Kicking off the 2019 season is the world premiere of Counting & Cracking – a game-changing new theatre work created in conjunction with CuriousWorks. Presented at Sydney’s Town Hall and co-commission by CIAF, Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival, this epic production will comprise theatre, music, dancing and food, on a scale not seen before.
Counting & Cracking is a new Australian story with 16 actors playing four generations of a family living from Pendle Hill to Colombo, in a play about Australia as a land of refuge, Sri Lanka’s efforts to remain united, and reconciliation within families across countries and generations.
February will see the 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist in drama, The Wolves, head to the Belvoir stage direct from this year’s sold-out season at the Old Fitz Theatre. Presented in association with Redline Productions and directed by Jessica Arthur, The Wolves is a beautiful, sophisticated play from New York that tells the story of a teen soccer team.
Following a season in the lives of these young women, we see their anxieties, hear their secrets, watch them resolve their petty squabbles and deeper divisions. Life isn’t a game – but each player realises she’s part of a team, and never truly alone.
In March, the inimitable Kate Mulvany will return to the Belvoir stage in the unique and beautiful one-woman play, Every Brilliant Thing. With the help of the audience, a daughter tells the story of her mum’s depression and compiles a list of every beautiful thing in life – a child’s reasons to help mum keep going.
Now, 20 years later and the child is grown up but she’s still compiling her list. What started as a naïve way of getting through the day has become a profound truth – that the sublime can be found in the everyday.
Part play, part high-octane rock gig, and full of heart, Belvoir’s sold-out smash-hit, Barbara and The Camp Dogs make a joyous return before embarking on a national tour. Written by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine and directed by Leticia Cáceres, the show features the original cast of Yovich, Elaine Crombie and Troy Brady.
In May, Belvoir will present Winyanboga Yurringa – a brand-new production commissioned by Belvoir and inspired by the landmark TV series Women of the Sun, written by Andrea James and directed by Anthea Williams (HIR). Set on a sandy campsite on the banks of a river, a group of six Aboriginal women gather on Country. The play delves into the hearts of these women, their connections, contemporary concerns, sorrow and joy in a moving, affirming and uplifting experience.
Things I Know to be True will see the triumphant directorial return of Neil Armfield to Belvoir, the company he founded. Bob and Fran Price have loved each other for 30 years, built a home and raised four strong children. At the end of it all, they are left asking: Was it worth it? Who are we now that the children have gone?
With plate-dropping family revelations, love pangs, and the sweet pain of finding out the truth, Things I Know to be True is a beautifully crafted play from the ever-rewarding mind of Andrew Bovell (Lantana, When the Rain Stops Falling, The Secret River).
Brecht’s great masterpiece of individual liberty and political suppression, The Life of Galileo will grace the Belvoir stage in August in a new adaptation by Tom Wright and starring the redoubtable Colin Friels as the wily, pugnacious scientist. The Life of Galileo is a portrait of a man who realises the entire system is based on lies – and of his response when the forces of money and orthodoxy threaten him.
A thrilling world-premiere musical by a brilliant new talent, Yve Blake, Fangirls will delve into the intense world of hardcore fan girls. Harry is in ‘True Connection’ – the biggest boy band in the world. When True Connection announce a tour stop in Edna’s city she realises this is her one chance to convince Harry of their destiny, and she’ll do anything – ANYTHING – in the name of true love. Featuring a cast of new young faces with brilliant voices, the show is Beyoncé concert-meets religious revival with a wicked sense of humour, exploring love and other big feelings in the age of the internet.
Closing out 2019, Tommy Murphy’s (Holding the Man, Gwen in Purgatory, Mark Colvin’s Kidney) new play Packer & Sons will hit the stage. A deeply researched, muscular work, Packer & Sons puts on stage the men who have loomed large over Sydney for nearly 100 years. A passionate and rich study of Australian masculinity, told with yearning and savagery of men in powerful positions, this is a play about power and what it does to the men who wield it.
“These shows are all about now – and with one exception they’ve all been written in the last five years,” says Belvoir Artistic Director, Eamon Flack. “We’ve picked them to give audiences some invigoration, some joy, some damn good human vibes in these perplexing times.”
“We’re introducing some pretty astonishing new talent with big ambitions – S. Shakthidharan, Yve Blake – and we’re pleased to welcome back some of the greats of Australian theatre. At the centre of our season is the biggest show Belvoir has ever done, Counting & Cracking.”
“It’s a new kind of Australian story, about Australia as a migrant nation. Getting it together has been a great labour of love, the product of an unprecedented coalition of artists, individuals and organisations. It’s something only Belvoir would do, and we’re proud to kick off our season with it.”
Season tickets are now on sale. For more information and complete season details, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details.
Image: Belvoir Season 2019 (supplied)