With the announcement of Belvoir’s 2016 Season, Eamon Flack becomes the third Artistic Director in Belvoir’s 30-year history.
“I learnt my craft under Neil Armfield and began my mainstage directing career under Ralph Myers – it’s the best possible apprenticeship you could get for a job as fiendishly wonderful as this,” says Flack.
Flack comes to the position with three key values central to his endeavour: theatricality, variety of life and faith in humanity.
“Theatricality is what happens when great actors play great roles in great plays,” says Flack. “It’s that rough magic we come to the theatre or – a strange and marvellous What was that? – a sudden, very playful but very real sense that humans are magnificent.”
There are many great actors in great roles in great plays in this season. To highlight just a few: Dan Spielman and Yael Stone in Stephen Sewell ’s enduring political thriller The Blind Giant is Dancing, Colin Friels as Francis Hardy in Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, Leah Purcell as the titular drover’s wife in her own adaptation of the Henry Lawson short story, and of course Peter Carroll , resplendent in yellow cross garters as Malvolio in Flack’s production of Twelfth Night.
“We must have variety of life,” Flack continues. “All must be included, all must be spoken for, and spoken for brilliantly, with the full force of human impressiveness – spoken for theatrically.”
This ambition for inclusiveness drives many undertakings at Belvoir. There are shows that open our awareness like The Tribe – which takes a story of Arab-Australian migration from the backyards of Bankstown, to the backyards of Surry Hills, literally.
The Events starring the brilliant Catherine McClements, which will feature community choirs in each performance, and Title and Deed where the words of American playwright Will Eno offer the starting point for Indigenous artists Jada Alberts and Jimi Bani to tell a uniquely Australian story of their own.
Family is also a significant theme in the 2016 Season. There are shows about families, The Great Fire by Kit Brookman and Back at the Dojo by Lally Katz. And shows for families, with special family performance times: Jasper Jones – an adaptation of the well-loved novel, and Matthew Whittet’s beguiling Girl Asleep. And for the very small, the return of the wonderful children’s show Ruby’s Wish.
“There are angry plays, political plays, celebrations,” says Flack. “There are splendid big acts of community, and solo feats of daring. There are comedies, romances, fables, epics, whodunnits. There are lonely tales, vast canvases, humble undertakings, foolhardy undertakings – look, they’re all foolhardy undertakings, it wouldn’t be Belvoir otherwise.”
Beyond what’s on stage there are programs like Unwaged Performances, and our Education program which delivers access opportunities for regional, outer-urban and inner-city school students, that foster inclusiveness in our audience as well.
For more information and to view the complete season, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details.
Image: Eamon Flack – photo by Brett Boardman