State Theatre Company of South Australia announce 2015 Season

STCSA2015After a highly successful season to date in 2014, the State Theatre Company of South Australia has announced its 2015 season at a launch held in the Dunstan Playhouse on Thursday evening.

“Every season starts with a word on a page and a leap of imagination.” says State Theatre Company Artistic Director Geordie Brookman. “Theatre makers dive through their own worlds of experience, selecting elements to channel onto the stage while also projecting themselves into worlds that they have never experienced and attempting to channel that to the audience, at the same time.

“Theatre is the creation of many worlds within one. 2015 will see some of our finest artists evoke a fascinating range of worlds, characters and stories.”

Starting with three of Samuel Beckett’s perfect theatrical gems, Footfalls, Eh Joe and Krapp’s Last Tape, the Beckett Triptych will feature three of Australia’s greatest actors: Paul Blackwell, Peter Carroll and Pamela Rabe, brought together especially for the 2015 Adelaide Festival. Over the course of one spellbinding evening, all three short plays will be performed in two of State Theatre Company’s spaces; The Scenic Workshop and Rehearsal Room.

For the first time in almost twenty years, Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll returns to the Dunstan Playhouse in a 60th Anniversary production. Geordie Brookman teams up with Chris Pitman (Babyteeth, Speaking in Tongues, Cloudstreet) to shed new light on this classic of Australian theatre.

The iconic children’s book Masquerade, by UK author Kit Williams, which sold over two million copies worldwide, is lovingly adapted for the stage by award-winning Australian playwright, Kate Mulvany. Adelaide’s favourite comic genius, Nathan O’Keefe (The Importance of Being Earnest, Pinocchio) stars as the bumbling Jack Hare, playing alongside West End star Helen Dallimore (Wicked) in a production that will also play at the Sydney and Melbourne Festivals.

Set to be one of the highlights of the 2015 theatrical calendar, Betrayal brings back together the creative team behind the acclaimed 2013 production of Hedda Gabler. With Geordie Brookman directing, Helpmann Award-winning Alison Bell returns in Harold Pinter’s masterpiece – a ruthless and intricately layered exploration of the complexity of the human heart. The play will premiere in Adelaide before transferring for a season in Canberra and, in a first, a season at Melbourne Theatre Company.

In a new adaptation by Adelaide writer Emily Steel, Paul Blackwell (Vere) swindles his way through the corrupt city of Venice in Volpone. First performed in 1605, the play is a brilliant satirical comedy written by Shakespeare’s contemporary Ben Jonson. Volpone is a savage satire which ranks amongst the finest of Jacobean comedies and is to this day as funny and relevant as ever.

A contemporary crime thriller, Mortido is a world premiere co-production with Belvoir Theatre starring stage and screen legend Colin Friels (Malcolm, Water Rats, Blackjack). The play will mark Colin Friels’ first production in Adelaide since Shadow and Splendour – which was presented as part of the 1992 Adelaide Festival.

Closing the curtain on the season on a note of sheer silliness is a new production of The Popular Mechanicals, led by Helpmann Award-winning actress Amber McMahon. First directed by Geoffrey Rush in 1987 for Company B Belvoir, the play follows the back-story of the Rude Mechanicals from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; the group of amateur thespians who stage the ridiculously earnest and unintentionally hysterical Pyramus and Thisbe.

The 2015 State Education production is the New York Fringe Festival award-winning production This is Where We Live written by Vivienne Walshe. The production will be co-produced with HotHouse Theatre in Albury where it will open before undertaking a metropolitan and regional tour in South Australia, followed by its Adelaide season.

The irrepressible Miriam Margolyes (Neighbourhood Watch, Harry Potter, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries) returns to Australia for the world premiere of The Importance of Being Miriam – the 2015 State Extra production. Supporting Adelaide’s independent theatre sector, the 2015 State Umbrella production is Madame: The Story of Joseph Farrugia – a new piece of movement-based theatre about the life of outrageous adult entertainer and founder of the Crazy Horse Revue Joseph Farrugia aka Madame Josephine.

In its first international tour in six years, State Theatre Company’s co-production with Windmill Theatre of the multi award-winning Pinocchio will play New York City’s famous New Victory Theatre – the only Broadway Theatre devoted to work for young audiences.

In a coup for South Australia, the company also announced today that the National Play Festival will travel to Adelaide for the first time in 2015. The Play Festival will put some of Australia’s best playwrights and many of SA’s finest theatre artists on the national stage in a series of artist talks, master classes industry discussions and public showing of plays in development.

“This season reflects a growing certainty from us as a company about the type of theatre we want to make and the type of theatre we want to bring audiences.” Geordie Brookman said. “It is a theatre focused on storytelling and the relationship between the stage and the audience.”

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Image: Peter Carroll, Pamela Rabe and Paul Blackwell