Artistic Director Wesley Enoch announced seven powerful mainstage productions including a world premiere and two Australian premieres and a cast line-up including an internationally acclaimed Director, a world famous writer and a season of stories starring Australia’s greatest actors.
Enoch said QTC’s Season 2014 would be a year of important story-telling; of productions that would move and motivate audiences.
“There is a very real focus on Australian work in 2014 with 75% of the season Australian plays, and for good reason – Australian stories and storytellers are amongst the very best in the world,” said Wesley Enoch.
“We will see a tripling of works being commissioned, we have two productions in association with local groups and four co-productions – this is exciting for us and for our audiences,” he said.
“Season 2014 is one that audiences will thoroughly enjoy – it is laced with humour, emotion, conflict, questions and adventure. It is also a season that nurtures our stars – we are very proud to present four works by female playwrights, and welcome two female directors, as well as celebrating a 45% increase in the number of actors across the season compared to this year.”
The Season 2014 story opens in January at the Playhouse with the bang-up-to-the-moment barbecue-stopper of a comedy that questions the national identity in Australia Day.
As the brains behind Sydney Theatre Company’s wickedly satirical institution The Wharf Revue, writer Jonathan Biggins has his finger firmly on the pulse of Aussie culture, and tells this story with wit and wisdom.
Andrea Moor, director of this year’s smash hit Venus in Fur, directs again, and for actor Paul Bishop, who plays the Mayor, this material is comfortably close to home – when he’s offstage, he is a Redlands City Councillor on Brisbane’s bayside.
Insightful and provocative, The Mountaintop is a lively, funny, moving and magical look back at the life of one of the most inspirational men to walk the Earth in Dr Martin Luther King Jr – but far from putting him on a pedestal, it’s a warts-and-all portrait of a human being, culminating in a blistering recap of decades of civil rights history, right up to the present day.
Penned by brilliant young Memphis playwright Katori Hall, it was a West End and Broadway sell-out and an Olivier Award-winner. Making his Queensland Theatre Company debut, Pacharo Mzembe shines as King while vivacious actress, activist and hip-hop sensation Candy Bowers dazzles as Camae.
In March, QTC presents the classic story, Macbeth – the original Game of Thrones – directed by British theatre royalty Michael Attenborough, in association with 40-year veteran Brisbane theatre troupe Grin & Tonic and starring a cast of 15 superb actors.
Jason Klarwein and Veronica Neave star as the royal couple with blood on their hands, heading an all-star local cast featuring Tama Matheson, Andrew Buchanan, Thomas Larkin, Kevin Spink, Steven Rooke, Lucas Stibbard, Tim Dashwood and Christopher Beckey.
The Effect is the story of a struggle for dominance between the clinical order of science, and the roiling chaos of the human heart. A co-production with Sydney Theatre Company, it was written by young British playwright Lucy Prebble, author of West End and Broadway hit ENRON and TV’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
The Effect stars Queenslander Anna McGahan, recently seen on the small screen in House Husbands, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Underbelly: Razor.
A new Australian work, commissioned by QTC, by Brisbane playwright Elaine Acworth is the next story to be told. Gloria is a play about grace and grandchildren, about memory – and for anyone who’s ever stumbled over putting a face to a name, or called an object a ‘thingummy’.
It’s a play where music takes centre stage, weaving together Gloria’s rapidly fraying memories and brings together an all-Brisbane cast led by stage powerhouse, Christen O’Leary (End of the Rainbow, Bombshells) as Gloria.
One hundred years ago, about a thousand Indigenous Australians took up arms to fight in World War I. For them, battle on a Gallipoli beach was an escape from the shackles of racism at home.
Black Diggers draws from interviews with families of men who heard the call – men who now step from the blank pages of history to share their stories.
Directed by Wesley Enoch and written by Tom Wright, Black Diggers presented in association with Sydney Festival and Brisbane Festival; the cast is headed by the talented Luke Carroll, last seen playing a soldier in a very different war in QTC’s Mother Courage.
The finale for the mainstage Season is a work by one of the world’s leading writers and comedians, Ben Elton. Gasp! is a breathtaking, brilliantly funny satire on the heartlessness of big business.
Continuing QTC’s fertile collaboration with Western Australia’s Black Swan State Theatre Company, Gasp! draws cast members from Brisbane and Perth. First performed in London in 1990, starring Hugh Laurie, Gasp! was the playwriting debut for stand-up comic Elton (The Young Ones and Blackadder).
Supporting the mainstage Season are two productions that tell stories in the BBS. May sees two productions – A Tribute of Sorts which is an artful, dark, morbidly funny celebration of the art of theatre itself, and The Magic Hour, where actor and singer Ursula Yovich breathes new life into the fables collected by the Brothers Grimm.
For more information, visit: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Macbeth (courtesy of QTC)