In just five short years, Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP), has become a force within the Australian theatre landscape. In 2020, NTofP will continue to impress with national and world premieres, a brilliant new initiative for local talent, and a continued commitment to providing high quality theatre in one of Sydney’s most thriving cultural precincts.
In January, NTofP will present the world-premiere of James Elazzi’s vibrant comedy, Lady Tabouli, directed by Dino Dimitriadis (The Girl/The Woman, Angels in America). Lady Tabouli is an unapologetic examination of culture clashes in contemporary Australia and a searing look at how expectations can eat away at us until we decide to change the rules. An earlier development of Lady Tabouli enjoyed sold out shows at the Griffin Theatre’s 2019 Batch Festival.
In support of the incredible talent burgeoning in Western Sydney and their unique stories, NTofP will launch a new initiative in June, Stage West. Kicking off with a double-bill from two young local creatives, Stage West will celebrate stories that explore the living life in Australia in the here and now, and how we define ourselves.
This double bill includes The Sorry Mum Project by Pippa Ellams – a witty observation on life, empathy, regret and reconciliation that takes audiences on a journey from Fairfield RSL to Paris’ Moulin Rouge; and the world-premiere of Let Me Know When You Get Home by Miranda Aguilar – a heart-felt narrative on biological and chosen families, friendships, first loves, and ultimately, the universal desire to make a home and to be with your tribe.
As part of Riverside’s Spot on Children’s Festival in September, NTofP will present the Australian premiere of the choose-your-own-adventure, live-action, interactive video game, Zombie Thoughts. Young audiences will control how the play evolves in a fun, and sometimes slightly scary, virtual world. First written by Jennifer and Oliver Kokai when Oliver was just nine years old, Zombie Thoughts is a touching and often funny journey that was inspired by Oliver’s own childhood anxieties, in an action-packed game.
In November, NTofP welcomes the return of acclaimed director, Anthea Williams (Flight Paths, Since Ali Died), for a comical and poignant musical mystery, Things I Could Never Tell Steven, written by Western Sydney’s Jye Bryant. Who is this charismatic Steven, who everyone wants in their lives? Audiences are taken into the world of Steven’s family and friends in a touching and intriguing look at modern relationships.
Throughout 2020 NTofP will also continue a number of successful development initiatives open to Western Sydney’s most promising new professional and emerging artists, including Playwrights of Parramatta, the Creative Futures Program and the Directors Professional Development Program.
“It’s really exciting in our fifth year to be able to showcase a different perspective on Western Sydney,” says NTofP Executive Producer, Joanne Kee. “Many of our upcoming works are from local artists who take ownership of their narrative and how they are perceived.”
“It’s not always easy going, there are often close family ties and strong cultural beliefs that make expressing your voice a brave action. However, this is what our writers have managed to achieve with humour, love and dignity.”
For more information, visit: www.riversideparramatta.com.au for details.
Image: The Things I Could Never Tell Steven – courtesy of National Theatre of Parramatta