Cate Blanchett headed an all-star cast in the opening night performance of A Streetcar Named Desire on Saturday night, just days after she sustained an injury on stage that forced a preview to be cancelled.
Blanchett is the major factor in the show selling out for the Sydney Theatre Company, of which Blanchett is co-Artistic Director.
Blanchett was injured during Wednesday night’s performance when a prop was thrown at her head. It forced that preview to be cancelled mid-performance but Blanchett returned to the stage the following night.
It is understood the scene in which the incident happened has been reviewed but no major changes to the way it is staged have been implemented.
On Saturday, Blanchett was sensational at the show’s opening and received a raptous applause from the audience.
AussieTheatre.com reviewer Caitlin Wright said of Blanchett’s performance: “From prim and proper to confused and belittled, she plays each transition of this woman’s downfall with understanding and aplomb. It literally feels as though she is embodying Blanche, and at the end of the production Blanchett looks so startled you see how much emotion she invests into this absorbing character.”
The three-and-a-half hour epic is set to be the best performing show of the year for the STC.
Directed by Liv Ullmann, the show stars Blanchett alongside Michael Denkha, Joel Edgerton, Elaine Hudson, Gertraud Ingeborg, Morgan David Jones, Russell Kiefel, Jason Klarwein, Mandy McElhinney, Robin McLeavy, Tim Richards, Sara Zwangobani and musician Alan John.
A Streetcar Named Desire is a compelling and sensuous play which features some of the most memorable characters in theatrical history. The battle between Blanche and Stanley comes to embody nothing less than the battle between tradition and progress itself. The quasi-aristocratic world of plantations, mint juleps and poetry at dusk going head to head with the emerging urban, industrial uberlith of the all-beer, all-poker New America.
With performances up until the planned closing night on October 17 sold out, the play has suddenly become the hottest ticket in town.
The Sydney Theatre Company says that should returned tickets become available, they will be released for sale online from 11am on the day of performance.
Of the production itself, Caitlin Wright said: “Ullmann’s tightly choreographed production shows us that black or white is far too simplistic; the lives of real people are always in shades of grey.”
She added: “As the production draws to a close and Blanche utters those immortal words: ‘I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,’ those of us lucky enough to have gained a ticket for this show feel as though we’ve witnessed a truly great piece of theatre.”
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