers stuck in lockdown.
The Q Theatre team is well versed when it comes to reimagining the theatre experience. Following a 2020 season that saw a shift to online delivery; and the development of digitally-led works including the highly successful Short Message Service – a series of short plays delivered to audiences direct to the palm of their hand, via text messages – Q Theatre continues to heighten the theatrical experience through innovative digital programming.
Originally scheduled for The Joan’s Q Theatre stage this August, following a successful debut season in Bathurst and Cowra, KANGAROO, by Miranda Gott, is a dark and poetic story of solitude, strength, survival and death; turned out to be a perfect piece of writing for an audio adaptation. Continue reading MIRANDA GOTT’S DEBUT PLAY ‘KANGAROO’ STREAMING ONLINE→
Riverside Theatres Digital will welcome Adelaide Cabaret Festival smash-hit A Migrant’s Son by Michaela Burger. The production will stream in an exclusive online Watch Party on Friday 20 August at 7:30pm, and then will be available to watch on-demand until 10pm Sunday 5 September 2021.
Igniting memories of a story that millions of Australians can relate to, Michaela Burger pays tribute to her Greek migrant family and hard-working, fun loving larrikin father Luke who defied all odds.
Tamzen Hayes has been called Australia’s very own Phoebe-Waller Bridge.Tamzen’s response to this is interesting,“I think that people compare me to Phoebe Waller Bridge because we both wrote a show where we could really play someone close to ourselves and explore our feelings at a particular time in our lives. Phoebe also says that she writes about ‘female rage’ and there is a lot of this underlying a lot of my stories as well. I think the ability to laugh at yourself and situations you have found yourself in is really important and I think we both hold that belief.”
The Melbourne Writers Festival asked Tamzen to pitch a performance idea on the topic of Love. Tamzen had just come out of her first serious relationship so romantic love was imprinted on her brain.
“I often walk away from situations and conversations wishing I said been able to communicate so much more than I actually did, I find myself on a daily basis having imaginary conversations out loud in my car or in my head, these conversations are ones I wish I had probably only moments ago with someone but for some reason I couldn’t.These conversations then get stuck in my throat like thick phlegm. They can get stuck for years and there’s no way of coughing them out.”Continue reading TAMZEN HAYES AND HER SOLO SHOW ‘NEVER SAID MOTEL’→
As the restrictions for Greater Sydney continue, Sydney Theatre Company has made further changes to its performance schedule with the announcement that Shake & Stir Theatre Co’s adaptation of Roald Dahl classic Fantastic Mr Fox will not be going ahead in 2021 and the upcoming season of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, directed by STC Resident Director Shari Sebbens, will be rescheduled into the 2022 season.
STC Artistic Director, Kip Williams said, “We believe wholeheartedly in these productions and I want to say a huge thank you to A Raisin in the Sun director Shari Sebbens and the cast and crew who had already begun work preparing for the show, as well as the Fantastic Mr Fox team.
Theatre lovers have the opportunity to catch Streamed Shakespeare’s one-time-only staged reading performance on Sunday 15 August from 2 pm of Holly Champion’s brand new, funny and postmodern adaptation of Shaw’s classic, PYGMALION!Live streamed via Zoom to a YouTube channel for FREE. Don’t miss it!Click here to book:https://youtu.be/ANoNslGt9Os
Lambert House Enterprises who gave Sydney so many acclaimed productions in the last two years (Jasper Jones, The Credeaux Canvas, Shape of Things, Fag/Stag, The One Day of the Year and Three Winters Green) are delighted to announce – during the current Sydney lock down – a special Zoom reading of Nick Enright’s classic play: ST JAMES INFIRMARY.
The one-off performance performed on Zoom, Saturday 21 August at 7.30pm, stars many of the last two years’ brightest young talents including Rachel Marley, Samson Alston, Tom Kelly and Callum Slater, joined by veterans Norah George and Matt Young and narrated by Samuel Welsh
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on the Australian arts industry, with the announcement that the 2021 premiere of new Australian musical The Dismissal: An Extremely Serious Musical Comedy will not proceed.
The Dismissal is a co-production between independent theatre producers Squabbalogic, Sydney Theatre Company and Canberra Theatre Centre. A razor-sharp, musical account of Australia’s constitutional crisis of 1975, the productionwas due to begin rehearsals in Sydney later this month before opening in October at Canberra Theatre Centre followed by a season at Sydney Opera House.
STC Artistic Director Kip Williams said, “We are devastated to be losing this exceptional production. Staging a musical is a huge undertaking at the best of times but with the current restrictions in Greater Sydney and the inevitability of ongoing capacity limits for NSW venues, it is a particularly difficult time to mount a brand new Australian production. The incredibly talented team at Squabbalogic have put an immense amount of work into creating this hilarious, sharp witted and nuanced take on Australian politics and this sensational production deserves to perform to full houses”. Continue reading THE DISMISSAL : AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS MUSICAL COMEDY : BANISHED→
The Neilson Foundation has gifted Bell Shakespeare $3 million in support of its new flexible studio and theatre space at Pier 2/3 once the company moves into the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct later this year.
This is the largest single gift Bell Shakespeare has received in its 31-year history, and it is delighted to name its new studio The Neilson Nutshell in recognition of the Neilson Foundation’s support.
STC Artistic Director Kip Williams has announced that due to the extension of Sydney’s stay-at-home orders until 28 August, two more STC productions ‘White Pearl’ and ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’ have been cancelled.
Williams has advised that both productions will now be part of the STC’s 2022 season and will feature early in the new year. The Company will launch its full program for 2022 at its launch in a few month’s time.
I have always admired the director, Barrie Kosky. My admiration started with his King Lear for Bell Shakespeare and grew after his production of Seneca’s Oedipus in 2000 and by the time he had created the epic based on the work of the Roman poet Ovid, The Lost Echo (that I had to go to twice – 16 hours all up) I had become a deeply committed fan.
It wasn’t just because his work was confronting, at times confusing, completely irreverent, bizarre and insightful to the point of genius. It was also his constant questioning of the state of the Arts and how the Arts are viewed here in Australia.
Have you ever drooled while concentrating too hard? Made frequent, unplanned stops at Procrastination Station? Or are you just generally fighting the existential dread?
Jump aboard The Soul Express with Laura Zarb, as she beguiles you with true tales and catchy, original tunes in her Sydney Fringe show. With a unique blend of wit, neuroses and charm, Laura addresses the pressures of perfection, anxiety and life in this modern, technology-fuelled world… the rollercoaster ride of life!
An experienced, multi-talented performer, this is Laura’s debut cabaret and she’s letting it all hang out! As is her way, she’ll be having a great time and a laugh herself, indulging her love of stars, sequins and other shiny things… while also training a spotlight on mental health. Plus a bellydance break and a sneaky strip at the end! With piano accompaniment (and railway announcements!) by Daniel Mather.
Zarb describes her cabaret as, ” The Central Station on my own journey to self-love and self-acceptance. Goodness knows if I’ve reached my destination yet… but I think I’m on-track! It’s about letting it all hang out, imperfections and all, and having a great time – and a laugh – while doing it!”
Event details are pending of-course Sydney coming out of lockdown at the end of August:
LAURA ZARB: THE SOUL EXPRESS
Playing as part of Sydney Fringe Festival 2021
Wednesday 8th and Friday 10th September, Both performances at 6.30pm (running time 60 mins)
Innocent Bystander Cabaret Club:
City Tattersalls Hub, 198 Pitt Street, Sydney
Tickets: $30 | Info & Bookings:
If you don’t live near a theatre, or you can’t get to a theatre, or like a lot of people right now,are forbidden from actually going to the theatre, – you’ve probably spent hours online scrolling to findsomething you haven’t yet seen.
Thank you to the vision of its Creative Director Grant Dodwell there now exists a website where you can rent filmed performances of well known Australian works.
The website is called Australian Theatre Live (ATL) and it already has nine Australian works which are put in the best light by outstanding Australian productions.
The works are ‘You’re Not Special’, ‘The Dapto Chaser’, ‘This Much Is True’, ‘Diving For Pearls’, ‘The Wharf Revue’, ‘Liberty Equality Fraternity’ and ‘Emerald City’.
Sydney Theatre Company (STC) Artistic Director Kip Williams has announced that Triple X – the semi-autobiographical trans love story by two-time Griffin Award-winning playwright and trans performer Glace Chase – will be rescheduled in the 2022 season and all remaining performances of the 2021 season will be cancelled. The production had been due to begin performances on July 1 and the first four weeks of the season were already cancelled due to the current lockdown.