Last week, more than 100 teenagers from across Sydney had fun at the theatre, without a teacher in sight. A VIP experience with Sydney Theatre Company, especially designed for young Playwave members, saw 15-19 year olds treated to a Q&A with STC’s Artistic Director, Kip Williams, before a performance of The Resistible Rise of Arturo UI starring Hugo Weaving. It was the first of many unique Playwave Experiences planned as part of this Sydney-wide program to engage new young audiences for the arts.
Playwave, the new arts and entertainment platform for young people, is changing the way young people interact with Sydney’s culture by making the experience of theatre-going a friendly affair. According to Playwave’s Director of Young Audience Development, Valentina Corona:
“Playwave is about breaking down barriers to the arts for young people. In some cases those barriers are financial, which is why we provide discounted tickets to all our Playwave shows, but in many cases those barriers come from the young people themselves feeling like the arts isn’t a space where they feel welcome. For a lot of young people, the idea of going to a live performance that isn’t part of a school excursion is out of the question. Playwave is changing that.”Continue reading SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY AND THE PLAYWAVE EXPERIENCE→
Acclaimed Australian actress Sarah Snook has been announced in the title role of Saint Joan in the Sydney Theatre Company production directed by STC Resident Director Imara Savage at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in June 2018.
After much anticipation, MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL is finally arriving! A joint co-production by the Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures, the show is opening tonight at the Roslyn Packer Theatre.
A stage musical adaptation, brought to the present day by writer PJ Hogan, the show is being directed by Simon Phillips and features original music by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall, along with the original beloved Abba numbers. The show is exclusively playing Sydney. Continue reading MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL : OPENING TONIGHT!→
What setting is best to poke fun at other’s misfortunes? Why, a three course dinner party, of course!
Moira Buffini’s contemporary play, Dinner, is wickedly comedic as it is tragic. Centring around host Paige Janssen, the night is to celebrate her husband’s successful new pop-philosophy book being published, entitled Beyond Belief. Guests include an artist, a scientist, a journalist, a politician who cannot attend, and one uninvited stranger. The party is lead by Paige through a series of strange meals, with conversations turning uncomfortably personal. There seems to be no pleasant way this night can end. Continue reading Sharpen your knives for ‘Dinner’ @ Sydney Theatre Company→
Jonathon Biggins’ usual way of sharing his take on the world, in particular the world of politics, is through the Sydney Theatre Company’s annual revue show, the Wharf Revue, a platform which he shares with fellow collaborators, Drew Forsythe and Phil Scott.
This time, however, he has gone solo with a new play simply titled TALK, and it is his take on the state of the media in today’s world. He himself has been a media player, having been for a time, a very laid-back, laconic broadcaster on Sydney’s 2BL.
Biggins main character, radio shock jock John Behan, is anything but laid-back. Gung-ho and well irresponsible would be a much more apt description. On his radio program Behan has read out the criminal record of an alleged sex offender whose case was before the court. The police come knocking on his recording studio door, ready to arrest him for contempt of court. When his producer advises him of the situation, he locks himself in his studio and continues broadcasting, ranting and revving up the community. Continue reading TALK : A NEW PLAY BY JONATHON BIGGINS @ THE DRAMA THEATRE→
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.
Kate Mulvany is the new Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellow and Debra Thomas has won the 2014 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award Kate Mulvany has been announced as the latest recipient of STC’s Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellowship at a special event held at The Wharf last Friday, 22nd May.
Now in its fifth year, the Fellowship is a position for an established playwright whose work has been produced professionally in Australia within the last four years. Mulvany receives $25,000 in recognition of her body of work and previous artistic achievements. As well as including a commission from STC which she will develop during the year-long tenure, the Fellowship provides opportunities for her to share her skills with other playwrights and artists. Continue reading Sydney Theatre Company Announces Patrick White Playwrighting Awards→
STORM BOY, Colin Thiele’s classic tale of a boy, his father Hideaway Tom, his companion and mentor Fingerbone Bill and his beloved pelicans has never been far from our hearts. Over fifty years since the novel’s publication, Sydney theatre-goers presently have the opportunity to revisit Tom Holloway’s very fine stage adaptation which was first presented at the Sydney Theatre Company during August 2013.
John Sheedy once again directs and wins heartwarming performances from his cast: Rory Potter again is Storm Boy, Julian Garner as his Dad, Highway Tom, the wonderful Jimi Bani as Fingerbone Bill, and the delightful pelican puppet operators,- Anthony Mayor as Mr Percival and Phil Dean Walford as Mr Ponder and Mr Pride.
The story’s central themes of man’s longing to be be in harmony with his environment and striving to deal with the losses that life inevitably brings are well conveyed.
His creative team excelled,- Michael Scott-Mitchell’s wonderful set features a whalebone structure on top of which the cast transverse as if they are on sand dunes, and then underneath is the humpy and an old dinghy.
Damien Cooper’s lighting conveys well the different times of day and also dramatically comes to life in the big storm sequence.
The pelican puppets, created by Annie Forbes and Tim Denton and puppetry director Peter Wilson are magical and are able to fly, waddle, peck, play, catch and click and clack about.
Kingsley Reeve’s impressive soundscape featured a simple piano score along with recordings of ocean, wind and bird sounds.
A joint Sydney Theatre Company and Barking Gecko Theatre Company production, this inviting, warm and charming production opened at Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company on the 25th April and is running until the 17th May. The production then goes on to play venues in Wollongong, Geelong, Canberra, Mandurah and Perth.
A Samuel Beckett night at the theatre is like no other. One is just taken over by his bold, raw take on life. Even after all these years, one is still gobsmacked, stunned, by what one is taking place on stage. The experience is like being set upon by the coldest, bleakest wind.
This new production of Andrew Bovell’s brilliant debut comedy AFTER DINNER makes a perfect fit for the wonderful Sydney summer that we are having.
I strongly recommend a visit to the Wharf, one of Sydney’s finest theatre venues, enjoying a wine before the show and taking in the lovely view of Sydney harbour from the balcony, and then heading into the theatre to see five of Sydney’s finest thespians playing very well drawn characters and presenting a night at the theatre imbued with humour and pathos.
The time period is the nineteen eighties, the setting is the dining room of an RSL club. The play shifts action between two tables as they wait for the local band to fire up, which only takes place very late in the proceedings. Continue reading After Dinner @ The Wharf→
Sydney Arts Guide is a key part of stage and film culture, and exists to celebrate the art of performance, in theatres and cinemas.
2014 was a year of amazing diversity, and our twenty accredited specialist reviewers, were all spoiled for choice in the quality of the live theatre performances to be experienced in the City of Sydney, and the suburbs of Sydney.
As the old adage goes, “live theatre is not dead theatre, as there is a different performance to be experienced every night”. Our team of professional reviewers, have each nominated their personal preferences for both theatre and cinema. A small number of movies were nominated out of the hundreds of cinema films that were seen during the last twelve months.
At the end of another outstanding year for the arts in Sydney, on Wednesday 31st December 2014, Sydney Arts Guide announced its 2014 awards in these Stage and Screen categories:-