More stars come out to play at MTC

The EffectAlready off to a brilliant start with the standing-room only Private Lives and the much-discussed Cock also attracting good houses, Melbourne Theatre Company’s 2014 Season just got brighter with the announcement of more stars who will come out to play this year.

MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy AO today announced that Lachy Hulme, Kat Stewart, Christopher Kirby, Nicholas Bell (The Speechmaker), Linda Cropper (Ghosts), Steve Bisley and Greg Stone (Glengarry Glen Ross) are among the new stars recently cast.

They join the already stellar line-up of artists including Robyn Nevin, Philip Quast, Miriam Margolyes, Bernadette Robinson, Sigrid Thornton, Zahra Newman, Alex Dimitriades and Richard Piper.

“It’s always tremendously satisfying when the casts take final shape and we’re all very excited about the great talents who are joining us this year,” said Brett Sheehy.

“This excitement is happily reflected in our subscriber numbers which are tracking ahead of last year, and our highly popular Bite Size Packages that continue to be available until late in the year. From today, however, if there’s just one star or one show you really don’t want to miss, now is the time to book.”

Belvoir’s acclaimed production of Lally Katz’s Neighbourhood Watch features Robyn Nevin (Ana) and Megan Holloway (Catherine) in a glorious Melbourne tale alongside Kris McQuade (Milinka), Charlie Garber (Ken), Akos Armont (Martin) Natasha Herbert (Belinda/Dr Valter) and Anthony Harkin (Pianist/Chemist).

Renowned director Gale Edwards returns to direct Henrik Ibsen’s unflinching critique of marriage and social convention in Ghosts, with Linda Cropper (Mrs Helene Alving) and Ben Pfeiffer (Oswald Alving) joining  Pip Edwards (Regina Engstrand), Richard Piper (Jacob Engstand) and Philip Quast (Pastor Manders).

Australia’s comic royalty, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch mark their playwriting debuts with The Speechmaker, directed by MTC Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong and with Nicholas Bell (Bob/British PM), Sheridan Harbridge (Alex), Brent Hill (Chip), Lachy Hulme (Schueller), Christopher Kirby (Colonel) and Kat Stewart (Mitch) joining Jane Harber (Sam), David James (Scoop/Larry) and Toby Truslove (Ed).

David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning portrayal of testosterone-fuelled competitiveness, Glengarry Glen Ross stars Alex Dimitriades (Richard Roma), with Rodney Afif (George Aronow), Nick Barkla (John Williamson), Steve Bisley (Shelly Levene), Brett Cousins (James Lingk) and Greg Stone (Dave Moss).

Sigrid Thornton (Dr James) stars in the Australian premiere of Lucy Prebble’s provocative play The Effect, which tackles the notion of happiness in a chemically-controlled reality directed by MTC Associate Director Leticia Cáceres with Nathaniel Dean (Tristan) and Zahra Newman (Connie).

Directed by Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong, Australian actor and writer Brendan Cowell’s The Sublime puts footy, mateship, social media and sex scandals under the microscope, with Ben O’Toole (Liam) tackling Josh McConville (Dean).

The eight Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Once makes its Australian debut with an all-Australian cast to be announced on Monday 17 March, directed by its original West End and Broadway director, John Tiffany. The Gordon Frost Organisation in association with MTC proudly present the first five weeks of this whimsical celebration of friendship, love and the power of music.

Distinguished actress Miriam Margolyes stars as the legendary Hollywood agent, Sue Mengers, in the wickedly hilarious one-woman show, I’ll Eat You Last by John Logan in its Australian premiere.

MTC’s 2014 Season closes with a reunion of the smash hit Songs for Nobodies team, Joanna Murray-Smith, Bernadette Robinson, former MTC Artistic Director Simon Phillips and Musical Director Ian McDonald for a brand new music theatre production, Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Image: Lucy Prebble’s The Effect starring Sigrid Thornton, Nathaniel Dean and Zahra Newman