Theatre Works Season 2018

Theatre Works Season 2018

The 2018 Season at Theatre Works in St Kilda features four world premieres and two Australian premieres, including works by Australian writers Samara Hersch, Jane E Thompson and Stephen Sewell, sitting side by side with Robert Lepage and Oscar Wilde.

In its 39th year, Theatre Works will salute Melbourne’s new wave of creative talent, alongside seasoned veterans.

Outgoing Creative Director, John Sheedy said: “Theatre Works’ 2018 Season will, no doubt, surprise and ignite the imagination. With more shows and larger scope, 2018 promises to be another year of incredible independent theatre that knows no bounds. On behalf of the Theatre Works team and our visionary artists, we invite audiences to immerse themselves in our 2018 season and take part in the centre of the theatrical conversation.” 

The 2018 season opens with the world premiere of Ranters Theatre’s collaboration with Creative VaQi from South Korea, Unknown Neighbours. Five performers from Melbourne and Seoul lead participants beyond the walls of the theatre and explore their cross-cultural parallels as part of the Festival of Live Art (FOLA).

Next, as Melbourne prepares for the AFL season, Fierce asks the question, ‘What would happen if a woman was good enough to compete against men?’ Directed by Alice Darling, Jane E Thompson’s powerful play sees a talented sportswoman attempt to enter into the male-dominated world of Australian football.

Little Ones Theatre will bring Oscar Wilde’s  bewitching and melancholic fairy tale, The Nightingale and the Rose out of the closet. Exploring the beauty of love, art, creation, and song from the perspective of an effervescent nightingale who hears the longing cries of a young student desperate to find a red rose to give to his sweetheart.

In July, Robert Lepage’s work, Polygraph will put truth on trial in its Australian premiere. Directed by Tanya Gerstle, a man sets out to make a film about the brutal murder of his closest friend, when he uncovers a series of unanswered questions with dire implications for everyone involved.

In Yiddish mythology, dybbuks are malicious spirits believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person. Conceived and directed by Samara Hersch, Dybbuks combines mythic stories, traditional Yiddish songs and contemporary composition to present a feminist reimagining of S. Ansky’s iconic play, The Dybbuk.

To finish the season, circus drama Perpetual Frustration Machine will take us on one hell of a thrill ride. Co-creators, Stephen Sewell and Zebastian Hunter combine text and the physical discipline of circus as they explore the current trend of instant fame and the common experience of desiring the unattainable.

For 2018, Theatre Works has also curated a year of EXTRA EVENTS to complement the themes and ideas within the central season. These include Hannie Rayson’s Hello Beautiful, directed by Matthew Lutton; Antigone X by Zeb Fontaine Theatre as part of the Midsumma Festival; a double bill, Elegy by Douglas Rintoul and Swansong by Connor McDermottroe; John Kachoyan directs UK playwright Jon Brittain’s new work, Rotterdam; and The Danger Ensemble end the year with The Hamlet Apocalypse.

Images (from top): Fierce, Dybbuks, The Hightingale and the Rose and Perpetual Frustration Machine. Photographer: Sarah Walker.

SEASON 2018 DETAILS

UNKNOWN NEIGHBOURS by Ranters Theatre

13 – 18 March    *Australian Premiere 

Through personal experiences, reflections and cultural perspectives, five performers from Melbourne and Seoul will create connections to the spaces, streets and ambience around Theatre Works, linking the theatre to the social and cultural environment in which it sits.

Known for uncovering the strange personal details that lie beneath the skin of social convention, Melbourne’s Ranters Theatre in collaboration with Creative VaQi from Seoul, South Korea, promise to lead audiences on a journey, engaging them with their surroundings until the ordinary becomes something else that both reflects what it emerged from and transcends it. 

 

FIERCE by Jane Thompson

28 March – 8 April   *World Premiere

Suzie Flack has made it. Made it to the big league. The first female footballer to play professionally with the men. Which is why you haven’t heard of her; she doesn’t exist. FIERCE is a work of fiction: in sports where speed, strength, agility and power are necessary, no female has competed regularly against men at the highest level.

Seen through the eyes of Suzie Flack, FIERCE is an ode to the drama that is AFL football, masculine culture and a prevailing idea of ‘Australian-ness’. Intergenerational relationships, social isolations, gender bias and intimacy all framed by the intense and heightened world of men’s professional sport. 

 

THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE by Oscar Wilde

30 May – 10 June   *Australian Premiere

Following The Happy Prince, Melbourne’s “leading light in indie theatre” (The Age), Little Ones return to Theatre Works to revisit Oscar Wilde’s dark and humorous fairy tales with THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE

A lush gothic fable, it explores the beauty of love, art, creation, and song from the perspective of an effervescent nightingale who hears the longing cries of a young student desperate to find a red rose to give to his sweetheart. Told through a highly stylised, bombastic and queer aesthetic, Little Ones Theatre’s exploration of this melancholic fairy tale will unpack the adult longing laced within Wilde’s poetic prose, highlighting idealistic and cynical perspectives of love with all his decadent symbolism and cheeky wit.

 

POLYGRAPH by Robert Lepage & Marie Brassard

19 – 29 July

In this era of Post-Truth Politics, does lying need to be disguised anymore? In POLYGRAPH, truth is on trial just as it is in our current political landscape.  Written by the globally-acclaimed director, playwright and actor, Robert Lepage and presented in a brand new production by the OpticNerve Performance Group, POLYGRAPH has been metamorphosed to reflect the perception of our changing global reality.

Six years after being suspected of the brutal murder of his closest friend, Francois sets out to make a film about the incident. Teaming up with Lucie, an actress, and David, a criminologist in charge of polygraph examinations, Francois uncovers a series of unanswered questions with dire implications for everyone involved.

 

DYBBUKS by Samara Hersch

16 – 26 August   *World Premiere

In Yiddish mythology, dybbuks are the unresolved souls who seek to find form through living bodies. This new work from Chamber Made evokes the many ways that the dead inhabit female bodies through language, voice, memory and desire.

DYBBUKS is a bilingual (Yiddish & English) contemporary theatre and music work created by lead artist Samara Hersch and collaborators together with three performers, a local Yiddish choir of inter-generational women and four female musicians.

Part performance, part concert, part exorcism, DYBBUKS combines mythic stories, traditional Yiddish songs with contemporary composition to present a feminist reimagining of S. Ansky’s iconic dybbuk story.

 

PERPETUAL FRUSTRATION MACHINE by Stephen Sewell & Zebastian Hunter

7 – 23 December   *World Premiere

PERPETUAL FRUSTRATION MACHINE is an explosive and raw thrust into the human drives of our desires, combining text and the physical discipline of circus in an unstoppable thrill ride through life. Co-creators, Stephen Sewell and Zebastian Hunter, have imagined a circus drama that explores the current trend of instant fame and the common experience of desiring the unattainable.

Four physical artists throw themselves against this destructive desire for darkness, embracing the poetry of Sewell’s text whilst taking the audience on an adventure from great heights. 

 

EXTRA EVENTS

Theatre Works and Zeb Fontaine Theatre present

ANTIGONE X by Zeb Fontaine Theatre

31 January – 4 February

 

Theatre Works presents

HELLO BEAUTIFUL by Hannie Rayson

2 – 6 May

 

Theatre Works and Lab Kelpie present

ELEGY by Douglas Rintoul

16 – 20 May

 

Theatre Works and Red Hot Productions present

SWANSONG by Connor McDermottro

16 – 20 May

 

Theatre Works and Hot Mess Productions present

ROTTERDAM by Jon Brittain

21 November – 2 December

 

Theatre Works and The Danger Ensemble present

HAMLET APOCALYPSE by Danger Ensemble

9 – 18 November

 

theatreworks.org.au

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