Never Did Me Any Harm – STC’s opening work for 2012

Never Did Me Any Harm - Photo by Tim Richardson
Marta Dusseldorp & Sarah Jayne Howard. Image by Tim Richardson

If you, like a large proportion of the Australian population, have watched the new ABC drama The Slap on TV, be sure to tune into the Sydney Theatre Company’s opening show for 2012.

STC opens its 2012 season with the premiere of unique dance theatre work Never Did Me Any Harm, a co-production with physical theatre company Force Majeure and presented as part of The Sydney Festival. Inspired by the same novel that has gripped a nation on prime-time TV, Christos Tsiolkas’ best-seller The SlapNever Did Me Any Harm explores the diversity of attitudes towards bringing up children.

This is a unique collaboration between Force Majeure’s Artistic Director Kate Champion and dramaturg and Sydney Theatre Company Co-Artistic Director Andrew Upton that is sure to encourage audiences to think about parenting, people, and our own backyards and performances start at Wharf 1 theatre from 6 January ahead of a run at the Adelaide Festival in March.

Director and choreographer Champion, known from transforming the prosaic into poetry through works like Not in a Million Years, The Age I’m In, and Same, Same But Different, conducted a series of interviews with people across all age-groups and backgrounds to collect their views on the subject of parenting. The performance includes extracts from those interviews, spoken verbatim, by an eight-strong cast of actors and dancers.

The performers will examine the complexities of parenting using a fusion of movement and text, raising questions like, are children today given too much choice? and Are there too few boundaries?

The cast for Never Did Me Any Harm is highly acclaimed and includes Marta Dusseldorp (Helpmann Award Winner for The War of the Roses), Heather Mitchell (True West) and Force Majeure regular Sarah Jayne Howard (Greenroom Award for ‘Best Female Dancer’ for Inuk).

Never Did Me Any Harm is produced in association with Adelaide Festival and Melbourne Festival and has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and Arts NSW.

From 6 January to 12 February 2012. Opening night: Wednesday 11 January at 8pmAt: Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company, The Wharf, Pier 4 Hickson Road, Walsh BayBox Office: (02) 9250 1777, $35 – $75 


Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney. She studied communication and media at the University of Newcastle, where she began honing her professional writing and critical analysis skills, as well as publishing creative works in several journals and magazines. She has previously reviewed music and theatre for numerous online hubs including LiveGuide, BroadwayWorld Australia, and Time Out Sydney. Cassie can usually be found in a theatre foyer somewhere soaking up the atmosphere.

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