Not-so-typical love stories, a family exploring gender fluidity, social and political polemics, the fragility of the human mind, and the underbelly of the Australian psyche will all be explored in Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre’s 2018 Season.
In addition to a secret project to be announced next year, each production will feature a cast of core ensemble members in collaboration with directors, designers, playwrights and guest actors in a shared commitment to the company’s mission of advancing the vitality of theatre in Australia.
“Through theatre, we have the opportunity to inspire deeper understanding, to grapple with unanswerable questions and unutterable truths,” says Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell. “These stories are poles apart but they all have in common an intimate and juicy investigation of humanity, and an ambition to provoke.”
In partnership with Midsumma, and from the supremely talented Taylor Mac, who brought us A 24 Decade History of Popular Music at the 2017 Melbourne Festival, comes the Victorian premiere of Hir, directed by Daniel Clarke. An unflinching portrayal of a dysfunctional family for the modern age, Hir tells the story of Isaac, a young man who returns home from the marines to find his crusading mother, Paige, set on dismantling the patriarchy with her newly out transgender teenager, Max, as ally.
From the company’s ground-breaking INK new writing program comes the word premiere of Lamb, by multi-award-winning playwright Jane Bodie and featuring original songs by the legendary Mark Seymour (Mark Seymour and the Undertow, Hunters and Collectors). Lamb is the story of one family on an Australian sheep farm, over generations; a story of the land, and of lies told and secrets kept to protect those we love – and to stop them from leaving us.
Alyson Campbell directs the Victorian premiere of Lachlan Philpott’s production of Colder. Inspired by real life events, a young boy gets separated from his mother and goes missing in Disneyland. Adrift in the artificial world of giant mice and noisy parades, no one can account for what happened in the frantic hours before he’s found.
From the award-winning French-Canadian playwright Catherine Anne-Toupin, comes the Australian premiere of the surreal, darkly humorous and erotic thriller, Right Now. As Alice and Ben settle into their new flat they soon discover a surprising connection to their neighbours across the hall. Katy Maudlin, the company’s 2017 Graduate Director, returns to Red Stitch to direct this intriguing and hilarious play, which surprises at every turn.
Following the critical acclaim of American Song in 2017, Red Stitch is thrilled to reignite its relationship with one of Australia’s most successful playwrights, Joanna Murray-Smith, with the Victorian premiere of Fury. In this provocative new work directed by Ella Caldwell and Brett Cousins, Alice and Patrick are shocked to discover that their teenage son has vandalised the local mosque. As they struggle to understand his motivations, idealism is pitted against pragmatism and personal responsibility.
Red Stitch continues its long-running relationship with Pulitzer prize-winning American playwright, Annie Baker (The Flick, The Aliens), with the Australian premiere of her latest work The Antipodes. A meticulous meditation on the art of storytelling, The Antipodes is a play about the search for the ultimate story. And about who we choose to listen to.
The Australian premiere of Lovesong by Emmy-award winning Welsh playwright, Abi Morgan, is a moving love story, which will feature an original live cello score. From the exuberance of youth to the complexities of age, Denny Lawrence will direct this tender and beautiful meditation exploring loyalty, memory and growing old in a relationship spanning 40 years.
For one night only, the much-anticipated special event PLAYlist will once again finish the season with an extravaganza of original short plays inspired by songs. The Red Stitch ensemble, local writers and musicians and an extraordinary line-up of special guests will end the year in this large-scale, site-specific celebration of creativity, music and theatre.
“The global and local context in which we are living is one of upheaval, conflict, devastating disappointments and fears. More than ever we need hope, comfort, and to fight,” said Caldwell. “These plays all have fight in them, and love. They made us argue, laugh and reconsider the world. I hope they do the same for our audiences.”
Tickets for the 2018 Red Stitch season are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.redstitch.net for details.
Image: Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre 2018 Season (supplied)