New Theatre BirdlandA sexy and revealing exploration of fame and celebrity, from the award-winning author of Punk Rock and the stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, New Theatre presents the Sydney premiere of Simon Stephens’ Birdland for a limited season from 3 October 2017.

Paul is a rock god. Everybody knows his face. Everybody knows his name. He can have whatever he wants. He can fuck whoever he wants. Buy anything. Eat anything. Drink anything. Smoke anything. Go anywhere.

But as his latest European tour grinds to an end, the mega-fame and limitless money that go hand-in-hand with rock stardom are messing with his head, the pressure is starting to get to him and Paul is set to implode at any moment.

Following his hugely successful adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Stephens wrote Birdland as an examination of fame, fortune and decadent disregard in our celebrity obsessed world.

New Theatre welcomes back director Anthony Skuse, whose previous productions for the Company include Julius Caesar and Lord of the Flies. Skuse has been the directorial powerhouse behind the Sydney productions of two other Simon Stephens plays: Punk Rock (Best Independent Production and Best Director – Sydney Theatre Awards 2012) and On The Shore of The Wide World (Griffin Independent).

Other recent work includes: Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis (Workhorse Productions/Old Fitz); Suzie Miller’s Sunset Strip (Uncertainty principle/Griffin); Melita Rowston’s Between the Streetlight and the Moon (Mophead Productions/KXT); and Nick Enright’s Man With Five Children (Darlinghurst Theatre).

Skuse has brought together an ensemble of seven talented actors for this production. Jack Angwin, Charmaine Bingwa (Doubt), Matthew Cheetham, Airlie Dodds (Neighbours, The Wild Duck, The Burning Tree), Louise Harding, Leilani Loau (Marat/Sade) and Graeme McRae (Punk Rock – Best Supporting Actor, Sydney Theatre Awards, 2012).

Simon Stephens has gained a reputation as one of Britain’s most important contemporary playwrights. His work includes Fatherland (Manchester International Festival), Wastwater, Motortown, Herons and Bluebird (Royal Court Theatre); the Olivier Award-winning adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Harper Regan and Port (National Theatre); an adaptation of A Doll’s House (Young Vic); Punk Rock (Royal Exchange, Manchester and Lyric Hammersmith); Pornography (Edinburgh Festival); and On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange, Manchester and National Theatre).

He won the Pearson Award for Best New Play for Port; an Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World; and for Motortown German critics in Theater Heute’s annual poll voted him Best Foreign Playwright in 2007. Stephens has also written radio plays and adapted a number of works for screen. He is currently an Associate Artist at London’s Lyric Theatre.

Director & Set Designer: Anthony Skuse Featuring: Jack Angwin, Charmaine Bingwa, Matthew Cheetham, Airlie Dodds, Louise Harding, Leilani Loau, Graeme McRae Lighting Designer: Christopher Page Sound Designer: Benjamin Freeman Assistant Director: Jack Angwin Dialect & Voice Coach: Linda Nicholls-Gidley Associate Set Designer: Jack Millynn Production Manager: Rosane McNamara Stage Manager & Operator: Ricci Costa Operator: Ole Borch

New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
Season: 7 October – 4 November 2017 (previews: 3 – 6 October)
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Image: courtesy of New Theatre