Following a sold-out season at Sydney’s Belvoir in early 2011, the Helpmann Award-winning (including Best Play) adaptation of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck is electrically brought to life by two of the finest talents dominating the Australian stage today – Ewen Leslie (MTC’s Hamlet and Richard III, The Trial for Malthouse Theatre) and Toby Schmitz (Bell Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Belvoir’s Ruben Guthrie).

Director Simon Stone, creator of some of Malthouse Theatre's most memorable recent works (Thyestes, Baal), transplants Ibsen’s characters into the contemporary world in a new play tailor-made for an astonishing cast that also includes John Gaden (STC’s Uncle Vanya, Cloudstreet, Stuff Happens), Anita Hegh (STC’s Our Town and The City), Eloise Mignon (MTC’s The Grenade, Red Stitch’s In a Dark, Dark House) and Anthony Phelan (STC’s Uncle Vanya, Bell Shakespeare’s King Lear).

The Wild Duck. Pictured: Toby Schmitz, Eloise Mignon, Ewen Leslie + Anita Hegh. Photo: Garth Oriander.

Hjalmar Ekdal’s father was rich until scandal cast the family into poverty. Now he lives in a tiny flat with his father, his wife Gina and his daughter Hedvig. And a duck. And there’s about to be a new member of the household – Gregers Werle has just returned to town with some unfinished business that could shatter the little world that Hjalmar has built around himself.

Ibsen’s play had 18 characters. Stone takes the six most central to Ibsen’s tale and presents a tragic week in their lives. Ibsen’s five acts are expanded into 36 scenes in multiple locations, unfolding into a collective post mortem on the death of one of the characters – a heartbreaking vision of a perhaps- avoidable tragedy.

A perfect way to open Malthouse Theatre’s 2012 season, this taut, stripped-back rendition of a modern classic never lets up for a moment as the tense drama shrieks through the atmosphere like a rocket.

17 February – 17 March 2012 Merlyn Theatre

Written by Simon Stone with Chris Ryan after Henrik Ibsen

Directed by Simon Stone

Performed by John Gaden, Anita Hegh,
Ewen Leslie, Eloise Mignon, Anthony Phelan, Toby Schmitz

“Sharp, intelligent and gripping theatre.” Sun Herald, Sydney, 2011

“Stone has provided his actors with the room to act their guts out.” Time Out Magazine, 2011

VENUE: MERLYN THEATRE, THE MALTHOUSE, 113 STURT ST SOUTHBANK VIC 3006

OPENING NIGHT: TUESDAY 21 FEBRUARY AT 7.30PM
PREVIEWS: FRIDAY 17 & SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY AT 7.30PM & MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY AT 6.30PM SEASON: 17 FEBRUARY – 17 MARCH
WEDNESDAY TO SATURDAY 7.30PM. TUESDAY 6.30PM. SUNDAY 5PM.
MATINEES: THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY AT 2PM & SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY, SATURDAY 3 MARCH & SATURDAY 10 MARCH AT 2PM, THURSDAY 1, 8 & 15 MARCH AT 1PM, WEDNESDAY 15 MARCH AT 1PM BOOKING INFO: WWW.MALTHOUSETHEATRE.COM.AU / 03 9685 5111
TICKET PRICES: $26 – $58 (INCLUDING BOOKING FEE)

 

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