Tag Archives: Caryl Churchill

SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY LAUNCHES ITS 2017 SEASON WITH SOME SURPRISES

It has been the season for launches and Sydney’s flagship theatre company, the Sydney Theatre Company,  has now chimed in with the announcement of its 2017 season.

Sydney Theatre Company’s Executive Director Patrick McIntyre started proceedings and then handed over to interim Artistic Director Kip Williams announced next years’ program to a packed gathering at the Bar at the End of the Wharf on Thursday night.

Williams has  curated  an intriguing program which is bound to attract a healthy cross-section of theatregoers. There are some exciting and bold choices.

There have not been enough stories coming from our Asian communities that have made it our stages. This makes the STC’s decision to program Disapol Savetsila’s play AUSTRALIAN GRAFFITI  cause for much celebration as indeed was witnessed by the delighted reactions of Lee Lin Chin and her friends when Williams made the announcement.

The  Sydney Theatre Company developed Savetsila’s play in conjunction with Asian Australian arts company Performance 4a and Playwriting Australia and will be directed by Paige Rattray. The play, commissioned by the STC, has been described as exploring ‘the migrant experience from the inside out.” A Thai family who open up a Thai restaurant in a small country town face a  crisis when their place of business is vandalised by graffiti. How cam they survive such a personal and cultural insult?!

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker PJ Hogan, along with his wife Jocelyn Moorehouse were on hand to hear the announcement that Hogan’s breakthrough film is coming back as a stage play, what’s more a musical.  Hogan has come up with a new book for the musical  and brings Muriel and her friends up to the present day. Simon Phillips will direct  and the music and lyrics come via award winning singer-songwriters Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall.

Williams will direct three productions during the year including a Caryl Churchill play CLOUD NINE which will star one of our finest young actors, Harry Greenwood. A big fan of Churchill’s work, Williams believes audiences will engage deeply with this work which explores how our need as human beings need to give ourselves specific  identities limits our ability to achieve true authenticity.

There will be a fresh revival of Michael Gow’s classic AWAY, directed by brilliant young director Matthew Lutton and starring Heather Mitchell, and a new adaptation by Andrew Upton  of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece THREE SISTERS, again directed by Williams, starring one of Australia’s brightest young actresses, Eryn Jean Norvill.

The years’ international production  will be the Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 with a stage adaptation by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan. Sydney audiences will see the original production as directed by Icke and Macmillan but with a new Australian cast.

At the gathering Williams also announced that Imara Savage has been appointed as the STC’s new Resident Director taking over from Sarah Goodes who has moved across to the Melbourne Theatre Company. Savage will direct two plays in 2017, Colm Toibin’s THE TESTAMENT OF MARY starring Alison Whyte and Moira Bufini’s DINNER with a cast including Bruce Spence and Brandon Burke.

For the full details about STC’s 2017 season visit http://www.sydneytheatre.com.au.

For your enjoyment, here are some pics  taken by Guide photographer Ben Apfelbaum at a very well attended launch.

 

 

Love and Information @ Wharf 1 Sydney Theatre Company

Love and Information- inset
Inset pic- Alison Whyte and Anthony Toufe. Featured pic- Harry Greenwood in Caryl Churchill’s LOVE AND INFORMATION. Production photography by Pia Johnson

Caryl Churchill’s play LOVE and INFORMATION begins with a secret.

Love to know the Information whispered but judging from the reaction from the recipient it was remarkable. And remarkable is an apt description of this play and this production of it.

Eight actors playing a myriad of different characters in a series of scenes, some microscopic, one silent as semaphore (literally), some the equivalent of a theatrical sound bite, most are tete a tetes. Continue reading Love and Information @ Wharf 1 Sydney Theatre Company

TOP GIRLS

Dinner at 5
Dinner is rarely like this! Pic Bob Seary

Top Girls often have to take hits and make sacrifices to get to the top of their profession. One only has to look at Julia Gillard and  her path to the top and her recent demise, which happened around the same time as the New Theatre’s current revival of Caryl Churchill’s classic 1982 play.

Alice Livingstone’s production serves Churchill’s groundbreaking play. Gina Rose Drew’s set and costume design works wonderfully well. The three main characters are tremendous.  Julia Billington plays the lead character, ambitious Marlene who has won the top job at her recruitment agency aptly named ‘Top Girls , Claudia Barrie plays her anxious teenage daughter Angie, and Sarah Aubrey played her much down to earth sister Joyce who has raised Angie as if her own child. Angie knows nothing of this arrangement but begins to suspect. The leads  are given good support by the ensemble that includes  Cheryl Ward, Bishanyia Vincent, Ainslie McGlynn and Maeve Macgregor.

Livingstone’s clear transitions are a feature, switching from the play’s famous opening Act, set in an upmarket restaurant, where Marlene encounters and talks to eccentric, powerful women from the past about the challenges of being fesity, independent women in their particular generation, to Act 2 where the scenes are played out within Joyce’s home and Marlene’s workplace.

Recommended, Alice Livingstone’s revival of Caryl Churchill’s TOP GIRLS opened at the New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown on Thursday July 11 and runs until Saturday August 3, 2013.