Theatre Works reveals 2018 Program

TW Unknown Neighbour - photo by Sarah WalkerIn its 39th year, Theatre Works will salute the new wave of creative talent lighting up our city while presenting some of our most seasoned veterans; providing access to incredible minds and taking audiences beyond the conventional theatre experience.

“Theatre Works’ 2018 Season will, no doubt, surprise and ignite the imagination,” said Outgoing Creative Director, John Sheedy. “With more shows and larger scope, 2018 promises to be another year of incredible independent theatre that knows no bounds. On behalf of the Theatre Works team and our visionary artists, we invite audiences to immerse themselves in our 2018 season and take part in the centre of the theatrical conversation.”

In our fractured political and social landscape, the arts are more important than ever. Theatre Works’ 2018 season presents a series of backdrops that respond to global fear and uncertainty and the desire for meaning and justice. These shows put a spotlight on the strange and unfamiliar, creating a conversation that is necessary and now.

The 2018 season opens with the world premiere of Ranters Theatre’s collaboration with Creative VaQi from South Korea, Unknown Neighbours. Five performers from Melbourne and Seoul lead participants beyond the walls of the theatre and explore their cross-cultural parallels as part of the Festival of Live Art (FOLA).

Next, as Melbourne prepares for the AFL season, Fierce asks the question, What would happen if a woman was good enough to compete against men? Directed by Alice Darling, Jane E Thompson’s powerful play sees a talented sportswoman attempt to enter into the male-dominated world of Australian football.

Australia’s darlings of indie theatre, Little Ones Theatre will bring Oscar Wilde’s most bewitching and melancholic fairy tale, The Nightingale and the Rose out of the closet. Exploring the beauty of love, art, creation, and song from the perspective of an effervescent nightingale who hears the longing cries of a young student desperate to find a red rose to give to his sweetheart.

In July, acclaimed theatre maker Robert Lepage’s work, Polygraph will put truth on trial in its Australian premiere. Directed by Tanya Gerstle, a man sets out to make a film about the brutal murder of his closest friend, when he uncovers a series of unanswered questions with dire implications for everyone involved.

In Yiddish mythology, dybbuks are malicious spirits believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person. Conceived and directed by Samara Hersch, Dybbuks combines mythic stories, traditional Yiddish songs and contemporary composition to present a feminist reimagining of S. Ansky’s iconic play, The Dybbuk.

To finish the season, circus drama Perpetual Frustration Machine will take us on one hell of a thrill ride. Co-creators, Stephen Sewell and Zebastian Hunter combine text and the physical discipline of circus as they explore the current trend of instant fame and the common experience of desiring the unattainable.

For 2018, Theatre Works has also curated a year of EXTRA EVENTS to enrich and complement the themes and ideas within the central season. From tear-jerking tales of self-discovery to side-splitting fanfare, we are proud to present a wide variety of performances, all anchored by a wholesome serve of thought-provoking storytelling.

These include Hannie Rayson’s Hello Beautiful, directed by Matthew Lutton; Antigone X by Zeb Fontaine Theatre as part of the Midsumma Festival; a double bill, Elegy by Douglas Rintoul and Swansong by Connor McDermottroe; John Kachoyan directs UK playwright Jon Brittain’s new work, Rotterdam; and The Danger Ensemble end the year with The Hamlet Apocalypse.

Tickets and subscriptions are now on sale. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Unknown Neighbours – photo by Sarah Walker