Celebrating their 5th year as a company and Shakespeare’s 450th birthday in 2014, Sport For Jove Theatre look forward to a challenging and entertaining season with neo-classical approaches to famous works that explore the agency and determination of women, the risks we take in love, and the foolishness of our vanities.
Their outdoor Summer Festival season features two of the world’s original and most finely crafted romantic comedies. A new adaptation of the French masterpiece, Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, written and directed by Damien Ryan, it tells the tale of the beautiful Roxane and the man who would love her, but for his outrageous nose – the play that brought the word ‘panache’ into the English language! Cyrano de Bergerac will play in rep with Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Adam Cook.
These are two plays with powerful symmetries – stories of our fears of failing in the game of love, and the barriers of wit and prickliness we put up to mask our loneliness and vulnerability. Two stories of daring career soldiers who lack the simple courage to express their feelings to a woman; stories of women too witty, sophisticated and intelligent to be easily wooed; and stories that inspire our respect for what it is to be an individual, something a little different from the crowd.
Sport for Jove continues to build its relationship with Sydney’s Seymour Centre and with the theatre that they value very deeply in the geographical heart of Sydney, Riverside at Parramatta in a celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday.
Two of his most remarkable plays – dark comedies that cut to the heart of his joyous yet subversive perspective on love and family. Twelfth Night, or What You Will, and the dangerous comedy, not seen in Sydney for decades, All’s Well That Ends Well.
Both plays, arguably written in the same year, map the same territory in starkly different ways, offering wonderful comedy set within an agonizing melancholia – a self-induced funk of unrequited love and poisonous vanity that must inevitably pay a price.
“We are so used to the agency of Shakespeare’s male characters,” says Artistic Director, Damian Ryan.
“The plotters and crafters who write their plays from within (Richard, Iago, Prospero, Hamlet), but at the centre of these two plays are women – Viola, Maria, Olivia, Helena and Diana – women with a plan; women who will stop at nothing to create their own destinies, and produce theatrical ‘miracles’ to achieve it.”
For its fifth production for 2014, Sport for Jove presents Adam Cook’s new production of Henry Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Promising to be dynamic, passionate and visceral, Ibsen’s tale of intrigue, fraud and betrayal has strong contemporary resonances for today’s audiences, exposing a world where duty, power and hypocrisy rule.
“Hugely controversial when it was first performed in 1879, A Doll’s House has lost none of its power as a bold vision of feminist selfhood and rediscovery,” says Adam Cook.
For more information and full program, visit: www.sportforjove.com.au for details.
Image: Twelfth Night by Takaya Honda