Brisbane’s La Boite Theatre Company has popped the cork on a sparkling 2019 season, offering seven invigorating experiences including the return of smash-hit Single Asian Female and the world premiere of comedian Steven Oliver’s From Darkness.
La Boite Artistic Director Todd MacDonald said Season 2019 offered audiences the chance to see a new incredible Australian story, an old favourite returned, and a reimagined classic resonating today.
“For 94 years, La Boite has been at the forefront of new Australian theatre,” said MacDonald. “We take risks, we work with emerging artists, we make relevant, exciting theatre that is distinctly out of the box. In 2019, it’s all about connection and reconnection.”
Season 2019 kicks off in February on a comedic high note with the return of Michelle Law’s universally-adored Single Asian Female – which premiered at La Boite in 2017 and enjoyed a subsequent sold-out season at Belvoir in 2018.
Following the story of the Wong family as they deal with some of life’s big questions and even bigger karaoke bangers, Single Asian Female invites audiences to step into the after-hours of a suburban Chinese restaurant to witness Australian domesticity like you’ve never seen before.
“Michelle Law is a voice to be reckoned with and her ripper debut play is back by popular demand, with original cast members Emily Burton, Patrick Jhanur, Courtney Stewart and Hsiao-Ling Tang reprising their roles for this encore season,” said MacDonald.
Continuing La Boite’s pioneering partnership with Queensland University of Technology, which delivered the acclaimed Lysa and the Freeborn Dames this year, La Boite and QUT present a 21st century reimagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, directed by MacDonald and guest starring Queensland favourite Lucas Stibbard.
“La Boite and QUT’s production of Romeo and Juliet takes no prisoners; reimagined for today through the energy and passion of a new generation,” said MacDonald.
In September, La Boite and Brisbane Festival premiere From Darkness – a fierce and funny new Indigenous work by Australian comedian Steven Oliver (Black Comedy). Developed through La Boite’s HWY program, From Darkness follows a modern family on a journey that challenges us to listen to how connected, or not, we are to our world.
“After nurturing this incredible story via our HWY program, we are immensely proud to bring Steven’s darkly funny and deeply moving new work to life, directed by Isaac Drandic in his La Boite debut and starring a stellar Indigenous cast helmed by our beloved Roxanne MacDonald,” said MacDonald.
Completing the mainstage season is an extended run of The Little Red Company’s comedy cabaret Christmas Actually – which premieres at La Boite’s Roundhouse Theatre this December for four performances only.
Starring Queensland’s first lady of song Naomi Price alongside a band of Australia’s top musicians and superstar vocalists, Christmas Actually delivers all the hits from beloved holiday film Love Actually wrapped up with The Little Red Company’s trademark comedy and charm.
“We’ve no doubt that The Little Red Company’s Christmas Actually will become an instant holiday tradition when it premieres this December, so we’re bringing it back with more shows and more surprises as the ultimate silly season starter in 2019,” said MacDonald.
In addition to La Boite’s main stage season of four works, three additional boutique experiences are on offer to audiences in 2019. shake & stir’s multi-Helpmann Award nominated all-ages hit Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts returns as part of a national tour; and La Boite’s annual festival of new work, HWY, is back over an action-packed two weeks with Screen Queensland as a new partner.
“HWY invites audiences into the theatre-making process from the beginning, giving them the opportunity to peek behind the curtain, see works before they even hit the stage, and participate in affordable workshops, robust panel discussions, new play readings and live play showings,” said MacDonald. “New in 2019, we’re thrilled to partner with Screen Queensland to explore the interconnected worlds of the stage and the screen.”
Rounding out the 2019 program is a unique theatre experience by Singapore-based, QUT-trained theatre maker Jeffrey Tan, which sees Brisbane homes flung open as residents invite audiences into their private abodes and enchant with personal stories, histories and anecdotes in Open Homes.
“Open Homes connects us in the most intimate, safe and welcoming way as we experience stories from the homes of local Brisbane residents. Bring your curiosity and an open mind, and get ready to meet some new friends you’ll feel you’ve always known,” said MacDonald.
2019 also sees La Boite continue its 94-year commitment to experimenting, discovering and reinventing, with three artist residencies with Mad Dance House, Bleached Arts, and Opera Queensland set up to unearth the next great Australian stories.
“La Boite is a beautiful collision of incredible history and future vision,” says MacDonald. “In 2019, we invite you to experience the thrill of our unique Roundhouse Theatre – the only true theatre-in-the-round in Australia – and a season that has something
La Boite 2019 season passes are now available, with single tickets on sale Monday 19 November 2018. For more information, visit: www.laboite.com.au for details.
Image: courtesy of La Boite