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Musical Divas rest the vocal chords

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Musical theatre stars Sharon Millerchip and Nancye Hayes will both appear in productions at the Ensemble Theatre next year, but neither of them will be singing.

Both Millerchip and Hayes will star in non-musical roles. Millerchip stars in the Neil Simon classic Last Of The Red Hot Lovers in November next year while Hayes stars alongside Zoe Carides and Richard Sydenham in the comedy Murderers.

Nine out of the 10 plays from the Ensemble 2010 season are new to Sydney audiences, and one is a world premiere from the legendary David Williamson.Rhinestone Sex And Miss Monica is a romantic comedy about a retired country and western singer who now renovates kitchens. He meets Monica, a classical violinist whilst installing her kitchen. She hates his taste in music but he finds her attractive. Can they make beautiful music together? The play opens in September.

There’s a new stage adaption of the Oscar winning film Rain Man about two brothers who find themselves in each other, featuring Alex Dimitriades and Daniel Mitchell in the roles made famous by Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. This Australian Premiere directed by Sandra Bates plays from May 4.

Two new female directors, both Ensemble graduates, Anna Crawford and Jennifer Don  are directing Brooklyn Boy and Between Us respectively, both fabulous contemporary plays from New York. Brooklyn Boy opens the 2010 season in January and features Brandon Burke, Daniel Mitchell and Lenore Smith  in a funny, touching and heartfelt examination of family, friends, and the effects of fame by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Donald Margulies. Between Us is a perceptively funny work by Joe Hortua about familiarities that breed contempt featuring Damian de Montemas (The Secret Life of Us) and Ben Mortley, another Australian Premiere playing from July 29

There’s a brand new drama about medical ethics called The God Committee by Mark St Germain. Seven medical experts have just one hour to decide who, out of three prospective patients, should receive a donor heart.  It’s their difficult task to decide who gets a second chance at life. This is a highly charged, intelligent drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The cast includes Ensemble graduate and paraplegic actor, Peter Turnbull alongside Robert Alexander and Pamela Jikiemi. It opens in July.

Ensemble’s very own  Henri Szeps has written a third play following his hit productions I’m Not A Dentist and Why Kids? His new play Wish I’d Said That features an elderly actor, who, despite having been forced by his daughter into a retirement home, can’t quite retire. He devises a show for all his fellow inmates wherein he will get to deliver all the greatest speeches of all the parts he never got to play.  An honest and insightful look at an actor’s life and a father’s regret.

Real-life married actors Brian Meegan and Kate Raison again team up in February for a two hander by Melbourne playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. Sandra Bates first directed Brian & Kate 13 years ago in Wrong For Eachother, and this time, they have ninety minutes to try and get it right. In Ninety,  Kate’s character Isabel has just ninety minutes to try and persuade her ex-husband to stay with her and not get on the plane to Paris to marry his new girlfriend. It’s a poignant and provocative examination of marriage.

Animals Out Of Paper is another Australian Premiere by new young American playwright Rajiv Joseph. This play is incredibly funny and refreshingly genuine about an origami artist, her biggest fan and a brilliant but troubled and annoying student.  Tara Morice plays the origami artist, and Drayton Morley her biggest fan.

More info: www.ensemble.com.au

 

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