Sydney Theatre Company tonight unveiled its 2018 Season – Kip Williams’ first as Artistic Director. It is a bold program of sixteen shows across five venues which will inspire, challenge and entertain audiences. The season comprises a range of new works by Australian writers, the epic stage adaptation of a beloved trilogy of novels, and the return of a rarely produced Australian classic. These sit alongside ground-breaking and inventive new productions of contemporary and classic international works.
Speaking about the season, Artistic Director Kip Williams said:
“The theatre is where we come to find pleasure, to ask questions, to understand ourselves, and to negotiate our society. In 2018, these traits are the bedrock of the season. I’ve aimed to put together works that reflect our city and our community. The writing comes from some of the world’s great playwrights, who give lively and expressive shape to timely questions around political leadership, social responsibility, gender equality and race relations.
“There’s an exciting array of new Australian plays – some from familiar voices, others from writers making their debut. One such debut is H Lawrence Sumner’s The Long Forgotten Dream, which brings Neil Armfield back to STC to direct Wayne Blair in a beautiful tale of family and belonging. Nakkiah Lui’s voice is significant in our national discourse, and a cornerstone of our season. We’re very excited to present two of her plays next year – the bold new Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death, and a limited return season of the hit Black is the New White.
“We also see the return of our finest actors in big, iconic roles. Hugo Weaving is back as the ruthlessly charming villain in Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Jane Turner joins a cast of Australia’s finest comedians in Dario Fo’s outrageously funny Accidental Death of an Anarchist. Yael Stone returns to Australia to lead the cast in George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. Helen Thomson takes on the role of Marlene in Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls. Pamela Rabe and Sarah Peirse team up in The Children, an outstanding new drama from British playwright Lucy Kirkwood (Chimerica), and we also get to experience Sarah in Patrick White’s masterpiece, A Cheery Soul.
“In the second half of the year comes one of the most ambitious productions STC has created. Ruth Park’s classic Australian novels, The Harp in the South trilogy, have been adapted for the stage by the prodigious Kate Mulvany. Performed across two parts, this beloved story of the Darcy family will feature an ensemble of 18 actors and an original score by Iain Grandage (The Secret River). I’m delighted to be directing this major new work.
“Bringing new Australian plays to the stage requires dedicated support for our writers. It’s inspiring that three of next year’s plays came through our Rough Drafts development program – The Long Forgotten Dream, Lethal Indifference, and Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story. We’re proud to be developing new work through Rough Drafts, and looking to the future with our new Emerging Writers’ Group and their work with our Patrick White Fellow Andrew Bovell.”