Such a statement reflects no small feat in the wake of their 2016 season, which saw the State Theatre soar to new heights of success. Its record-breaking production of the West-End version of Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps starred four actors playing 139 roles in a raucous 100 minutes, while Andrew Bovell’s Things I Know To Be…
Such a statement reflects no small feat in the wake of their 2016 season, which saw the State Theatre soar to new heights of success. Its record-breaking production of the West-End version of Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps starred four actors playing 139 roles in a raucous 100 minutes, while Andrew Bovell’s Things I Know To Be True was the company’s first ever international co-production.
Next year marks a shift in the creative direction of the company as well – with the introduction of the State Theatre Company Ensemble comprised of six actors, a resident artist, resident designer and a resident director all devoted to working on two new productions to be presented in 2017 and 2018.
As Artistic Director Geordie Brookman explains, “the Ensemble will reintroduce a method of theatre making not seen at the company since John Gaden’s artistic directorship (1986-89)”.
The 2017 programme reflects this resurgence of creative energy within the Company; with strong playwrights delivering stories of both the familiar and the first-time. Encapsulating various shades of socio-political colouring; the plays range from the post-apocalyptic Mr Burns (A Post-Electric Play) and Orwell’s dystopian 1984, stories of indigenous identity in Sista Girl and an exploration of gender roles in A Doll’s House.
The season commences with The Secret River during Adelaide Festival; Andrew Bovell’s adaptation of Kate Grenville’s 2005 text set on the Hawksbury River in the early 19th century. Born of Grenville’s desire to understand her own ancestors and their relationship they held with the indigenous people of the land when they first arrived, this Sydney Theatre Company production was described by the Sunday Telegraph as “a stunning, shattering piece of theatre that goes to the heart of our history”.
Directed by Neil Armfield, The Secret River is to be staged in the abandoned quarry of Anstey Hill; a hark back to the height of Gaden’s artistic directorship during the 1988 festival when Peter Brook’s transformative The Mahabharata was held there. The Secret River is set to be as immersive as it will be unforgettable: a poignant and promising introduction to the 2017 season.
State Theatre Company of South Australia’s 2017 Season:
The Secret River – Febuary 28 to March 19
Mr Burns (A Post-Electric Play) – April 22 to May 13
Long Tan- State Extra – May 13 to May 27
1984 – May 12 to May 27
Sista Girl- State Ed – May 30 to Jun 30
A Doll’s House – June 30 to July 22
Macbeth – August 25 to September 16
Romeo & Juliet- State Extra – September 7 to September 8
Rabbits- State Umbrella – September 21 to October 07
Switzerland – October 20 to November 05
Vale – November 17 to December 3
For more details on the 2017 season, visit statetheatrecompany.com.au
Photos: Sia Duff and James Hartley