Show artwork for 2015: Another great year of storytelling

2015: Another great year of storytelling

The theme is ‘Life in Living Colour’ and, in announcing MTC’s 2015 Mainstage Season, Brett Sheehy said his unswerving purpose for the year would be ‘to brighten and enliven the lives of Melbourne theatre audiences’.

‘I invite you to be enthralled, delighted, provoked and challenged with MTC in 2015,’ Sheehy told a packed Hamer Hall on 4 September. ‘Season 2015 spans a tremendous range of themes and performance styles, from the austere poetry of the Beckett masterpiece Endgame to the thrilling escapism of North by Northwest – and all points in between.’

The highlights of 2015 include eleven mainstage productions, a family show, an education production, the third NEON Festival of Independent Theatre, the return of Cybec Electric play readings, and productions touring regionally, interstate and internationally.

‘I am especially proud of the new Australian works gracing our stages providing mainstage opportunities for four terrific Australian writers and two composers,’ he said. ‘And, our inaugural MTC Women Directors Program in 2014 will bear immediate results with five of the eleven mainstage shows directed by women.’

Let’s run through the details. Melbourne audiences will be the first to see four brand-new Australian works next year. They comprise: Carolyn Burns’s stage adaptation of the classic Hitchcock film North by Northwest, directed by Simon Phillips; a larrikin take on the ANZAC centenary from Steve Vizard and Paul Grabowsky, The Last Man Standing, a work promising to be unlike any other in the year of commemorations; a new play from Kylie Trounson, The Waiting Room, which draws on her own childhood to tell the story of her father, IVF pioneer Alan Trounson; and a boutique gem of a musical by Tim Rogers and Aidan Fennessy, which draws inspiration from Rogers’s iconic album What Rhymes with Cars and Girls.

These world premieres take their place alongside the best and most interesting plays from overseas – some startlingly new, others exciting revivals. Comedy queen Jane Turner revisits motherhood in Jumpy, a hilarious West End hit directed by Pamela Rabe. From British playwright Simon Stephens comes Birdland, a story about an imploding rock star played by Mark Leonard Winter. Buyer and Cellar is an adoring fan letter to Barbra Streisand, a one-man extravaganza starring Ash Flanders. A charming family treat by Tasmanian writer Finegan Kruckemeyer, The Boy at the Edge of Everything, takes audiences on an extra-terrestrial adventure for ages eight and up. MTC’s Education production for senior students is I Call My Brothers, an acclaimed Swedish play recreating a day in the mind of a young Arab man after a terrorist attack. These five productions are all Australian premieres.

Season 2015 also contains four modern classics. Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece Endgame, directed by MTC Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong, sees master craftsman Colin Friels return to the Company. Ariel Dorfman’s stunning world-wide hit Death and the Maiden stars Susie Porter and is directed by Argentinian-born MTC Associate Director Leticia Càceres. Nadine Garner shines amid locals swapping ghost stories in the multi-award-winning Irish play The Weir. And acclaimed actress Alison Bell finds herself at the centre of a love triangle in Betrayal, Harold Pinter’s most arresting relationship drama.

Beyond the theatre stages, the Company will maintain its activity in a number of developmental areas. MTC’s NEON Festival of Independent Theatre is back for its third year, together with the popular Cybec Electric play readings, Women Directors’ Program, MTC CONNECT and MTC Ambassadors. MTC’s vital education productions and programs are enhanced by even more initiatives under the banner Sharing the Light which will see greatly increased access for students, children and families across Victoria.

In 2015, MTC, takes Complexity of Belonging to Europe, tours interstate with Jumpy, co-produces Death and the Maiden with Sydney Theatre Company, and is a program partner of MPavilion and part of the new Southbank outdoor summer festival, SummerSalt.

Dazzling and vibrant, MTC Season 2015 is not to be missed.

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Published on 5 September 2014