Queensland Theatre Company’s Season 2015 – stars on stage all year
Queensland Theatre Company’s Main Stage Program in 2015 features eight productions, including one of David Mamet’s most satisfying and accomplished play Boston Marriage directed by the Matilda Award winner Andrea Moor and starring Amanda Muggleton;Mother & Son, a treasured Australian comedy by Geoffery Atherden that tells the story of a forgetful mum Maggie, and her son Arthur; the world premiere of Brisbane by Matthew Ryan, a coming of age tale of stories from the leafy streets of Brisbane in the middle of war time starring Conrad Colby and Lucy Goleby; the world premiere of the exciting new Indigenous work specially commissioned for Queensland Theatre Company, Country Song, by Reg Cribb and directed by Wesley Enoch; Samuel Beckett’s absurd surreal masterpiece Happy Days, a powerful tale of resilience and one woman’s struggle to survive against the odds, the contemporary retelling of a play with grand themes that resonate down through the ages, The Seagull, a classic play about all the things which still fascinate humankind by Anton Chekhov; the hilarious and magically chaotic Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, where Director Wesley Enochrecreates the beloved 1968 film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau; the world premiere adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, The Women in Black, is bought to life by the internationally acclaimed director Simon Phillips in Ladies in Black.
Outside the Main Stage Program, six truly unique plays will be shown in QTC’s The GreenHouse. They are; the funny stories of tears and reconciliation in a celebration of Indigenous survival, The 7 Stages of Grieving, the brand new season with fresh arrangements fromNaomi Price in Rumour Has It; the life story of Margi Brown Ash in Home; George Brant’s Grounded, which features an Air Force pilot brought back to earth with a bump when she falls pregnant; the Dead Puppet Society production of Argus, highlights the beauty of an impossible life, one that is full of playfulness, joy and laughter; and Daniel Evans’ Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the story of a tragedy no one saw coming, but everyone wants to talk about.
Tickets are available at queenslandtheatre.com.au or by calling 1800 355 528.
Queensland Theatre Company presents Boston Marriage
By David Mamet 24 January to 15 Febuary at the Playhouse, QPAC
Director: Andrea Moor
Designer: Stephen Curtis
Cast Includes: Amanda Muggleton
The erudite Anna and Claire dwell together on the fringes of the Boston elite, but to keep themselves in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed, Anna has been accepting expensive presents from a wealthy married man who’s become besotted by her. Claire, meanwhile, is aging disgracefully and is set on seducing a much younger woman, and wants not only Anna’s blessing but her help. Boston Marriage is a quick-fire comedy riddled with the wicked wit of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer behind Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet. With sarcasm and ribald banter it chips away at the pretensions and proprieties of high society and blows apart class distinction, while exploring the compromise needed to keep a marriage alive. Boston Marriage is directed by Andrea Moor, who delighted audiences and critics alike and won a Matilda Award for 2013’s Venus in Fur.
* On tour to ten Regional Queensland venues: 17 February – 27 March
FEBRUARY – MARCH
Queensland Theatre Company presents a Joint Ventures/Lascorp Entertainment/ Fractured Limb production Mother & Son
By Geoffery Atherden 18 February to 15 March at the Playhouse, QPAC
Director: Roger Hodgman
Set Designer: Shaun Gurton
Lighting Designer: Nigel Levings
Costume Designer: Esther Marie Hayes
Cast: Noeline Brown, Darren Gilshenan, Rob Carlton, Nicki Wendt, Rachael Beck and Robyn Arthur
Geoffrey Atherden penned the first episodes of Mother & Son in 1984 creating an instant classic! Now 30 years later he has done it again. From the creator of the hit TV series comes a brand new stage comedy featuring everyone’s favourite forgetful mum in this trip down loss-of-memory lane! Long-suffering second son Arthur, who has sacrificed so much to care for his mother Maggie, would just like a few weeks’ holiday with his new flame Anita. His philandering dentist brother Robert is no help, and manipulative Maggie is out to sabotage Arthur’s chances. Vague but vicious and more arsenic than old lace, Maggie would have Arthur tied to her apron strings for life, if she could just remember where she put the apron … Fresh from the world premiere season at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre, Mother & Son brings up to date a treasured Australian comedy with Atherden’s distinctive brand of acerbic wit.
Queensland Theatre Company presents a Grin & Tonic Theatre Troupe production – The 7 Stages of Grieving
By Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman 17 March to 28 March at the Bille Brown Studio, The GreenHouse
Director: Jason Klarwein
Cast: Chenoa Deemal
Remaining a vital masterwork 20 years after it was penned by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman, The 7 Stages of Grieving is a wise and powerful play about the grief of Aboriginal people and the hope of reconciliation. In this one-everywoman show, Chenoa Deemal (Mother Courage and Her Children) spins poignant stories of different people from different mobs – tear-streaked tales of tragedy go hand-in-hand with jubilant celebrations of simple survival. Funny, devastatingly sad, politically relevant and culturally profound as it traverses the phases of Aboriginal history, The 7 Stages of Grieving is an invitation to face hard truths, to join hands and grieve. It shares true and personal stories that need to keep being told. And perhaps most importantly, it opens a dialogue about the issues that separate and unite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. “Watching that hit such an emotional chord, it stayed with me for years. Seeing a visual representation of a beautiful and established culture suddenly wiped clear with the stroke of a hand was emotionally jarring and brought to my attention how powerful theatre can be.” Chenoa Deemal
APRIL – MAY
Queensland Theatre Company presents Brisbane
By Matthew Ryan 11 April to 3 May at the Playhouse, QPAC
Director: Iain Sinclair
Cast includes: Conrad Colby, Lucy Goleby, Dash Kruck and Melanie Zanetti.
Brisbane, 1942: a big country town jumping at shadows, never knowing if that buzz in the air is a cicada or a squadron of merciless Japanese Zeroes. World War II took the city’s innocence, and that of 14-year-old Danny Fisher.
Danny’s dashing pilot brother has been killed in the Bombing of Darwin. As Danny’s devastated family unravels, the teen finds a surrogate sibling in Andy, one of the Americans stationed in Brisbane. The American pilot takes Danny under his wing, and as the tension begins to rise between the Yank and Aussie servicemen, Danny hatches a reckless revenge plan against those who took his brother. A QTC world premiere drawing on true stories from the leafy streets of Brisbane in the middle of wartime, Matthew Ryan’s Brisbane is a life-affirming coming-of-age tale, with moments of sublime comedy amid a heartfelt tale of a family fragmented by tragedy. A living, breathing picture postcard from a time that could have been the making or breaking of a city.
Queensland Theatre Company presents a Dead Puppet Society production – Argus
5 May to 17 May at the Bille Brown Studio, The GreenHouse
Creative Producer: Nicholas Paine Director and Designer: David Morton
Original Score: John Babbage (Topology) Dramaturg: Richard Tulloch
Live music performed by Topology
Hell bent on bringing their brand of magical entertainment to the world, the Dead Puppet Society creates puppet-based visual theatre that conjures immersive worlds for a wide range of audiences. The Society has worked in New York, South Africa and Australia, collaborating with companies including The Jim Henson Foundation and Handspring Puppet Company. Step into this whimsical wonderland where table tops grow grass and water bottles become the depths of the ocean. Making use of nothing but household objects and the performers’ hands, Argus transcends from the simple to the sublime exploring the fragile attempts of this little creature to find a home in a world where he just doesn’t fit in. Working on principles of found objects and transformation, this quietly touching piece highlights the beauty of an impossible life; one that is full of playfulness, joy and laughter. Argus will expand the imaginations of adults and children alike.
Developed with Brisbane Powerhouse. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Funding support for this project has been provided by The Jim Henson Foundation.
MAY – JUNE
Queensland Theatre Company and Queensland Government present – Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
By Daniel Evans After The Theban Plays by Sophocles
23 May to 13 June at the Bille Brown Studio, The GreenHouse
Director: Jason Klawein
Cast includes: Emily Burton and Toby Martin
What if Oedipus lived next door? What if the whole street knew what he’d been up to with his own mother, because of the word daubed in fluorescent letters on his garage door? Queensland Premier’s Drama Award winner Daniel Evans brings the drama and horror of an Ancient Greek myth to the sleepy cul-de-sacs of modern Australian disturbia in this wild, wonderful ride spinning off from Sophocles’ 2500-year-old Theban plays. Evans (The China Incident, I Want to Know What Love Is, I Should Have Drunk More Champagne) shines a blacklight into the bedrooms and basements of the most infamous family in mythology by reimagining them as the unseen but most gossiped-about family on the block. In this dark and savagely funny play we’re led by a chorus of quirky characters into the secret, tragic, desperate lives of a family cursed to be the centre of attention. Evans asks what devils lurk in our own backyards? How do tight-knit communities cope with unspeakable tragedy? How do we point the finger when there’s nowhere to lay the blame? And who ends up playing the monster? Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is the story of a tragedy no one saw coming, but everyone wants to talk about. Warning: Some coarse language
Queensland Theatre Company presents the little red company production – Rumour Has It
Created by Adam Brunes & Naomi Price 8 July to 11 July at the Bille Brown Studio, The GreenHouse
Music Director: Jason McGregor
Original Arrangements: Naomi Price, Jason McGregor & Michael Manikus
Vocal Arrangements: Naomi Price & Luke Kennedy
Cast: Naomi Price with Mik Easterman, Rachel Everett-Jones, Andrew Johnson, Luke Kennedy, Michael Manikus, Jason McGregor and Lai Utovou.
Part MTV unplugged, part intimate bedroom lament, Rumour Has It marries a modern-day music legend with Australia’s fastest-rising cabaret star. You’re invited to spend an evening with Adele: Grammy goddess, young mum, and potty-mouthed everywoman. Joined on stage by a big band of Australia’s best musicians, Adele spills all the intimate details about life on the road, love on the rocks, and the prick who took a sledgehammer to her heart. Award-winning Rumour Has It stars Naomi Price, last seen in 2014’s smash hit Gloria, in her acclaimed portrayal of the pop idol, and features hits including Skyfall, Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You. The show has become one of Australia’s most-loved original cabarets. In this brand new season, she’s busting out some new songs, with fresh arrangements – and her infamous, up-to-the-moment, scathing social satire, delivered the way only a loudmouthed Londoner can. “Adele is a remarkable storyteller. She’s an accidental superstar – an underdog – and as we know, Australians love nothing more than getting behind the underdog.” Naomi Price
Warning: Coarse language and adult themes. Recommended 15 years and over.
Originally produced in association with the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts
Queensland Theatre Company presents a Force of Circumstance production – Home
14 July to 25 July at Studio 2, The GreenHouse
Writer/Producer/Co-Director: Margi Brown Ash
Co-Director/Co-Deviser: Leah Mercer
Performers: Margi Brown Ash and Travis Ash
Part performance, part installation and part conversation, in Home spectators become co-creators as they share their stories of where they came from. Laying bare her own personal yarns from an amazing life, Brisbane theatremaker Margi Brown Ash weaves backwards and forwards through time and criss-crosses the globe in this moving and uplifting story of belonging and not belonging. Her own life is one of movement and constant reincarnation – from a schoolgirl dreaming of the future in 1960s country NSW, to a Number 96 soapie starlet in ’70s Sydney, then an actor in ’80s New York. Yet Brisbane has become a constant, a safe port from the rolling seas and changing tides of life. Home is a sensitive, affecting and intimate theatre experience. After development in Mexico, the USA and Brisbane’s Metro Arts and as part of La Boite’s indie season, the critically praised show has found a new home at QTC.
“The original idea of Home grew out of a letter I received from one of my daughters while they were living in Palestine, describing how a family’s house had just been bulldozed down. The next few years were spent writing this play, as a way to understand the importance of home.” Margi Brown Ash
JULY – AUGUST
Queensland Theatre Company and Queensland Performing Arts Centre present Country Song
By Reg Cribb / Original concept by Michael Tuahine 4 July to 8 August at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
Director: Wesley Enoch
Cast includes: Michael Tuahine
As Sydney Opera House throws open its doors in 1973 with an extravagant gala concert, another Australian icon is having a backstage crisis. Indigenous singing superstar Jimmy Little is to croon for Queen Elizabeth II, but the words won’t come. In Country Song, Jimmy is whisked on a road trip to his past as his story weaves into those of his contemporaries. Inspired by true life experiences of singers like Wilma Reading, Auriel Andrew, Bobby McLeod, Vic Simms, Roger Knox and Lionel Rose. Once a smiling, cheeky child of Vaudevillians, now a poster boy for Indigenous performers, Jimmy wrestles with whether to take the Opera House stage or quietly fade away. Filled with Jimmy’s best-known tunes, Country Song is a beautiful, musical, witty and warming journey that celebrates the healing power of music. Don’t miss the world premiere of this exciting new Indigenous work specially commissioned for Queensland Theatre Company and co-produced with QPAC. Reg Cribb has won the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award, two WA Premier’s Literary Awards, the major WA Premier’s award, a NSW Premier’s Literary Award and a QLD Literary Premier’s Award. This script won the 2013 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award for New Work.
JULY – AUGUST
Queensland Theatre Company presents Happy Days
By Samuel Beckett 18 July to 15 August at the Bille Brown Studio, The GreenHouse
Director: Wesley Enoch
Cast includes: Carol Burns
Winnie is trapped. Buried to her waist in a desolate place, under the pitiless gaze of the sun, she kindles hope out of a hundred little rituals and distracts herself with chatter and her meagre bag of possessions as her slow sink into oblivion continues. Is this brave woman the eternal optimist – or just deep in denial? Samuel Beckett’s absurd, surreal masterpiece Happy Days is a powerful tale of resilience and of one woman’s struggle to survive against the odds – a rueful hymn to the adaptability and indomitability of the human spirit, and an exploration of the meaning of life itself. Winnie is a tour-de-force role for a female actor, and Queensland theatre icon Carol Burns is set to bring her to life at the Bille Brown Studio. “Winnie has a brave heart first and foremost. We are all trying to make our way through life as best we can and Winnie uses all the resources that are available to her, wisely husbanded, to get through the day. This script is like a piece of music and you must let yourself feel it through to the end, and then consider the journey.” Carol Burns
JULY – AUGUST
Queensland Theatre Company presents – Grounded
29 July to 15 August at Studio 2, The GreenHouse
Director: Andrea Moor
Cast: Libby Munro
She was the queen of the skies. The Air Force’s finest. Top Gun. She lived for the squeeze of the trigger as she rained missiles down on the minarets below. But then she fell in love, fell pregnant, and fell back to earth with a bump. Rekindling her career, The Pilot finds warfare has changed. No longer soaring above the battlefield, instead she slumps in a chair in the Nevada desert, peering at images of a different desert half a world away for twelve hours at a time. She’s a Reaper drone pilot, remotely controlling a death-dealing robot, a pitiless $11 million eye in the sky that can obliterate a convoy or village in seconds. As the sands of America and Afghanistan start to blur, The Pilot realises it’s one thing to go off to war, but quite another to fight. a war wirelessly, clock off, and kiss your child goodnight. Featuring Libby Munro, who stunned audiences and critics with her blistering Matilda award winning performance in 2013’s Venus in Fur, as The Pilot.
AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
Queensland Theatre Company presents The Seagull
By Anton Chekhov / Adapted by Todd MacDonald and Daniel Evans 29 August to 26 September at the Bille Brown Studio, The GreenHouse
Directors: Todd MacDonald and Daniel Evans
Cast: Emily Burton, Helen Cassidy, Nicholas Gell, Amy Ingram, Jason Klarwein, Barbara Lowing, Brian Lucas, Christen O’Leary, Hugh Parker and Lucas Stibbard. Gather artists in a room and sparks are going to fly. That’s why Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and Queensland Theatre Company’s Actors Studio are perfect partners. Artistic Associate Todd MacDonald works with Daniel Evans to marshal an ensemble cast of ten acclaimed Brisbane actors in this contemporary retelling of a play with grand themes that resonate down through the ages. When famed but fading theatrical diva Arkadina brings her entourage – including her writer lover Trigorin and tortured, unconventional playwright son Konstantin – to seek solace at her brother’s country hideaway, she unwittingly sets light to a powderkeg of repressed emotions as flames of passion are lit and extinguished and love triangles mesh together and drift apart.
The combined skills of a stellar cast take centre stage in QTC’s Actors Studio production. The enduring brilliance of the text is emphasised in this stripped-back, raw experience that cuts to the heart of the heartbreak in a classic play about all the things which still fascinate humankind – family, power, sex, fame and passion.
OCTOBER – NOVEMBER
Queensland Theatre Company present The Odd Couple
By Neil Simon 17 October to 8 November at the Playhouse, QPAC
Director: Wesley Enoch
Cast: Jason Klarwein and Tama Matheson
Suddenly single after his wife throws him out on the street, despairing journalist Felix reluctantly accepts the hospitality of his buddy Oscar, a sportswriter and Grade A slob. Oscar’s sprawling apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side would once have been palatial – but after his own recent divorce, he lives in the midst of an ever-growing midden of domestic detritus. A big spender, a problem gambler, a hedonist, a boozer and a rake, he’s everything the neurotically neat and fastidious Felix is not. They’re the best of pals, but living together is proving a bit of a stretch. A classic comedy from Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Award-winning American playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon,The Odd Couple reteams the odd couple from 2013’s Design For Living, Jason Klarwein and Tama Matheson, as the housemates from hell. Director Wesley Enoch recreates the magic and chaos of the beloved 1968 film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.
NOVEMBER – DECEMBER
Queensland Theatre Company in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre presentsLadies in Black
Book by Carolyn Burns / Music and lyrics by Tim Finn / Adapted from the book THE WOMEN IN BLACK by Madeleine St John
14 November to 6 December at the Playhouse, QPAC
Director: Simon Phillips
Cast includes: Christen O’Leary
Step through the doors of F.G. Goode’s department store and into a marvellous musical whirl of glitz and glamour with Ladies in Black. This world premiere adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, The Women in Black, is brought to life by internationally-acclaimed director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies) with original music from superstar singer and musician, Tim Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House). Sydney is crossing the threshold between the stuffy repression of the 1950s and the glorious liberation of the 1960s. Bright-eyed bookish school leaver Lisa is to join the sales staff in the city’s most prestigious department store. In that summer of innocence, a world of possibilities opens up as she befriends the colourful denizens of the women’s frocks department – including her new mentor, the exotic European Magda, mysterious mistress of the gowns. With a dash of delicate comedy, Ladies in Black is a magical modern-day fairytale set in a city on the cusp of becoming cosmopolitan, and marks the triumphant return of musical theatre to Queensland Theatre Company’s stage. Ladies in Black is supported by Arts Queensland through the Super Star Fund, a Queensland Government program that delivers super star performances exclusive to the state.