Sydney’s New Theatre have announced their exciting season for 2014 that includes two Australian premieres, two Sydney premieres, adaptations of beloved novels, and revivals of a much-loved Australian contemporary play and a ground-breaking gay work.
“We’ve put together a program which is diverse, entertaining and adventurous, says New Theatre Artistic Director, Louise Fischer.
“Ranging across drama, comedy and musical theatre, Sydney can enjoy the work of local and international writers and the talents of seven women directors!”
Opening the year and presented as part of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, Peter Nichols’ Privates on Parade is an outrageously funny play, part satirical revue, part coming-of-age drama, is underpinned by a darker and more poignant reality.
When young and innocent Private Steven Flowers is posted to the British Army’s ‘Song and Dance Unit South East Asia’ to entertain the troops during the Malayan Emergency in 1948, he finds himself in a company of (mostly gay) military misfits.
With music by Denis King and directed by Alice Livingstone, Privates on Parade is a camp concoction of song, dance, blokes in frocks and very naughty laughs.
From the novel by Harper Lee, Christopher Sergel’s acclaimed adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird brings to life the compassion, humanity and childish wonder of this great work.
Six-year old Scout’s world is turned upside down when her widowed father, lawyer Atticus Finch, defends a young black man accused of raping a white woman. As tensions erupt and neighbours take sides in the life-and-death case, it is Scout’s clear-eyed courage in the face of ignorance and bigotry that ultimately brings hope to a damaged community.
Directed by Annette Rowlinson, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has captivated readers since 1960 when it was first published at the height of the Civil Rights movement.
Goldworthy’s coming-of-age novel, Maestro, was voted one of the Top 40 Australian books of all time, has been turned into a wise and funny play about love, betrayal, loyalty, guilt, and the pursuit of artistic excellence.
As a young boy in post-war Darwin, Paul Crabbe begins to take piano lessons from the enigmatic Eduard Keller, an Austrian émigré with a shadowy past and a pedagogical pedigree traced back to Liszt and Beethoven. Rosane McNamara directs the Sydney premiere of this production.
Christopher Durang’s Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them is a provocative and riotous examination of the ‘War on Terror’ era in the United States, with its twisted logic and the resulting cults of violence and paranoia, zeroes in on private terrors and preoccupations with biting black humour.
Felicity wakes up after a drunken blackout to find she’s married to a sexist, violent loser who calls himself Zamir, claims to be Irish, and makes Osama bin Laden look like a moderate. Felicity’s world is plunging into crisis and Homeland Security never looked so insecure. Melita Rowston directs the Australian premiere of this production.
With echoes of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Book of Days is a whimsical, engaging and politically charged storytelling from one of America’s most revered contemporary playwrights, Lanford Wilson.
Elsie Edgerton-Till directs the Australian premiere of this comedy, tragedy and a murder mystery all rolled into one play, exploring the questions of morality and redemption, of identity and community, and the threat posed by the religious right.
Hilary Bell’s Wolf Lullaby taps into the tensions, conflicts and dynamics of tight-knit communities to explore the disturbing subject of children who kill the fine line between innocence and amorality, and to pose the question: is there such a thing as intrinsic evil?
In a desolate Tasmanian country town, a small child is murdered and suspicion falls on nine-year-old Lizzie. Her mother Angela is faced with the heartbreaking choice between ignoring the suspicion that her daughter is guilty and handing her over to the police. Emma Louise directs the debut play from the winner of the Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellowship for 2013.
New Theatre’s Artistic Director, Louise Fischer directs the Sydney premiere of Harvest, Richard Bean’s sprawling comic romp follows four generations of a Yorkshire pig-farming family as they fight to protect their livelihood over the course of the 20th century.
At the heart of the story is the life of William Harrison, beginning as a 19 year old eager for adventure in the trenches of the Somme during WWI and ending as a wise-cracking 109 year old whose candle shows no signs of snuffing out.
The Harrisons are battlers and survivors, and no amount of adversity – be it two world wars, the Depression, fatal shootings, armed robbery, attempted rape or commercial failure – can extinguish their intrinsic optimism and pragmatic outlook.
Bean, the celebrated writer of One Man, Two Guvnors, has created a theatrical landscape of epic proportions and infused this family saga of life on the land with a wickedly quirky humour and a deep understanding of human nature.
For more information and full program details, visit: www.newtheatre.org.au
Image: Privates on Parade