As the Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) launched it’s anticipated 2013 season to a full QPAC Playhouse, social media sites unveiled each slated production blow by blow teasing their online audience with hints and puzzles before the big reveal. The event took on the air of an awards ceremony with Facebookers and Tweeters expressing their excitement and delighted support.
There has been much talk of the success of the 2012 season and the numbers stack up against uncertain economic times with one thousand new subscriptions, ten thousand more ticket sales and a 13% increase at the box office. QTC Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch, promises to take 2013 ticket holders on a journey around the world, shine the light on home grown talent and create theatrical moments of national importance.
The QTC 2013 Season program is as follows:
The Pitch which won the Green Room Award for Best New Australian Play in 2006, will be directed by Catarina Hebbard.
Down-and-out film writer Walter Weinermann (played by Hugh Parker) is psyching himself up for the biggest pitch meeting of his life with a panel of powerful producers. He has an epic idea and a dream cast, but no decent ending.
The China Incident, Directed by Daniel Evans and starring Barbara Lowing
Companion piece, also written by acclaimed Australian writer Peter Houghton, The China Incident is the story of one woman, about Bea Pontivec; a high-flying, highly-strung diplomatic consultant who’s quite literally well connected. She’s a power-broker, a playmaker, a cast-iron negotiator, a control freak. But as this pin-sharp satire becomes more frenetic, and her personal and professional lives collide, Bea will learn the meaning of the term ‘communications breakdown’.
End of the Rainbow, Direted by David Bell, starring: Christen O’Leary, Hayden Spencer, Anthony Standish.
It’s Christmas 1968 – and Judy Garland is not in Kansas anymore. The former child star is shacked up in London’s Ritz Hotel with fiancé number five, Mickey Deans, and her loyal friend and pianist, Anthony. A whirlwind success in her youth, the years have been unkind. Peter Quilter’s poignant End of the Rainbow paints a warts-and-all picture of the beloved but tortured musical icon. Christen O’Leary returns to the QTC Company to fill Judy’s ruby slippers and explore the destructive dark side of worldwide fame.
Red, Directed by Alkinos Tsikimidos, and written by John Logan, is an award winning play including six Tony Awards and a Drama Desk Award for most Outstanding Play in 2010.
Colin Friels breathes life into tortured artist Mark Rothko as he broods and seethes in his Bowery studio, literally painting himself into a corner, in Red.
In the 1950s, Rothko took a commission that would set him up for life – a series of paintings that would decorate the swanky Four Seasons Restaurant in the new steel-and-glass monument to corporate modernism, the Seagram Building on Park Avenue.
He forged his art into a weapon against the richest bastards in New York, vowing clandestinely to create stomach-turning crimson canvases that would “ruin the appetite of every son-of-a-bitch who eats there” – but in 1959, out of the blue, he stormily reclaimed the paintings and gave back the money. The catalyst of that event went with the abstract expressionist to his grave. It’s this mystery that is explored with stunning intensity in Red.
Bertolt Brecht’s epic morality tale about the ravages of war is given a unique twist by QTC Artistic Director Wesley Enoch and Paula Nazarski in a dazzling new translation. Instead of the Thirty Years’ War of 1600s Europe, this near-future incarnation of the age-old story is set against the bleak backdrop of a post-apocalyptic desert where Mad Max might be at home – an Australia ravaged by devastating conflict, where life is cheap but business is still business.
With an all-Indigenous cast, this fresh spin on Brecht’s play delicately folds in themes of land ownership, the impact of mining and the Stolen Generation.
Venus in Fur, nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2012, will be Directed by Andrea Moor, and star Todd MacDonald and Libby Munro.
The end of a long day of casting, and playwright-director Thomas can’t find the right woman. He needs beautiful-sexy-articulate, young, with a “particle of brain”. Thomas is adapting Venus In Furs, the infamously kinky 1870 novel by Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch – the etymological father of masochism. It calls for a purring, confident dominatrix.
He gets more than he expected when the raging storm blows in Vanda – late, frazzled, with the very litany of flaws he just decried. She talks of Venus in Furs as one might talk of Fifty Shades of Grey. As the director takes a chance and allows her to read anyway, the balance of power tilts between actress and director, mistress and slave in David Ives’ deliciously sassy, sexy, character-driven power play.
Other Desert Cities, Directed by Kate Cherry with Emily McLean as Assistant Director, starring Robert Coleby, Rebecca Davis.
Other Desert Cities, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and nominated for five Tony Awards include Best Play in 2012.
Christmas in sun-drenched Palm Springs: a desert tomb, populated by shrivelled mummies with tans. The Wyeth children are home for the holidays and conversation doesn’t flow easily: politics isn’t fit for table talk in a family as fractious as this. Neither is the war in the Middle East, nor the shadow of terrorism. But there’s one thing everyone wants to chime in on: troubled daughter Brooke has just finished her magnum opus; a tell-all memoir exposing a pivotal, tragic, ferociously-guarded family secret. As a quiet Christmas dissolves into feuding, there’s more than one meltdown brewing in the searing desert heat.
Design for Living (Noel Coward), Directed by Wesley Enoch, starring Jason Klarwein, Kellie Lazarus, and Tama Matheson.
Gilda loves Otto, and it’s entirely mutual. But Gilda is rather fond of Leo as well. Leo adores Gilda – but come to think of it, Leo and Otto have a bit of history, too. So which of them will pair off, and who’ll be left out in the cold? Anything goes, it seems, when you’re an artistic type slumming it in a garret in 1930s Paris. Noël Coward’s subtle comedy Design For Living was scandalously risqué when it was written, painting a vibrant picture of the machinations of a muddled ménage-à-trois.
Are this trio freewheeling, footloose bohemians, or amoral degenerates? Their mutual friend, strait laced art dealer Ernest, has a pretty strong opinion on what’s decent. What’s that all-too-common comment on relationships: “It’s complicated?” This one just happens to be rather more complicated than most.
1001 Nights, Directed by Michael Futcher, featuring the Pezhvak Traditional Music Ensemble with Zen Zen Zo.
Aladdin. Ali Baba. Sinbad. The names are as well-known as the stories behind them. They whisper the promise of adventure, exoticism and romance. Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre joins with traditional Persian musicians Pezhvak for an evening of riveting storytelling, dance and song based around the Middle-Eastern magic of One Thousand and One Nights. Adapted by Michael Futcher and Helen Howard, resident directors of Zen Zen Zo, and backed by the authentic sounds of traditional instruments, this energetic and enchanting show embraces Zen Zen Zo’s legendary physicality and boundless, joyful imagination.
Clara is uncomfortably numb. Cocooned in her spartan home, she wallows in tracky-dacks and the misery of the recently jobless, feeding on apathy and the images of natural disaster piped into her living room TV.
She’s haunted by what she could aspire to if she could break from her funk. Her relentlessly upbeat partner Erik has devised a plan for her to get back on her feet. Instead, she devises a series of increasingly gruesome ‘quests’ for him. Then, one stormy night, a stranger calls – and the chinks in the pair’s relationship begin to widen. Uncomfortable truths are revealed and there are hints of horrors to come, as ancient myths are dragged, growling, into the modern day.