With 2014 marking the 10th anniversary of La Boite’s move to the Roundhouse Theatre, they are celebrating with a program of twelve plays: four main house, seven indie productions, and one summer holiday family show.
The La Boite 2014 Season Launch on Tuesday 3rd December, as expected, started in true theatrical style, with smoke machines and x-files themed music, as an alien emerged from the mist in the La Boite Theatre ground’s court yard
La Boite artistic director David Berthold described the 2014 season as full of “joyous comedy, high adventure, twists on the familiar and turns of the unexpected”. It will include works by a number of Australian writers (David Burton, Claire Christian, Niz Jabour, Richard Jordan, Lally Katz, Kathryn Marquet, Louis Nowra and Sven Swenson); new international theatre; and new interpretations of two classic plays.
The alien who welcomed us was played by Kathryn Marquet, is one of the new Australian writers who enjoyed the support of La Boite’s Writer-in-Residence program and will be premiering her new work Pale Blue Dot as part of La Boite’s Main Stage season. Pale Blue Dot will be playing 19 July – 9 August.
David Berthold debuts as a director of a new work with this piece and will be joined by Hugh Parker in the lead role as an insurance fraud agent investigating an alien abduction claim. Pale Blue Dot is a comedy that investigates more than aliens; its themes are alienation and the terrifying, perhaps comforting, thought that we are not alone.
Also directed by David Berthold, a long-time collaborator with Louis Nowra, the main stage will present the classic Australian comedy COSI. Starring Jessica Marais and James Stewart, the two well known TV actors (Packed to the Rafters), made an appearance at the launch to talk about this much loved play. Joining them onstage will be Jennifer Flowers, Amy Ingram, Benjamin Schostakowski, Aaron Davison, Anthony Standish and Trevor Stuart as a motley bunch of mental patients including an obsessive-compulsive, a manic depressive, and a junkie. Lewis, a young theater director straight out of university, is employed to wrangle these inmates to stage a production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte. The only problem is, none of them can speak Italian, let alone sing. Cosi will be playing 8 February – 8 March.
Another classic play La Boite will be presenting as part of their main house program is an adaptation, by Lally Katz, of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House. Directed by Steven Mitchell Wright, Ibsen’s great psychological thriller, which was recently named as the world’s most performed play, is the story of Nora, who seems to have it all: a successful husband, wonderful children and a beautiful home. But this picture perfect life is actually a complicated trap of secrets and lies. A story of domestic revolution, marriage and motherhood, female empowerment and the journey towards self-liberation. A Doll’s House will be playing 6 – 27 September.
The last main stage production is a newer work from overseas, cheekily titled COCK. Written by Mike Bartlett the play has earned rave reviews overseas. Telling of a love triangle with a contemporary twist, the production comes straight from the Melbourne Theatre Company, where it premiered under the direction of MTC’s Associate Director Leticia Càceres. Starring Greenroom award winner Tom Conroy, the ‘razor-sharp’ play is set to original music by multi-ARIA winner Missy Higgins. Cock will be playing 27 March – 12 April.
And now onto the La Boite Indie program. This was first mounted in 2010, with the aim, as outlined in their season launch brochure, of nurturing “a sustainable independent theatre culture in Brisbane, to enable closer ties between independent practice and La Boite, to help create outstanding theatre made with passion and rigor, and to cultivate new audiences for theatre right across the city … to nurture a sustainable independent theatre culture in Brisbane, to enable closer ties between independent practice and La Boite, to help create outstanding theatre made with passion and rigor, and to cultivate new audiences for theatre right across the city.”
The first La Boite Indie production, in association with Mophead and Catnip Production, is 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog. Directed by Anthony Skuse the story unearths a surprising commonality between a grandson learning to face his life and a grandmother who is starting to forget hers. 4000 Miles will be playing 30 April – 17 May.
Next up on the Indie agenda is Pentimento Production’s Sundial Plays: Angel Gear and Dangerfield Park. Written by Sven Swenson, the two inter-connected plays will be presented in repertory through the season.
Directed by Brian Lucas and Sven Swenson, Angel Gear uncovers a world of drugs and prostitution and will be playing 14 October – 8 November.
Set just an hour away but worlds apart, Dangerfield Park explores the impact of a brutal gay bashing on a tight-nit group of friends. Dangerfield Park will be playing 21 October – 5 November.
Presented by Full Throttle Theatre and La Boite Indie is writer/performer Niz Jabour’s produciton of Mullah Nasrudin. Dissolving the lines between narrator, poet, and refugee, Niz draws from the folk stories of Mullah Nasrudin and his own experiences to unearth the lived and buried experiences of the Iraqi people. Mullah Nasrudin will be playing 8 – 17 May.
A new Australian comedy starring Helen Howard, Hedonism’s Second Album, by David Burton and Claire Christian, will feature a live band onstage. Hedonism, a Brisbane band and overnight stars following the success of their first album, are trying to keep it together long enough to record a second album to prove the first wasn’t a fluke. This show is for anyone who’s ever been let down by their favourite band. Hedonism’s Second Album will be playing 13 – 30 August.
Adapted from Charles Mee’s Ipigenia 2.0, after Euripide’s play, Or Forever Hold Your Peace (The Story of Iphigenia), is a compelling conversation about the nature of democracy, leadership and the power of the collective voice; a group of soliders are about to be deployed to the Trojan War. Or Forever Hold Your Peace (The Story of Iphigenia) will be playing 12 – 29 November.
The play explores digital identity. David Sergeant makes the ultimate commitment to social media, choosing to forever separate mind and body by uploading his consciousness into social networking site Machina. Machina will be playing 8 – 24 May.
The traditional summer holiday show, opening in January, is a co-production between Shake n Stir and La Boite. The adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts takes the world’s best-loved fairy tales and rearranges them with some surprising and hilarious twists. Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts will be playing 8 – 18 January.
For more information of La Boite’s 2014 Season, see their website: www.laboite.com.au
In a new initiative, La Boite has partnered with QPAC and Brisbane Airport to give you, the audience, the opportunity of ensuring that your favourite of the six 2013 indie productions will receive a return season at QPAC in 2014. To review 2013’s indie productions and vote on your favourite, go to the website: laboite.qtix.com.au/laboiteindie_vote/. Voting closes on 13 December so you need to hurry.