Malthouse Theatre Season 2015 – An Open Book

Meme Girls editorialSeason 2015 marks a major new era in the life of Malthouse Theatre with the program offered to audiences as three ‘chapters’.

One of the most ambitious Malthouse Theatre programs ever, Season 2015 continues the company’s commitment to risk and rigour and to championing the best contemporary theatre-makers, performers and artists.

Artistic Director, Marion Potts explains: ‘We’ve noticed that our artists have some specific concerns to express. There are pressing interests in the zeitgeist, subjects that need to be articulated and creatively aired. So we have designed a new structure for artists to explore these over-arching concerns together’.

Replacing the linear, spinal chronology of seasons gone by are three thematic chapters, which encompass all of the year’s primary and satellite events and the building’s various spaces into the program. The result is three acts, involving shows, panel discussions and Extra Events occurring in all the theatres, as well as the courtyard.

Opening the year is Blak Cabaret – the prologue to the season – a bold and irreverent party of massive proportions that will unite some of our greatest Indigenous artists. With music, stand-up comedy, dance and more, it will be an epic all ages celebration.

The first chapter is Body // Language, in which we ask questions about the relationship between our bodies and our identity: what is it about how we look – our colour, shape, age – that defines us? Artists including Kate Champion, Anouk van Dijk and Victoria Chiu have very different perspectives to bring to this question.

Next is Post // Love, opening with the true pioneer Caryl Churchill. In an Australian premiere, featuring a powerhouse cast, she offers her latest provocation about life and love in a post-digital era. Continuing the conversation is Lally Katz on post-culture and Ash Flanders on post-gender in the YouTube age.

The season’s final cluster of works sees a young Antigone looking for a way to honour her dead brother in a new adaptation of Sophocles’ play by Jane Montgomery Griffiths, directed by Marion Potts. Ritual // Extinction explores the things that unite societies – ancient rites of passage and modern-day rituals are investigated by artists including Matthew Lutton, Declan Greene and Nicola Gunn with David Woods.

An irreverent epilogue is provided by The Listies, who, with their particular brand of unadulterated silliness, will ruin Christmas for everyone.

Throughout the year, special events will bookmark each chapter. Panel discussions, presented in collaboration with Monash University, will invite experts and academics to dissect issues at play within specific works, while Subtexts, a conversation series presented in association with The Wheeler Centre, will elucidate the wider themes of each chapter with the help of artists and relevant guests.

Each chapter will also include a unique Extra Event. In Body // Language, Fitter. Faster. Better. will pair adults with a personal trainer aged between six and ten in an experimental work that will refocus ideas about the body through the eyes of children. As part of Post // Love, A Singular Phenomenon sees Aphids create an epic game of 20 questions to investigate our fascination with the cult of personality and pop-culture. And for Ritual // Extinction, UK company Reckless Sleepers invite Melburnians to an exclusive banquet with The Last Supper – part meal, part performance, this experience is limited to just 39 places per session.

Season 2015 will be a great and mysterious adventure as Malthouse Theatre is joined by diverse Australian and international artists in a quest to interrogate the world in which we live. For more information, complete programme and subscription packages, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Art Simone and Ash Flanders in Meme Girls – courtesy of Malthouse Theatre

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