The Speechmaker

31 May — 5 July 2014

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From Working Dog, the iconic team behind classic Australian films such as The Castle and The Dish, as well as TV series Frontline and The Hollowmen, comes a hilarious political satire about global power and the fumbling hands that hold it.

Air Force One is London-bound for a surprise Christmas meeting between the US President and the British PM. It will be a diplomatic coup, not to mention one hell of a media opportunity – a no-risk vote-winner for the price of a little jet fuel, and the chance for the Leader of the Free World to give the speech of a lifetime.

Yet with the seatbelt signs barely switched off, what appears to be a major international crisis begins to unfold. As the stakes rise and the clock ticks, the President and his advisors are forced to make some uncomfortable decisions.

Boasting a stellar ensemble cast featuring Erik Thomson (Packed to the Rafters) as the President, as well as Offspring’s Lachy Hulme and Kat Stewart, The Speechmaker promises to be an exhilarating stage debut from one of this country’s most successful creative groups.

Image: Sean Fennessy & Tom Ross

Nicholas Bell

Nicholas Bell

Jane Harber

Jane Harber

Sheridan Harbridge

Sheridan Harbridge

Sheridan has appeared for MTC in The Speechmaker and The Beast. An actor, performer and writer in drama, comedy and musicals, she has appeared in Jump for Jordan and Smudge and Frog for Griffin; Gaybies for Darlinghurst Theatre; Shafana & Aunt Sarrinah for the Alex Buzo Company; Macbeth for GATS; The Hipbone Sticking Out and Blue Angel for Big Hart; and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, The Bald Soprano, Miss Julie, The Bear, and Love’s Labour’s Lost for NIDA; and as writer and performer in Songs for the Fallen and Mrs Bang: A Series of Seductions in 55 Minutes for the Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide Cabaret festivals. She has appeared on the musical stage in An Officer and a Gentleman (GFO Enterprises), Dream Song (VAC), My Favourite Year (Neglected Musicals), My Fair Lady (Opera Australia), Cabaret (New Theatre), Risky Lunar Love (504 Productions), Threepenny Opera (Red Room Theatre), Carmen (Opera Australia), Fiddler on the Roof (TML Enterprises), The Wild Blue (BAPA). She has appeared on television in Dr Blake Mysteries, Wild Boys, and All Saints, and in the feature film Andy X.

Brent Hill

Brent Hill

Lachy Hulme

Lachy Hulme

David James

David James

Christopher Kirby

Christopher Kirby

Kat Stewart

Kat Stewart

Erik Thomson

Erik Thomson

Toby Truslove

Toby Truslove

Sam-Strong.jpg

Sam Strong

Dale Ferguson

Dale Ferguson

Paul-Jackson.jpg

Paul Jackson

Russell Goldsmith

Russell Goldsmith

Kat Henry

Kat Henry

Jenny Kent

Jenny Kent

Voice and Dialect Coach

Chris Mead

Chris Mead

Chris is Literary Director of Melbourne Theatre Company. He has been the inaugural Artistic Director of PlayWriting Australia; Literary Manager of Company B Belvoir; Curator of the Australian National Playwrights’ Conference; Festival Director of the International Festival for Young Playwrights; and Wharf 2LOUD Producer and Literary Manager of Sydney Theatre Company. His recent directing credits include Ian Wilding’s Rare Earth (NIDA 2011) and Quack (Griffin 2010); and Damien Millar’s The Modern International Dead (Griffin 2008), which won Best New Play at the Sydney Theatre Critics’ Awards and the WA Premier’s Literary Award, as well as being shortlisted for the NSW, Queensland and Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Chris has a PhD from Sydney University, was awarded an inaugural Dramaturgy Fellowship by the Australia Council for the Arts in 2004 and was selected to attend New Visions New Voices at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center in 2008. His monograph What is an Australian Play? on institutional racism and outreach strategies was published by Currency House in June, 2008; and he has recently written introductions to Currency Press volumes by Lachlan Philpott and Lally Katz.

In 2009, Chris was named as one of Sydney’s 100 Creative Catalysts as part of the Creative Sydney Festival. He sat on the steering committee for the 2011 Australian Theatre Forum and on the Board of Arena Theatre Company from 2008-13, is on the artistic directorate of Hothouse Theatre, and has just joined the Board of Theatre Network Victoria.