The 2016 season kicks off with a 1970’s cult favourite making its Sydney debut for Mardi Gras (The Ritz), followed by plays from Russia (The Cherry Orchard), America (The Heidi Chronicles), England (House of Games) and Germany (Marat/Sade), plus revivals of two contemporary Australian works (That Eye, The Sky and Summer Rain).
These ‘big cast’ plays, which include the Australian premiere of a new play by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors), cover some of the seminal political, social and theatrical movements of the 20th century, embracing everything from madcap farce to magic-realism to sexy noir-thriller.
We’re fulfilling our brief to give both emerging and established artists – actors, directors, designers and technical crew – the chance to display their work, stretch their skills and have their talents seen and appreciated, priding ourselves on being a stepping-stone to working on the broader independent scene and the professional stages of Sydney.
The directorial team for 2016 includes Artistic Director Louise Fisher (Mother Clap’s Molly House, Harvest, Enron) and Alice Livingstone (The Real Thing, Privates on Parade, Top Girls), plus two set designers Barry French and David Marshall-Martin are going to be stretching their directorial wings.
We welcome back David Burrowes (The School for Scandal) and present the New Theatre debuts of 2015 NIDA Directors’ Course graduate Clemence Williams and experienced independent director Christopher Hurrell. With something for everyone and all ages, it’s going to be a spectacular year!
9 February – 5 March
Presented in association with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, The Ritz marked Terrence McNally’s Broadway breakthrough and was subsequently adapted into a romp of a movie that quickly earned cult status. This madcap farce, written at the height of the gay sexual revolution before AIDS changed the world, offers a glimpse of a lifestyle both hedonistic and celebratory, when anything seemed possible. Director: David Marshall-Martin
That Eye, The Sky
15 March – 16 April
Adapted by Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh, from the novel by Tim Winton, That Eye, The Sky is about a young boy’s experiences of love, loss, faith and family has been adapted into an evocative piece of theatrical magic-realism embracing the author’s rich colloquial language and infused with humour, spirituality and humanity. Director: David Burrowes
The Cherry Orchard
26 April – 28 May
In David Mamet’s bold adaptation, characterised by his distinctive sardonic tone, edgy rapid-fire dialogue and manipulative characters, we come to see the play in totally new and surprising ways through an audacious exposition of frustrated sexuality. Ranevskaya is a clever woman made ridiculous by love for a scoundrel, while her daughters are attracted to men who are incapable of commitment. Director: Clemence Williams
The Heidi Chronicles
7 June – 9 July
A coming-of-age story that charts the evolution of the ‘baby boomer’ generation who rebelled in the 1960s, became the ‘me-generation’ of the 1970s and embraced ‘greed is good’ in the 1980s. Wendy Wasserstein’s funny, touching, insightful elegy for her own lost generation and their often fraught relationship with feminism broke new ground in the presentation of women’s stories on stage and won the 1989 Tony Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Director: Alice Livingstone
House of Games
9 August – 10 September
Psychoanalyst Margaret Ford, the author of a best-seller on compulsive behaviour, compromises her professional reputation when she offers to help one of her patients settle his gambling debts. In an Australian premiere, playwright Richard Bean has taken the cult film written and directed by David Mamet, which won the Best Film and Best Screenplay awards at the 1987 Venice Film Festival, and created a taut, funny and sexy noir-thriller about obsession and the lengths we go to get what we desire. Director: Louise Fischer
Marat / Sade
4 October – 5 November
Peter Weiss embraced the theatrical devices of pioneers such as Artaud and Brecht to present a bawdy, bloody, unrelenting political parable, pitting Marat’s socialist philosophy of equality and freedom from oppression against Sade’s rampant anarchic individualism, questioning class struggle and asking where true revolution lies: by changing society or changing the individual? Director: Barry French
15 November – 17 December
Nick Enright and Terence Clarke’s charming musical celebrates the vaudeville troupes which travelled outback Australia in the 1930s and 40s and the tight-knit rural communities they entertained. With a delightful score referencing both Hollywood and Australian musical traditions, and a light-hearted, laconic script, Summer Rain is the perfect way to end the year. Director: Christopher Hurrell
Tickets are now on sale for all shows. For more information, visit: www.newtheatre.org.au for details.
Image: That Eye, The Sky – photo by Richard Hedger