Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Director Kip Williams today unveiled Act 1, the first five plays of the 2021 season with the remaining two thirds of the season to be announced in March. To celebrate the company’s return to its newly renovated home at The Wharf, Williams will direct a new adaptation by Kate Mulvany of Ruth Park’s classic Sydney story, Playing Beatie Bow.
The 2021 season will also feature the Australian premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ dark comedy, Appropriate directed by Wesley Enoch at Roslyn Packer Theatre and three plays rescheduled from the 2020 season: Home, I’m Darling, Fun Home and The Wharf Revue: Goodnight and Good Luck.
Artistic Director Kip Williams said:
To celebrate the exciting new creative possibilities of the theatres at The Wharf, I’m putting together a special collection of plays and I’m thrilled that the first of these is the beloved story Playing Beatie Bow – a favourite book from my own childhood. This will be a show for young and old and we’re hoping that it will introduce a new generation of theatre-lovers to The Wharf. As we come home to The Wharf, I’m so excited to be telling a story set in our local area, The Rocks’. We’re thrilled to welcome Wesley Enoch back to STC for the Australian premiere of Appropriate, a phenomenal piece of writing from one of the most exciting playwrights in America at the moment, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
I’m so happy to be bringing back some of the most anticipated shows of 2020 after they were heartbreakingly cancelled due to the pandemic. Home, I’m Darling is a witty and colourful take on hiding away from the world that seems more timely now than ever; Fun Home, bursting with wonderful music, is a chance for all of us to reflect on the things that really matter: our loved ones and being true to ourselves and; finally, it’s wonderful to be able to remount the farewell iteration of The Wharf Revue because in times as difficult as these, laughter is more important than ever! We’ve all been through a lot in the past few months and the generosity of our audience and supporters has been felt and appreciated deeply by every single member of this company. We can’t wait to welcome our audiences back and share this exciting new chapter in STC’s history.
The first production at The Wharf in 2021 will be an historic event in Australian theatre: a new adaptation of Ruth Park’s Playing Beatie Bow from playwright Kate Mulvany and Artistic Director Kip Williams, the team that created the epic, multi-award-winning world of The Harp in the South: Part One and Part Two. Starring Catherine Văn-Davies (No Pay? No Way!, Hungry Ghosts) as Abigail and Sofia Nolan (The Wolves at Belvoir) as Beatie Bow, this moving story, set in and around The Rocks, the real-life suburb that STC calls home, is full of history and humour and will be sure to delight audiences across generations.
Continuing the company’s tradition of showcasing the best and most exciting international playwriting, the 2021 season will feature the Australian premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate directed by Wesley Enoch at the Roslyn Packer Theatre. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Jacobs-Jenkins is a master of the form who riffs on the work of classic writers to tell uncomfortable truths about contemporary America.
2021 will also see the triumphant return of some of the shows that were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. The Olivier Award-winning Home, I’m Darling, helmed by STC Resident Director Jessica Arthur, will play the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. With an ensemble including Andrea Demetriades (Arms and the Man) and Anthony Taufa (How to Rule the World), this witty, highly-original and thought-provoking comedy takes a look at the complexity of women’s choices and the dangers of nostalgia through distinctly rose-coloured glasses.
Musical legend Marina Prior will star alongside Maggie McKenna (Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical) in Fun Home, a musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s memoir in a brand new production directed by Dean Bryant. Winner of three Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, and a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Fun Home is a heartfelt story about coming out and coming of age based on Alison Bechdel’s pivotal graphic novel.
And finally, after more than two decades of hilarious irreverence, the comedy powerhouse that is The Wharf Revue is back to say goodbye. Taking over the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House from February, the indefatigable trio of Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott reunite with dazzling accomplice Mandy Bishop for one final victory lap for the comedy juggernaut that’s been keeping the bastards honest since 2000.
For further information visit sydneytheatre.com.au/season-2021