Continuing his exploration of Churchill’s work with one of her greatest achievements, Cloud Nine will be directed by STC’s Artistic Director Kip Williams, following the success of his production of another of the playwright’s beguiling works, Love and Information in 2015.
It’s a story about people bursting to change who they are. Betty is a mother lusting for adultery. Edward is a boy trying to be a man. Joshua is a servant with a hunger for power. Ellen is a governess in love with another woman. Around them is an extended family of husbands, sisters, lovers and friends. Everyone is looking for liberation.
Their story begins in Victorian-era Africa – a time of corsets and colonies, of suppressed urges and hunting rifles. The play ends in London a century later, but the characters have aged only 25 years. For some, dreams have come true. For others, the complications have only just begun.
Along the way, Churchill unpicks the knotted realities of love and identity with an audacious sense of humour and more than a little sauciness. A master of character and politics, she distils a symphonic array of ideas into living, breathing, tangible people you come to know, love or despise.
Williams brings a crisp new vision to this remarkable modern classic, assembling a brilliant ensemble of actors who will bring it all to life – including Kate Box (ABC’s Rake), Harry Greenwood (Love and Information), Heather Mitchell (Away), Josh McConville (All My Sons) and Anthony Taufa (Black is the New White). STC Resident Designer Elizabeth Gadsby is crafting the exquisite set and costumes.
Kip Williams’ most recent work for STC includes Chimerica, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and All My Sons. Recent work by Designer Elizabeth Gadsby includes The Testament of Mary, Disgraced and The Hanging. The two artists will be collaborating again in August for Sydney Chamber Opera’s The Rape of Lucretia.
Caryl Churchill is one of Britain’s greatest living playwrights, who, for more than thirty years, has been combining social commitment with theatrical experimentation. Her plays include Top Girls, Cloud Nine, Serious Money, The Skriker, A Number, Love and Information, Ding Dong the Wicked, and Pigs And Dogs.
“The cleverest, drollest, most sexily experimental exercise in ‘compare and contrast’ that British theatre has probably ever seen.” – The Telegraph (UK)
Director: Kip Williams Featuring: Matthew Backer, Kate Box, Harry Greenwood, Anita Hegh, Josh McConville, Heather Mitchell, Anthony Taufa Designer: Elizabeth Gadsby Lighting Designer: Alexander Berlage Composer: Chris Williams Sound Designer: Nate Edmondson
Wharf 1 – Sydney Theatre Company, Pier 4/5 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Season: 6 July – 12 August 2017
Information and Bookings: www.sydneytheatre.com.au
Image: Anthony Taufa features in Cloud Nine – photo by Zan Wimberley