05/09/2012 at 11:25 pm 1 comment

It’s Season Launch Time Again. Yes, that month of hmms and ahhhs when the STC, the MTC, The QTC, the SF, AF, B, G & H (et al) announce their coming seasons. It can be havoc trying to figure out what to see when, where to subscribe, what’s going to sell out and what’s going to suck. If you go by the copy in the brochure, every show for a whole year is going to be one of the most passionate theatrical experiences ever, so it can be tough making the form picks so early in the pre-season.

Fear Not! This confidential exclusive looks ahead of the detail to pry open this covenant, so our readers will better understand what they’re fronting up to in the coming months. Our spies within all the companies have reported in top quality gossip, naturally too hot for these pages; although we can reveal a few tips on negotiating the glossy new programmes currently sitting in embargo in a warehouse lest their secrets be revealed before time.

The European influence is strong, and will persevere in terms of style, form and authorship. So, hope you like it! Brecht, Ibsen and Chekhov have been in flavour for many a recent moon so we suspect the playwright du année for the State Companies might hail from oh, maybe Northern Europe??? But can the establishment handle Vaclav Havel? Doubtful. Nobel Prize notwithstanding, they’re not even ready for Gunter Grass.

Stone/Schmitz have already leaked news of a collaboration on Hamlet. But what of Bell? Do they call dibs on that sort on thing? 3:1 odds on we get a revamped Merchant in the mix, some Winter’s Tale and an outside chance of Cymbeline. Depending on who is directing – they are all pretty much exactly the same play.

Vote with your feet and go see anything fresh, Australian and funny. It’s our infamous laconic state that makes us special and a good laugh never goes astray.

Coming Soon to a theatre near you.

Will play all manner of drawing room comedies and probably even a Williamson!

A little bird tells us this is a playwright we won’t be catching on the mainstage in the near future (love to be mistaken on that). Accidental Death of An Anarchist is one play we could absolutely stare into a white glass box and listen to for hours on end.

I’m just going to go ahead and call it: Women of Troy, adapted to be set inside a Palestinian refugee camp. Is Tom Wright available?

When the aforementioned Václav passed on in December 2011 it would have been too late to program any of the former revolutionary and Czech President’s plays into the seasons proper. Let’s hope this great modern thinker has not been overlooked for the year to come.

These images, often in rich saturated tones with stark backgrounds can usually give the reader a good idea of who is in the play, if no other particular clue as to what the play might actually involve, or what you as an audience might actually experience by fronting over your cash. Do not let the sultry glances coming at you from the glossy print distract your theatre choice-making, and refer to the text nearby which will alert you to which plays are going to be ‘powerful’, ‘raucous’ or ‘poignant’.

We don’t know if anyone dare stage The Alchemist quite just yet. But it’s been a few years since Barry Otto smashed Volpone with Matthew Newton in greasepaint. If that weren’t enough to drive a man mad someone thought it would be a good idea to dredge up the brilliantly envisioned but difficult Poetaster for a shake-and-bake. Paul Capsis as a fading rockstar Ovid, anyone?

Again, left off the list too many times. Can’t imagine why… let’s have Lee Lewis directing Phaedra’s Love at the Playhouse. Fuck Yeah!

You know what that is, don’t you?

Any particular reason why we aren’t exporting more of these? Looking at you, National Cultural Policy. There are proven methods for creating hit musicals which can be harnessed, since we have the creative talent and resources at our behest. Why not?

Always popular shards of the past don’t always translate, what may have seemed an important modern play set thirty years ago might not now ring true; our favourite nostalgia pieces hark back for a time we never knew. Two words: Howard Barker.

See (G) Greek (well, Roman, anyway) and (J) Jonson. Also:

If he isn’t in at least something next year all Artistic Directors should be summarily dismissed.

Doesn’t have quite the same gravitas, does it?

Although it’s not Australian, I would love to see The Unexpected Man in a space like Belvoir downstairs or The Old Fitz’.

Some plays just need to be performed again and again, all the time.

Haven’t done any Pinter for a while, have we? Nor Beckett for that matter…

Is causing a few earthquakes in certain darkened rooms and corners of Sydney. With barely any advertising you can turn up to a packed venue, it’s all word of mouth if you know where to listen.

See (B) Bard; specifically The Merchant of Venice with Shylock afflicted with the horrors of Porphyria whilst caring for his teenage daughter. In a surprise twist Portia turns out to be in a rival vampire family, claiming both Antonio and Bassanio as her disciples. Coming Soon 2014 SHYLOCK’S RETURN.

As in Ring Cycle. As in directed by Neil Armfield. As in first production of its kind from Opera Australia. As in probably too expensive for the average theatre-goer to experience. But with massive corporate backing and a generous portion of the Major Performing Arts funding pie, should be awesome if you like that sort of thing. While you’re watching, try not to think about how for approximately the same expense, we could build and staff a 300 seat theatre from the ground up, and run it for five years, or long enough for an audience to take root whichever comes first.

So hip right now. But I was into Sartre in the Nineties.

Audience. Own it. Talk about it. Tell your friends.

Try not to get caught catching them. Goodnight.

Entry filed under: Sydney THEATRE. Tags: , , .


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. jameswaites2  |  06/09/2012 at 7:25 am

    very good xxj


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