Tag Archives: Jessica Arthur


New seats to Sydney Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed production of ‘Wonnangatta’ have been released. This is the result of the New South Wales Government allowing increased audience capacity. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

A haunting tale of mystery revenge

Written by Angus Cerini
Directed by Jessica Arthur
With Wayne Blair and Hugo Weaving

Wonnangatta Station, 1918. Two men arrive at a dark and empty farmhouse looking for the manager, their friend Jim Barclay. No one’s heard from him for more than a month. Something’s amiss. Then a grim discovery sets the men off on a journey across the harsh Australian terrain, looking for answers, maybe for revenge.

Angus Cerini’s multi-award-winning The Bleeding Tree was a sensation on its premier at Griffin Theatre and again when remounted by STC at The Wharf. In Wonnangatta, Cerini’s dark lyricism explores the Australian landscape – geographic and psychological – in a hard-driving yet poetic celebration of language and story.

Who better than theatrical powerhouses Hugo Weaving and Wayne Blair to bring these words to life in an exciting world premiere production directed by Resident Director Jessica Arthur

This Australian gothic fable will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Wonnangatta was developed with the assistance of the Australian Writers’ Guild David Williamson Prize Development Grant.

Designer Jacob Nash Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper Composer & Sound Designer Stefan Gregory

21 September–31 October, Roslyn Packer Theatre

Approx. Duration: 1hr 30mins no interval Content: Infrequent strong language, violent imagery
Featured image : Hugo Weaving,  Director Jessica Arthur, Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Director Kip Williams and Wayne Blair on stage at Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney. Pic Prudence Upton


In British playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s MOSQUITOES Alice is a scientist working towards an important new discovery. Jenny  is her sister, and believes any conspiracy she reads on the internet. They couldn’t be more different. So, when tragedy forces them together, the impact has unexpected consequences.

It’s 2008 and Alice’s team of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider are searching for the Higgs Boson, stitching together the fabric of the cosmos. But at home, Alice’s family is falling apart at the seams. ‘It’s a story of facts and feelings, of resilience and decay, of particle physics and sibling rivalry, that reaches to the edges of time and space without ever losing touch with its very human heart’.

This was a compelling night in the theatre,  ‘a perfectly focused family drama woven together with big questions about the universe and our very existence’.                     Continue reading MOSQUITOES @ THE DRAMA THEATRE


American playwright Sarah Delappe takes us into the world of a teenage women’s soccer team, THE WOLVES. The play has generated plenty of interest, not surprising considering how popular women’s soccer is in Australia and of-course we have our own much loved national team, the Matildas.

THE WOLVES follows the team as they compete over a number of matches in an attempt to qualify for the Nationals (the main competition in America). The players take their sport seriously and are keen to be discovered by talent scouts who come to see them play. It may lead to a scholarship to a University which then gives gives them great career options.

Whilst it is a sports story, the focus is more personal as we  get to know each of the girls, and their issues. For example, there’s the goalkeeper suffering from high anxiety who isn’t able to open up to the group and spends a lot of time rushing to the toilet to throw up.. Continue reading THE WOLVES: FEMALE SOLIDARITY ON THE SOCCER FIELD


This image: Michelle Ny
Featured image: THE WOLVES coming soon to Belvoir

THE WOLVES had a sell out season last year (SAG Review) and is making a welcome return to a new venue.  A Pulitzer Prize short-listed play by Sarah DeLappe the production is again directed by Jessica Arthur.

Nine young women are members of a soccer team and over a season the audience will get to know each, their drive and weaknesses as they bond as a team.  Michelle Ny is reprising her role as #14 and we had the chance to speak with her before the show moves into production week.

SAG:                          Thank you so much for your time.  I gather it’s your lunch break so special thanks on that.  You must be pretty busy.

MICHELLE:           Yeah, we are in our third week now so we just have this last day of rehearsal and then we start our production week tomorrow. Continue reading THE WOLVES. AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHELLE NY – ONE OF NINE FEMALE LEADS


A love story with consequences, TWO HEARTS is a  three hander about waste, choice and intimacy in the Sydney summer heat.

Our eyes meet, across the kitchen, full of bodies pressing against each other: olives in a jar.

The third floor of an old townhouse in Darlington. It’s hot. They’re single. Why not?  But what about love? Would it be a waste to fall in love so early in life? What if it all goes right? What if they waste it? Is love just distraction, or does it come out in the wash, in the daily waste?

Written by NIDA graduate Laura Lethlean and directed by STC directing associate Jessica Arthur, this is a potent and atmospheric play that asks: can you ever really rid yourself of the people you once loved?

TWO HEARTS plunges into the private and complex depths of one relationship to reveal the truth, triumphs and choices that we all must make on the journey to becoming who we are.

TWO HEARTS from The Anchor [Facebook] will play at Kings Cross Theatre 19/10/18 – 4/11/18.


Local playwright Clare Hennessy

Talented young Australian playwright Clare Hennessy’s two hander TONGUE TIED had a brief run at the Old Fitz as part of Redline Productions New Fitz program.

Contessa Truffione plays highly driven and very attractive reporter, Mia. She is tasked with the job of reporting on a sex scandal (assault) which has taken place inside a small corporation – the Sunday Juice factory.Mia turns up at the factory intending to question the alleged perpetrator Jonathon. The boss is nowhere to be seen and in his place is one of his underlings, the suave, sophisticated Parker, played with appropriate glibness by Gary Clementson.

Parker puts fences around Mia’s questions, and Mia walks away without anything to run with. Perhaps she is something of a masochist because the play sees her keeping on going back to the factory, to be continually stonewalled by Parker.

We see a dynamic unfolding – Mia continuing to press to get something out of Parker, whilst Parker is getting something of a kick out of the prevailing tension as well as enjoying a flirtation.

Things unexpectedly come to a head when Mia gets up out of her chair and kisses him. She has never broken ‘this boundary’ in her professional career before…Parker doesn’t quite know how to handle the unexpected intimacy, he was just having a bit of fun. It throws him, and he drop his guard a little.. 

Hennessey’s play presently runs just forty minutes. It was an intriguing drama exploring a not so uncommon situation, when professional and  personal worlds blur. My feeling was that her piece could be improved by being a little less linear and more layered. 

The direction by Jessica Arthur and performances by Truffione and Clementson were good.

Hennessey’s dialogue moved along smartly. Not sure what Parker was talking about when he said to Mia, ‘Did you know that fruit plants have sexual organs. When you are drinking fruit juice you are drinking fruit genitalia?!’What, in  fact were they making at the Sunday Juice factory?!

Claire Hennessey’s TONGUE TIED played the Old Fitz theatre for a brief season between the 27th June and 8th July, 2017.


The Sugar Syndrome

Cecelia Peters and Lucy Miller as mother and daughter.

In THE SUGAR SYNDROME a character eats raw cake batter from a large mixing bowl … with a knife. It’s an unusual choice in a production of unusual choices. The directorial concepts of this thoughtful show have evident logic and meaning yet it feels like a production on the edge. The choices don’t always gel, yet the show is good, entertaining in a creepy kind of a way but I left vaguely unsatisfied.

Dani is who she wants to be. It’s the early days of the internet. We hear the dial-up modem presaging her interactions. She is 17, back from a stint in an eating disorders clinic, jigging college, hating on her father and especially her mother. On-line and then in person she meets Lewis, a geeky boy with aspirations to be a music critic and a strong belief that Dani will allow him to have sex with her.            Continue reading The Sugar Syndrome