Malthouse Theatre Season 2018

Malthouse Theatre Season 2018

From a planet on a course to wipe out all of humanity to an ad man’s controversial vision of purgatory, an indigenous superhero on a mission to one of the most notorious plays of the last century, Malthouse Theatre’s Season 2018 will present a series of epic confessions, hilariously mad entanglements and beautiful consequences including:

The world premiere of the stage production of Lars Von Trier’s epic film Melancholia; a theatrical adaptation of Peter Carey’s Miles Franklin Award winning novel Bliss; the Australian premiere of A Pacifist’s Guide To The War on Cancer from Bryony Kimmings; Jada Alberts break-out play Brothers Wreck; Blackie Blackie Brown, a superhero comic book spectacle by Nakkiah Lui; the world premiere of Trustees by Belarusian ‘enemies of the stare’ Belarus Free Theatre and the revival of the UK playwright Sara Kane’s controversial play Blasted. 

Artistic Director and Co-CEO, Matthew Lutton says,‘It is incredibly exciting to be premiering premiering so many exciting new works from the wild imaginations of writers Osamah Sami, Michele Lee, Jada Alberts and Nakkiah Lui. We also continue our collaborations with teams of artists who create out-spoken political work, including Sydney-based collective post, and the international rule-breakers, Belarus Free Theatre.’

Season 2018 sees Malthouse Theatre collaborate with leading Australia artists including Mark Leonard Winter, Andrea Demetriades, Osamah Sami, Jada Alberts, Declan Greene, Eryn Jean Norvill, Leeanna Walsman, Nakkiah Lui, Zo Coombs Marr, Anne-Louise Sarks, Sharri Sebbens, and Michele Lee alongside international artists Bryony Kimmings (UK), Maddie Rice (UK) Natalia Kaliada (BLR) and Nicolai Khalezin (BLR).

In another production from the team behind Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Real and Imagined History of The Elephant Man comes the theatrical adaptation of Peter Carey’s Miles Franklin Award winning novel Bliss.

A co-production with Belvoir, this hallucinatory ride from suburbia to the asylum, a seedy hotel 
room and to the back of beyond will feature Marco Chiappi, Amber McMahon, Anna Samson, Mark Coles Smith and Mark Leonard Winter as Harry.

Complicité, the UK-based theatre company behind Malthouse Theatre’s 2017 smash hit The Encounter, team up with boundary-breaking artist Bryony Kimmings for the Australian premiere of A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, an uproarious and moving show about newfound friendships, pain and death, mundane treatment cycles, hairlessness and scars... with songs.

Lars von Trier’s epic cinematic masterpiece Melancholia will be reimagined for the stage by Declan Greene. At a wedding amidst corsages, canapes and Clicquot, two sisters take it in turns to suffer a psychological crisis as a wayward planet dubbed Melancholia hurtles toward earth. Matthew Lutton directs actors Eryn Jean Norvill and Leeanna Walsman as two powerful women facing off against the apocalypse.

Lutton says, ‘Von Trier’s film is an epic and hugely emotional story, that sees two sisters pushed to the limits of caring for each other. By bringing the planet Melancholia crashing onto our Merlyn Theatre stage, this production marks the beginning of a new series of theatrical adaptations at Malthouse Theatre that we look forward to continuing for many years to come.’

Sarah Kane’s Blasted was described by The Guardian as one of the ‘most notorious plays of the last century.’ Starring Andrea Demetriades (Janet King and Seven Types of Ambiguity) and directed by Anne-Louise Sarks (The Testament of Mary) Blasted will provide Malthouse Theatre audiences with a chance to experience the power and controversy of Sarah Kane.

Illegal theatre company, Belarus Free Theatrewill join forces with a team of Australian theatre-makers to present the world premiere of Trustees, about the mechanics of authority, self-censorship and freedom of speech in Australia. This new work features five Gregory Fryer, Sophie Ross, Niharika Senapati, Hazem Shammas and Daniel Schlusser.

During the reign of the Soviet Union, Belarusians were prohibited from wearing jeans or listening to rock music. Two decades after the Union’s collapse, buying or selling these rare tokens of the ‘free world’ can still get you arrested. For only three performances, Belarus Free Theatre will present the Australian premiere of Generation Jeans, their duologue between an actor and a DJ, about jeans, rock music and freedom.

Under the direction of Janice Muller, writer, actor and comedian Osamah Samibrings to Malthouse Theatre, the stage adaptation of his critically acclaimed memoir, Good Muslim Boy – a story of a young man wrestling with his father’s legacy and what it means to be a ‘good Muslim’.

Malthouse Theatre brings Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s (the UK-based star of the Netflix series Crashing) award-winning comedy show Fleabag to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, to serve up an account of one woman’s daily struggle to be a functional human being. In
 a no-holds barred monologue that spawned a six-part BBC sitcom, Fleabag will be performed by Maddie Rice (UK).

Nakkiah Lui and Declan Greeneteam up for the world premiere of Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death. When archaeologist Dr. Jacqueline Brown unearths a mystical skull from a mass grave, she transforms into arse-kicking Indigenous super hero Blackie Blackie Brown. Her mission: to track down every last descendant of the men who killed her ancestors and have her revenge.

Australian-Hmong playwright and author Michele Lee makes her Malthouse Theatre stage debut with the world premiere of Going Down, a Sex and The City inspired romp through the neighbourhoods of Melbourne. A co-production with Sydney Theatre Company, this comedy will be directed by Leticia Cáceres.

In this powerful production of her break-out first play, Jada Alberts transports us to her hometown in Darwin with the Melbourne premiere of Brothers Wreck, a portrayal of a grief-stricken family whose love for each other knows no limits. When Ruben wakes to find his cousin has committed suicide, his family, little by little bring him back from the edge.

In an act of self-examination, Zo Coombs Marr, Mish Grigor and Natalie Rosego back through 10 years
 of recorded personal conversations to unearth the embarrassing, the inexplicable, and the strangely profound. From first loves and birthing moans to tongue piercing and explaining the global financial crisis, Ich Nibber Dibber will see the three post women come of age and a decade of history is distilled to gleeful incomprehensibility and wild revelations.

Back by popular demand, the production of Picnic at Hanging Rock returns to the Malthouse Theatre stage for an encore season after seasons in Melbourne, Perth and Edinburgh. The production will transfer to the UK for a season at The Barbican Centre immediately following the Melbourne encore in 2018.

‘After receiving such overwhelmingly positive responses to the production in Melbourne and Edinburgh, we are excited to bring our production of Picnic at Hanging Rock back to the Malthouse stage before this Australian myth and horror story travels to London,’ Lutton concludes.
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SEASON 2018

PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK 

By Tom Wright adapted
from Joan Lindsay’s novel

Malthouse Theatre and Black Swan State Theatre Company production.

MERLYN THEATRE

6 — 14 FEB  

On a summer’s day in 1900, three Australian schoolgirls grew tired of their classmates and yearned for adventure. Escaping their teacher’s watchful gaze they absconded, away from the group and towards the beckoning Hanging Rock–never to be seen again.

GOOD MUSLIM BOY

By Osamah Sami, adapted for the stage by Osamah Sami and Janice Muller.

BECKETT THEATRE

9 FEB - 4 MAR

Meet Osamah Sami: a schemer, a dreamer and a madcap antihero of spectacular proportions whose questionable life choices keep leading to cataclysmic consequences... despite his best laid plans.

By the age of 13, Osamah had survived the Iran–Iraq war, peddled reworks and chewing gum on the Iranian black market, proposed ‘temporary marriage’ not once but three times, and received countless oggings from the Piety Police for trying to hold hands with girls in dark cinemas.

PACIFIST’S GUIDE TO THE WAR ON CANCER

By Bryony Kimmings and Brian Lobel

Complicité Associates and Bryony Kimmings. Originally a co-production with the National Theatre.

MERLYN THEATRE

7 - 18 MAR

Bryony Kimmings wants to talk about cancer. She’s busting through the myths and misconceptions to bring real stories about people from all walks of life who’ve experienced it first-hand as she looks at our generation’s biggest killer straight in the face.

From the poster campaigns and pink ribbons to waiting rooms, chemo suites, changing bodies and family pressures, her fearless approach to a challenging subject will take us on a fascinating journey behind ‘the big C’.

FLEABAG

By Phoebe Waller-Bridge

A DryWrite and Soho Theatre presentation in association with Malthouse Theatre.  

BECKETT THEATRE

28 MAR - 22 APR

With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig themed café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose. Stumbling through a maze of social anxiety, disastrous job interviews and meaningless sex, Fleabag serves up an uproariously true account of some sort of a female living her some sort of a life.

BLISS

By Peter Carey,adapted for the stage by Tom Wright

A Malthouse Theatre and Belvoir production.

MERLYN THEATRE

4 MAY- 2 JUN

For Harry Joy, dying was the first in a series of twisted inconveniences.

For 38 years advertising executive Harry Joy has been the quintessential good guy. But one morning Harry has a heart attack on his suburban front lawn, and, for the space of nine minutes, he becomes a dead guy. On his resuscitation, the successful ad executive awakens to a perverse vision of Australia and concludes this must be Hell.

GOING DOWN

By Michele Lee

A Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company production.

BECKETT THEATRE

10 MAY - 3 JUN

Natalie Yang has the world at her feet. Her debut novel Banana Girl has finally hit the shelves. Her sex life is an endless smorgasbord and her posse laud her as the voice of her generation. Life just couldn’t be better.

But the success of her rival—an Indonesian political refugee and multi-award winning peddler of cliched migrant stories—is about to send Natalie’s career and her confidence spiralling out of control. And when that bubble bursts, the come-down is very real.

BROTHERS WRECK

By Jada Alberts

A Malthouse Theatre and State Theatre Company of South Australia production.

MERLYN THEATRE

8 - 23 JUN

One hot morning Ruben wakes to find his cousin Joe has committed suicide. The story that follows tells of how Ruben’s family, little by little, bring him back from the edge.

Brothers Wreck is a confronting and honest exploration of grief and loss, which asks the questions: how do you get alienated young men to talk about what troubles them? How do you get through to them? How do you save them?

BLACKIE BLACKIE BROWN

By Nakkiah Lui

A Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company production.

BECKETT THEATRE

5- 29 JUL

This ain’t about forgiveness. This ain’t about reconciliation. This is about Blackie Blackie Brown: Traditional Owner of Death.

Archaeologist Dr. Jacqueline Brown is on a dig in the Australian
 outback when she unearths a mystical skull from a hidden mass grave. Transforming into arse-kicking indigenous super hero Blackie Blackie Brown, she’s on a mission to track down every last descendant of the men who killed her ancestors, and have her revenge.

MELANCHOLIA

By Lars von Trier


MERLYN THEATRE

13 JUL -12 AUG

At a spectacular wedding amidst corsages, canapés and Clicquot, two sisters take it in turns to suffer a psychological crisis.

On the night of her wedding, a troubled Justine struggles to be happy even though it should be the happiest day of her life. As the extravagant wedding, paid for by her family, twists into delirium, her sister Claire fights desperately to keep the bride and all the guests in line.

With family tensions mounting and relationships fraying, Justine sees a mysterious red spot in the night sky. The wayward planet Melancholia is hurtling toward Earth and its impact will destroy all human life. While the wedding rages on, Justine quietly falls apart. The world will surely follow suit.

GENERATION JEANS

By Nicolai Khalezin

Belarus Free Theatre

BECKETT THEATRE

9-11 AUG

During the reign of the Soviet Union, Belarusians were prohibited from wearing jeans or listening to rock music. Two decades after the Union’s collapse, buying or selling these rare tokens of the ‘free world’ can still get you arrested.

BLASTED

By Sarah Kane

MERLYN THEATRE

24 AUG -16 SEP

The story begins when a gin soaked tabloid journalist brings a naïve
and troubled young woman back to his hotel room. The dysfunctional seduction is shattered by the arrival of a soldier, whose abrupt entry sets nightmarish events in motion. A violent, unrelenting, and brutal conflict manifests both in and outside of the small hotel room where three individuals grapple with their own cruelties, fears and desires.

ICH NIBBER DIBBER

Created & Performed by Mish Grigor, Zo Coombs Marr, Natalie Rose

Malthouse Theatre presents Ich Nibber Dibber by post.

BECKETT THEATRE

5 -23 SEP

In this act of self-examination, these three women go back through 10 years of recorded personal conversations to unearth the embarrassing, the inexplicable, and the profound. A single conversation spanning a decade of friendship, Ich Nibber Dibber maps the lives of three women coming of age in the 21st Century.

From first loves and birthing moans to tongue piercing and explaining the global financial crisis, Ich Nibber Dibber presents a moving
study of personal growth and a revelatory look at what it means
 to be a woman, and the way we make sense of the world through conversation.

TRUSTEES

By Natalia Kaliada & Nicolai Khalezin (Directorsof Belarus Free Theatre)
with Daniel Schlusser and the Cast


A Malthouse Theatre and Melbourne Festival production and co-commission.

BECKETT THEATRE

28 SEP - 21 OCT

Belarus Free Theatre will join forces with a team of Australian theatre-makers to present the world premiere of Trustees, a furious and insightful work about the mechanics of authority, the media, self- censorship and freedom of speech in Australia.

Together, they interrogate the Great Australian Silence: a struggle to speak out against atrocities both in our own country and abroad, and the danger of speaking the truth.

This isn’t a dictatorship, it’s a free country, so we can say whatever we like whenever we like, right? 

Images (from top): Pacifists Guide (photographer Zan Wimberley); Fleabag (photographer Jonny Birch); Going Down (photographer Zan Wimberley); Good Muslim Boy (photographer Zan Wimberley); Blackie Blackie Brown (photographer  Zan Wimberley); Brothers Wreck (phototographer Zan Wimberley) and Ich Nibbber Dibber (Document Photography).

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