Following on from previously produced musicals Bran Nue Dae and the Sapphires, Western Australia’s The Black Swan State Theatre Company announced it would end its 2015 season with the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Next to Normal. Starring Rachel Beck the musical has been voted one of the top ten musicals of the 21st century.
Four plays and a musical will make up the program presented in the Heath Ledger Theatre including the 1992 Pulitzer Prize winning American drama Glengarry Glen Ross and Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit. Two plays will continue to excite audience in the Studio Underground as Black Swan continues to provide opportunities for original and thought provoking pieces.
The season includes a mix of classics, comedies, family productions and a new Australian work. “We invite audiences to join us for a sassy season of surprises; magic, greed, laughter, music and mayhem” said artistic director Kate Cherry.
Check out the complete program below:
By Moira Buffini
14 – 29 March
A black satirical comedy full of razor-sharp wit, memorable characters and drama that is deliciously entertaining.
Paige Janssen, the hostess with the mostest, throws a glamorous dinner party to celebrate the release of her husband’s new self-help book. She is determined to have everything perfect and has gone to great lengths to prepare the menu, even hiring a waiter just for the occasion.
An eclectic mix of characters have been artfully invited, including a sex bomb newsreader and her seemingly mismatched husband – a microbiologist, an undiscovered artist and a surprise guest.
The evening takes a bizarre turn when Paige serves inedible dishes and manipulates her bemused guests into divulging their deepest secrets. It soon becomes clear they have been invited to the dinner party from hell – one that they will never forget!
Glengarry Glen Ross
By David Mamet
23 May – 14 June
IT TAKES BRASS BALLS TO SELL REAL ESTATE.
A master work of modern theatre about greed, desperation and ruthless ambition.
Internationally acclaimed and the subject of a critically admired film, David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story of salesmen struggling to stay afloat in the cut-throat world of Chicago real estate is not to be missed.
Equal parts snappy dialogue, black humour and verbal abuse, Glengarry Glen Ross follows four real estate agents presented with a dilemma: sell undesirable property to unwilling buyers or find a new job. Ricky Roma is the smooth talker, Shelly “The Machine” Levene is on a bad run, George Aaronow suffers from low self-esteem and Dave Moss is the bigmouth with dreams and schemes.
With the office manager, John Williamson, selling prime leads for cash, the four men go to any lengths – including bribery, threats and burglary – to close the deal.
By Noël Coward’s
18 July – 9 Aug
A HILARIOUS AND FANTASTICAL COMEDY ABOUT ‘ASTRAL BIGAMY’.
Warring wives, laughter, magic and mayhem – you’ll never get enough of it in this farcical play full of spectral action.
While researching his next novel, Charles Condomine employs the services of a clairvoyant to see whether it is possible to contact souls in the afterlife. Unfortunately for Charles, the psychic summons the ghost of his dead wife, Elvira. It’s soon clear that the morally untidy Elvira wishes to reunite with her husband, much to the dismay of Charles’ new (and living) wife, Ruth.
Widely considered to be Noël Coward’s greatest work, Blithe Spirit treats its grim subject matter with gratifying frivolity, offering a playful look at what lies beyond the grave, and what happens when love comes back to haunt us.
By Hannie Rayson
19 September – 4 October
HOW DO WE CHOOSE WHAT’S WORTH SAVING?
The death of an endangered tiger quoll is the critical backdrop to an Australian story about our very survival.
Andy Dixon is a vet who believes strongly in preserving the environment and our natural resources. When his lover, the determined conservation biologist Dr Piper Ross, agrees to undertake research paid for by the CEO of a mining company, he begins to question her methods and his feelings toward her.
Little does she know that Andy has been diagnosed with a rare illness, and his life is in as much danger as the species she is trying to save.
From the mind of Helpmann Award-winning Australian playwright, Hannie Rayson (Hotel Sorrento, Life After George), comes the world premiere of Extinction, a unique drama with a timely and important message of environmental awareness and conservation.
Next to Normal
Music by Tom Kitt, Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
7 – 22 November
AN ELECTRIFYING ROCK MUSICAL OF FAMILIAL PROPORTIONS.
A Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning rock musical that has enthralled audiences on Broadway and will be a first for Perth.
Meet Diana Goodman, loving wife and mother who wants nothing more than for her husband Dan and their two children to get along like one big happy family. But in a seemingly perfect suburban neighbourhood, their struggles, like most families, are anything but normal. They test and mock each other at every turn – but how are they meant to cope when one of them suffers from hallucinations?
Filled with music, fun and pathos, this play revolutionised the genre and is the most critically acclaimed musical since Rent.
Featuring songs like “My Psychopharmacologist and I”, “Didn’t I See This Movie?”, and “Superboy and The Invisible Girl” – this world-class production is the prescription you need for the ultimate in contemporary music entertainment.
Studio Underground Season
Venus in Fur
By David Ives
15 January – 8 February
A ROLLER COASTER RIDE OF SEXUAL TENSION IN THE ULTIMATE BATTLE OF THE SEXES.
A sexy and gripping exploration of domination and power – part comedy, part thriller.
The play follows Thomas, a New York playwright so fascinated with fiery actress Vanda, he confuses fact with fiction, and becomes her willing slave, or does he? Things take a turn for the strange when Vanda comes to enjoy and abuse her newfound power.
Ives’ sexually charged comedy was the most produced play in the US in 2013-2014, lauded by Broadway audiences and the subject of a recent film.
This quirky take on the intimate relationship between man and woman, is sure to ignite excitement. Can you respect those without power? Can you love those you cannot respect? Venus in Fur is a brilliantly written psychological strip tease that will keeping audiences enraptured until the thrilling conclusion.
The Red Balloon
By Albert Lamorisse
Stage Adaptation by Hilary Bell
1– 17 October
A TALE OF MAGIC AND FREINDSHIP FOUND IN THE MOST UNLIKELY OF PLACES.
A first in family programming for Black Swan and a much anticipated school holiday and family special – one for all to enjoy.
On his way to school, a young boy finds a red balloon tangled around a lamp post. Soon after rescuing it, the boy discovers the balloon has a mind of its own! Together, the boy and his balloon wander the streets, exploring the neighbourhood and searching for adventure.
Based on the Academy Award-winning short film of the same name, The Red Balloon is the world premiere of the stage adaptation by Hilary Bell as conceived by emerging artist India Mehta.
Subscriptions are available now through Black Swan Website or phone Black Swan on 6212 9300.
Individual tickets are on sale from Monday 10 November through Ticketek.