Tom Stoppard’s ARCADIA is a theatrical challenge across many fronts, intellectually aggressive, scientifically dense with rich characters who live in worlds which mix the carnal and the cerebral. UTS Backstage, the University of Technology Sydney’s theatre society has shown over a decade of existence that it is not afraid of a challenge. And in this production, the company once again displays their solid commitment to both the drama and their audience. This complicated work is treated with respect in an entertaining production which is very well received by its audience.
ARCADIA takes place in one room at Sidley Park, a gracious estate. Initially we see the room in 1809 as a young tutor, Septimus, is setting exercises for his 13-year-old charge, Thomasina, the daughter of the household. When the next scene moves to modern times, originally 1993 on first production, nothing changes in the space. The two ages will share the large table which is the centrepiece of the production and an ancient tortoise which lives between eras. The modern characters include writer/ researcher Hannah who is seeking answers to some elements of the garden and her academic nemesis, Bernard, a professor who is convinced of a Byron connection with Sidley. The stage is set for a delicious, wordy treatise on time and our place in it. Continue reading ARCADIA: STUDENT THEATRE CRAFTED WITH CARE BY UTS BACKSTAGE→
You may have seen the film but did you know that this story was originally a play! Next up for UTS Backstage is STEEL MAGNOLIAS by Robert Harling.
~ as delicate as magnolias, but tough as steel ~
In the ’80s in Northwest Louisiana it’s Shelby Eatenton’s wedding day. M’Lynn, Annelle, Ouiser and Clairee gather at Truvy’s Beauty Parlour to prepare for the ceremony. What follows is a string of events that captures the grit and fragility of these six women as they navigate life, love and loss.
England 932 A.D. A Kingdom divided. Legend tells of an extraordinary leader who arose from the chaos to unite a troubled kingdom. A man with a vision, who gathered Knights together in a Holy Quest. This man was Arthur, King of the Britons!
UTS Backstage is thrilled to return once again, with its final and largest production of the year – a unique student adaption of the hilarious Tony Award Winning Musical; MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT , adapted from the original 1975 film, Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Spamalot tells the legend of King Arthur, The Lady of the Lake and The Knights of the Round Table and their quest to find the legendary Holy Grail.
First performed at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway in 2005 it was originally directed by the Master of Slickness and Comedy; Mike Nichols. SPAMALOThas been reviewed both positively and negatively by critics, dubbing the musical as ‘Utterly pointless and a money maker to the original troup’ to ‘great fun’. Since its debut in 2005, the musical has won three Tony Awards for Best Musical and has received over 14 Tony Award nominations whilst being performed across the world in Chicago, Australia and West End in London.
SPAMALOT, makes many references to the original 1975 movie; Monty Python and The Holy Grail and other Monty Python films such as The Life of Brian, through references to the ‘Lumberjack Song’, ‘the Ministry of Silly Walks’ and ‘Always look on the Bright side of life’. It is a riotous comedy that is full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns, ferocious Frenchmen and African Swallows.
“SPAMALOT was a chance to direct a show that is incredibly silly and fun, that is not bogged down by any political message or moral lesson”. director Michael Karagiannakis explains, when asked why he choose to direct this musical.
“It is a unique contemporary approach to comedy, as it strikes the perfect balance between the musical numbers and acting scenes” . He further goes on to explaining why this adaption of SPAMALOT is so unique stating that he has “directed the actors to be more cynical in their performances to suit more modern comic sensibilities, gender swapped characters in every conceivable area!”
“My immensely talented cast and crew have succeeded my expectations and this production has become something that’s bigger than myself or any given person involved. If you’re looking to see a fun show staged by some incredibly talented amateurs, this show is for you!”
UTS Backstage is the resident Theatre Society at the University of Technology of Sydney. Each semester Backstage puts on an array of productions, plays, musicals and trivia/comedy nights – all entirely student run! Though only established in 2011, Backstage has its mark in the Sydney Theatre circles with performances such as the Australian premiere of Sondheim’s The Frogs in 2015, Hairspray’ in 2016 and the more recent successful and sold out performances of 2017’s The Crucible and Blood Wedding.
SPAMALOT will be performed in the NIDA Playhouse Theatre, 215 Anzac Parade, Kensington NSW 2033. The show will run from Wednesday November 22nd, through to Saturday November 25th, with curtains up at 7.30pm.
UTS Backstage is back for its final show of the year, and coinciding with Agathie Christe’s 125th anniversary the Company has chosen one of Christie’s most popular stage adaptations, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE.
This Christie play follows ten seemingly unrelated people, who are lured to the isolated ‘Soldier Island’ for separate reasons, none of who are aware of their mysterious host’s deadly intentions. They soon begin to drop dead, one by one, as they discover that all of them have been previously implicit in the death(s) of other human beings and are now atoning for their sins. Continue reading UTS BACKSTAGE PRESENTS ‘AND THEN THERE WERE NONE’ @ BON MARCHE STUDIO→
Sometimes, sobriety can be a tough pill to swallow …
In its second major production of the year, UTS Backstage returns with the story of one man’s struggle to re-establish his identity, his career, and his relationships with those who matter most to him. As the last theatrical performance before RUBEN GUTHRIE hits the big screen, this is not a show to be missed.