2013 Season at Belvoir
Belvoir (Sydney) has announced its 2013 Season of 13 productions across both upstairs and downstairs theatres.
Belvoir’s 2013 Season is about growing up, or not. About taking chances and attempting to right wrongs. It’s about finding your place in a messy, chaotic world.
Artistic Director Ralph Myers kicks off the year with Peter Pan, a work for adults and children alike with a team of fabulous clowns and headed by the funny/dangerous Meyne Wyatt (pictured left) as the boy who wouldn’t grow up.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the Tenessee Williams classic follows, directed by Simon Stone, with Jacqueline McKenzie and Ewen Leslie.
Simon Stone directs Hamlet, with Toby Schmitz in the title role.
Anthea Williamsis directing Colin Moody in Forget Me Not by Tom Holloway in the Upstairs theatre, following the success of her 2012 production of Old Man in the Downstairs Theatre.
Eamon Flack will direct both parts of Angels in America, a piece of such breadth and ambition that it commands two nights in the theatre.
Young Melbourne director Adena Jacobs’ adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona for Fraught Outfit will be seen in Sydney, following its success in Melbourne.
Director Leticia Caceres and actor Brendan Cowell are teaming up with Simon Stone as writer in a brand new take on Strindberg’s Miss Julie.
The year in the Upstairs Theatre finishes up with a collaboration with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company. Isaac Drandic directs Coranderrk.
The Downstairs Theatre will once again play host to new Australian writing around. Two of Belvoir’s associate playwrights will have new works showing in the space. They are This Heaven by Nakkiah Lui, directed by Griffin’s new Artistic Director Lee Lewis, and Small and Tired, written and directed by Kit Brookman.
Playwright Lally Katz (pictured right) will appear on stage in Things I Want to Tell You In Person.
Ros Horinhas spent the last 18 months with an extraordinary group of African women who now call Australia home. Their story, Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe, is the result.
The year finishes Downstairs with Yirra Yarkin’s Kyle Morrison directing The Cake Man, one of the classics of early Indigenous theatre.
The Plays - Upstairs
By J.M. Barrie - Upstairs - 5 January – 10 February
Director: Ralph Myers
With Charlie Garber, Geraldine Hakewill, John Leary, Meyne Wyatt and Dan Wyllie
Everybody knows Peter Pan. He’s the boy who hasn’t grown up in 113 years.
This is the story of a strange boy who comes through the window of an ordinary family and takes the children on an adventure to the bush. Well, to Neverland. It is also a mad festival of bedtime and storytime, of uncatchable girls who have a thing for you and Lost Boys who don’t have a thing for you, of rip tides, pirates, ticking crocs, growing up, going home, mothers, fathers, dogs, dreams, and that mad pirate fiend and great big grown-up Captain Hook!
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
By Tennessee Williams
16 February – 7 April
Director: Simon Stone
With Ewen Leslie and Jacqueline McKenzie (pictured left)
Tennessee Williamsis one of the giants of twentieth-century drama and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is his Lear. One era is ending, how does the next begin? It’s a portrait of two generations. One doesn’t want to die, and the other one feels crowded out, confused, and desperate to inherit whatever it can get before it’s too late.
Big Daddy is a magnate. His son Brick is a closeted ex-footballer with a drinking problem. Brick’s wife Maggie is a second-rung society girl measuring her success against all the other families and the number of babies they have. Big Daddy is dying and somehow or other Maggie and Brick have to conceive the next generation…
Forget Me Not
By Tom Holloway – Upstairs - 20 April – 19 May
Director Anthea Williams
With Colin Moody
Gerry is almost 60, and he is going to meet his mother for the first time since he was three. His daughter Sally has had it up to here with him and his problems. The old lady lives somewhere in the UK. Liverpool, according to the records. So Gerry is going to Liverpool to find out what made him who he is.
Tom Holloway’s play started life as a conversation between Belvoir and Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse Theatres. Holloway’s task was to tell the story of the 3000-odd English children who, between 1945 and 1968, were told they were orphans and sent to Australia on a promise of warmth, fresh air, abundant food and boundless opportunity. Instead they arrived to deprived institutions where neglect and abuse were the norm.
Holloway hasn’t told this story from its outset half a century ago; he sets it here and now.
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
By Tony Kushner – Upstairs- 28 May – 14 July
Director Eamon Flack
Set Designer Michael Hankin
Lighting Designer Niklas Pajanti
Composer Alan John
With Paula Arundell, Mitchell Butel, Luke Mullins, Robyn Nevin and Ashley Zukerman (pictured right).
Angels in America is not one play but two. Millennium Approaches and Perestroika were the closing statements of last century – an epic double-comedy of love and hate,heaven and earth, past and future. Now, a generation after the play first appeared, a blackPresident who supports gay marriage is about to go up against a Mormon Republican for theWhite House, and Angels in America is the perfect guide to the essential questions of ourtimes. Exactly what are the forces that drive the manic history of this new millennium? Whatdoes it really mean to live in a free society? What does it mean to live in a good society?
Conceived by Adena Jacobs, Dayna Morrissey & Danny Pettingill. Based on the film by Ingmar Bergman. Upstairs - 24 July – 18 August
Director Adena Jacobs. Translation Keith Bradfield.
With Meredith Penman, Daniel Schlusser and Karen Sibbing (pictured left)
Belvoir presents a Fraught Outfit production
Adena Jacobs’ staging of Ingmar Bergman’s film packed out houses atMelbourne’s Theatre Works in 2012. Elizabeth is an actress. One night, in the middle of Elektra, she falls silent. Nervous breakdown? Spiritual crisis? Illness? Attention seeking? No-one can say. She is sent to the seaside to recover. As Elizabeth’s silence continues, her nurse Alma begins to speak and Bergman’s signature themes kick into life: enigmatic acts of love and kindness, dangerous heights of obsession and need…
Persona recreates the famous intimacy of the great Bergman’s finest film on a stage.
By Simon Stone after August Strindberg - Upstairs- 24 August – 6 October
Director Leticia Cáceres
With Brendan Cowell
Julie is still in her teens. She is rich because her father is rich. Jean is not rich – he works for the family, in a lowly way – but he would quite like to be. They have this much in common: they would both like to rule their own lives, they both think they can get that from each other, and they both think sex is the way to do it.
A red-blooded new Miss Julie about men and power, about extreme privilege, about freedom, and about how cruel we can be to each other in the interests of selfpreservation.
By William Shakespeare – Upstairs - 12 October – 1 December
Director Simon Stone
With Emily Barclay, Robyn Nevin and Toby Schmitz (pictured right).
Every generation feels the irresistible compulsion to attempt to stage this, the greatest play by the greatest playwright. Then, when they try, they’re haunted by the ghosts of past Hamlets: Olivier, Gielgud… Roxburgh. Every new production becomes a strange mirror of the play itself: a new Hamlet encounters the ghost of an old Hamlet and puts on a play in order to find out how to really become Hamlet. It takes the perfect combination of director and leading man to tackle this perennial conundrum – to face up to the ghosts and plunge into the thing itself with clear eyes.
Director Simon Stoneis ruthless and visionary in his pursuit of the essential in a text; Toby Schmitz is one of the great actors of his generation: quick, droll and fiendishly sharp. Hamlet is the natural next step in their theatrical partnership.
By Andrea James & Giordano Nanni. Concept Giordano Nanni. - Upstairs - 7 December – 5 January
Director Isaac Drandic. Assistant Director Ralph Myers
With Jack Charles, Tom Long and Kelton Pell.
A co-production with ILBIJERRI Indigenous theatre at Belvoir supported by The Balnaves Foundation
At a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry in 1881, the men and women of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve went head-to-head with the Aboriginal Protection Board. Their goal was both simple and revolutionary: to be allowed to continue the brilliant experiment in self-determination they had pioneered for themselves on the scrap of country left to them.
Coranderrk recreates the Inquiry. It revives the voices of all those, black and white, who fought for a better compact between the country’s oldest and newest inhabitants – three dozen of them from 132 years ago, speaking for themselves, directly to us, as though the question at hand remains unanswered today.
The Plays – Downstairs
By Nakkiah Lui. - Downstairs - 7 February – 3 March
Director Lee Lewis
With Travis Cardona (pictured left)
Sissy Gordon’s father died in custody at Mount Druitt Police Station. The cops got a fine, Sissy’s family got $9000, and no-one is allowed to speak about it. Sissy is about to become a lawyer but tonight lawyers and the law are beside the point. Tonight the night is dirty and heavy, and the moon is swollen and bright. Everyone knows that on nights like this things happen.
Nakkiah Lui’s This Heaven is about a family who find themselves at a flash point of oppression, loss, love and anger. Lui turns the streets and parks of Mount Druitt into a fierce public forum where the essential matters of what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad are up for grabs. At the centre of it is the question: does doing nothing make you as complicit as the perpetrators?
Lui grew up in the Mount Druitt Aboriginal community. This Heaven is her first play. In the time she wrote it she was an associate playwright at Belvoir, she won the inaugural Dreaming Award, and finishing her law degree.
This Heaven is about balancing worlds.
Stories I Want to Tell You in Person
Written and performed by Lally Katz – Downstairs - 21 March – 14 April
Director Anne-Louise Sarks
A co-production with Malthouse Theatre
The thing is – and this is a true story – Lally Katz was supposed to write Belvoir a play about a fortune teller. But she spent her commission (and then some) actually going to a fortune teller. In New York. More than once. This is the story of what Katz has been doing instead of writing a play. It features Katz, on her own, as herself, channelling the stories of the many psychics, alchemists and taxi drivers who have tried to show her the way.
The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe
Writer & Director Ros Horin - 15 August – 8 September
Devisors & Performers - Yarrie Bangura (pictured right), Aminatah Conteh, Aminata Doumbia, Yordanos Haile-Michael, Rosemary Kariuki, Tariro Mavondo and Effie Nkrumah
Dancers Tiana Canterbury and Lisa Viola
A co-production with Racing Pulse Productions & Riverside
Yarrie Bangura grew up in a camp in Guinea. She is doing her HSC. Aminata Doumbia is from Sierra Leone. She is an ambassador for the UNHCR. Big Mama Rosemary Kariuki is from Kenya. She is a community leader and she knows how to live. Yordy Haile-Michaelgrew up in an army. She has four kids and lives in Lalor Park. They are one half of The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe. These marvellous women are going to turn their extraordinary stories of survival into a joyous theatre of humanity. But this is not just a show about what’s happened to the ladies. With the help of four other African women – singers and dancers and actors – they are going to take this great opportunity to be who they want, say what they want, and become as amazing as they can.
The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe is a celebration of women, human rights, laughter and resilience. With a bit of sage advice on hair care.
Small and Tired
Writer & Director Kit Brookman - Downstairs - 26 September – 20 October
With Tom Conroy and Luke Mullins
Orestes has come back to bury his father. He has been away a long time. His mother is hardened, his sister is strangely ill. He will see them, he will bury his father, and then, in all likelihood, he will drift away again. But in a bar one night, slightly drunk, he meets a gentle soul called Pylades…
Kit Brookman’s play springs from the myth of Orestes and the House of Atreus, but Brookman’s leap of imagination has been to fully dissolve the myth into the contemporary world.
The Cake Man
By Robert J. Merritt - Downstairs - 14 November – 8 December
Director Kyle J. Morrison
With Irma Woods (pictured left)
A co-production with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
Indigenous theatre at Belvoir supported by The Balnaves Foundation
In the early 1970s a group of pioneering Indigenous theatre-makers occupied a dilapidated terrace in Redfern and started the National Black Theatre. The first full-length play they staged was Robert J. Merritt’s The Cake Man; a droll examination of white paternalism from a black point of view.
Robert J. Merritt watched his first opening night under police guard: he was an inmate of Long Bay at the time. The Cake Man is his real testimony.
Photographer: Gary Heery.