Melbourne Theatre Company Artistic Director Brett Sheehy today announced the full program of MTC’s highly anticipated 2014 NEON Festival of Independent Theatre.

Between 29 May and 3 August this year, MTC will welcome five independent companies – Little Ones Theatre, angus cerini / doubletap, Antechamber Productions & Daniel Keene, Arthur and Sans Hotel – to present a work of their choice, each for a ten-day season in the Lawler at Southbank Theatre.

Brett Sheehy said, ‘NEON is dedicated to celebrating the diverse and wonderful independent theatre landscape in Melbourne, supporting independent companies and the work they want to make. We’re delighted to once again open our doors to discussion, debate and discourse and to another five innovative companies as they each present a brand new work. It is guaranteed to be three months of exhilarating and daring theatre. We can’t wait to share with you NEON 2014, full of outstanding activities and new productions from some of Melbourne’s most talented artists.’

Building on the success of the inaugural NEON Festival, which was honoured Best Theatre of 2013 by The Monthly, five original works will be accompanied by a host of exciting, free NEON EXTRA events including an exclusive keynote conversation with Barrie Kosky and a new addition to the Festival, NEON UP LATE curated and presented by MKA.

NEON Managing Producer Martina Murray said, ‘Not only do we have five brilliant companies presenting works of their choice, this year NEON has grown, with new activities programmed to enhance the festival experience. We are thrilled to have MKA join us with a series of late night play readings for NEON UP LATE, and that the ever-inspiring and thought-provoking director, Barrie Kosky will be part of an expanded NEON EXTRA program.’

The five NEON companies and their new works are:

Little Ones Theatre opens NEON with a decidedly queer vision of Dangerous Liaisons that promises to be seductive, extravagant and opulently playful.

angus cerini / doubletap delve into the nature of existence in Resplendence, using the international trade in weapons, drugs and humans to springboard into an expressionistic response to the world in which we live.

Collaborating especially for NEON, Antechamber Productions & Daniel Keene presents Photographs of A starring Helen Morse, a poetic production about the 19th century medical muse and extraordinarily influential figure in modern psychology, Louise Augustine Gleizes.

Arthur brings to the stage the first instalment of their multi-part examination of the Australian psyche, The Myth Project: Twin, a highly physical work about myth and murder, featuring a large ensemble cast.

Sans Hotel closes NEON with Green Screen, a production that is part careers expo, part social experiment that looks at identity and who we are when we can no longer be defined by what we do.

Taking place across three Friday nights and curated by MKA, NEON UP LATE is a series of informal readings at Southbank Theatre. Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise by Morgan Rose, Triumph by Louris van de Geer and Alraune by Meredith Penman will be brought to life by a team of directors and actors selected by MKA.

Publicly speaking about his career in Europe and thoughts on Australian culture as part of NEON EXTRA, Barrie Kosky will shake things up in a free keynote conversation with ABC Arts critic Alison Croggon in the Sumner.

The NEON EXTRA program will also offer Melbourne a platform to engage in robust discussion through the public conversation series, NEON TALKS. Esteemed industry professionals, journalists, writers and arts commentators including John Safran, Patricia Cornelius, Lyn Wallis and Alice Pung will come together to tackle some thought-provoking questions that face storytellers of Australia.

NEON EXTRA will also once again feature an impressive range of free workshops, masterclasses and networking opportunities for independent theatre makers, providing valuable knowledge and insight into the arts industry.