From the thrilling to spine-chilling, side-splitting to hard-hitting, captivating to scintillating, 2021 at Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre has something to entertain everyone. Experience seven exceptional Australian and international plays, including a collaboration with Sydney Festival, plus three special events featuring legends of the Australian stage.
15 January – 27 February
Meet Kenny, a fearless Aussie plumber and eternal optimist who looks for the best in every situation – even when his job is literally down the toilet. The hilarious Ben Wood (The Big Time) steps into overalls and pulls on the rubber gloves in Steve Rodgers’ quirky adaptation of the much-loved Australian film for the Sydney Festival. Directed by Mark Kilmurry. World Premiere!
5 March – 17 April
Diving back into the dating pool in your 40s is a scary prospect. This bittersweet comedy navigates the highs and lows of modern dating. Will Matt and Olivia take the plunge and swipe right? Or is it left…? Directed by Mark Kilmurry. World Premiere!
23 April – 5 June
Explore the depths of human frailty and our capacity to love in this modern Australian classic by Joanna Murray-Smith. Cracks appear in a seemingly unbreakable marriage when a tenacious young writer enters the scene, bringing to light intergenerational differences and a wrenchingly honest look at sex and relationships. Directed by Kate Champion.
The Woman in Black
11 June – 24 July
Prepare for scares in a gripping ghost story perfect for Ensemble’s intimate stage. This spine-chiller, one of the longest running plays in West End history, will have you watching through your fingers and gasping at every eerie twist and turn. Directed by Mark Kilmurry.
Killing Katie: Confessions of a Book Club
30 July – 11 September
When former Queen Bee of the book club Robyn publishes her first novel, the truth about the death of her nemesis, Katie, begins to unravel. Female friendships are tested in this laugh-out-loud, brutally honest, new comedy. Directed by Francesca Savige. World Premiere!
17 September – 30 October
Successful dermatologist Serge has a penchant for modern art – and he’s got the receipt to prove it. After forking out an outrageous sum of money for an obscure painting, he is desperate to show it off to his friends Marc and Yvan. But where Serge sees a masterpiece, Marc sees money out the window and Yvan can’t make up his mind. Divided by the canvas, a wicked battle of wits unfolds threatening to unravel their friendship as insults become personal. This Tony Award-winning comedy paints a side-splitting portrait of the meaning of art and friendship. Directed by Mark Kilmurry.
Nearer the Gods
5 November – 24 December
Petty politics, inflated egos and fierce rivalries almost jeopardise one of the greatest discoveries in human advancement: Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion. With his trademark wit and sharp observations, David Williamson exposes the abrasive personalities of revered scientific giants – even geniuses are not infallible. Directed by Janine Watson.
Trevor Ashley: Diva Degustation
21 – 29 March
Australia’s queen of cabaret is cooking up a storm on the Ensemble stage and making a meal of some of the world’s most iconic stars. There’s a serving of Cher, Shirley Bassey, Lisa Minnelli and Judy Garland, with a side-dish of Eartha Kitt and Carol Channing, all sprinkled with the imitable Trevor Ashley flavouring… and that’s just for starters.
John Bell: And Another Thing…
15 – 22 August
Due to popular demand, the legendary John Bell is back with even more tales to tell. Don’t miss your opportunity to get up close and personal with one of Australia’s theatre greats delving further into his treasure trove of favourite poems, stories and backstage anecdotes.
The Casting Couch with Todd McKenney and Nancye Hayes
17 – 24 October
Effervescent entertainer Todd McKenney is back on the casting couch for a dazzling night of frivolity and this time he’s joined by musical theatre legend Nancye Hayes. After performing side-by-side in two sold-out seasons of Richard Alfieri’s Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, these multi-talented performers and close friends reunite to belt out big songs, dish exclusive stories and more.
Image: Craig Reucassel stars in Ensemble Theatre’s 2021 Season (supplied)