Malthouse Theatre has revealed its first five productions of season 2023, running the gamut from bloodthirsty vampires in Tasmania to an expose of life as an artist in China, and the murky waters of colourism to a sweaty night at The Peel.
The 2023 season kicks off in a gloriously defiant way in January with the Melbourne premiere of smash hit comedy seven methods of killing kylie jenner (rescheduled from 2022).
This deep dive into the commodification of Black women was written by award-winning British playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones and co-directed by Zindzi Okenyo and Shari Sebbens.
Iolanthe and Chika Ikogwe star as bawss-babes Cleo and Kara, a duo infuriated by Kylie Jenner and committed to serving the tea hot and keeping receipts. PERIODT.
Nosferatu, Keziah Warner’s scintillating gothic drama based on the iconic 1922 silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror inhabits the Merlyn in February.
Set in Bluewater, Tasmania, a mining town that time left behind, it stars Jacob Collins Levy (The White Princess), Sophie Ross (The Lockdown Monologues, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.) and an ensemble of mouth-watering townspeople.
Desperate to restore the place to its glory days, they put their faith in a mysterious investor with a green thumb and an appetite for blood – so long as you’re not the one in danger, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the horrors on your doorstep.
In a change of pace for the third work of the year, Wang Chong, one of Beijing’s most significant theatre directors, returns to Malthouse Theatre following the sell-out success of Little Emperors in 2017. Made In China 2.0 sees Chong collaborate with co-director Emma Valente to shine the spotlight on his own experiences as an artist.
In this intimate and unexpected solo, he takes us deep inside his creative process to share a personal manifesto for making trailblazing art back home and abroad. Part pop culture lecture, part dramatic performance, Made In China 2.0 is a moving examination of the role of the artist and provocateur in uncertain times.
In the Beckett in May, Loaded takes the mainstage with director Stephen Nicolazzo (Looking for Alibrandi) in collaboration with writers Dan Giovannoni and Christos Tsiolkas (Merciless Gods).
First adapted as the award-winning 1998 film Head On from Tsiolkas’ debut novel Loaded, then reimagined as an audio adaptation in 2020 by Malthouse, the production is an honest, raw and passionate portrait of a young man who is restlessly searching for himself in opposing worlds.
Ari (Danny Ball, A Beginner’s Guide to Grief) is 19 and unemployed – he doesn’t want to be gay and he doesn’t want to be Greek. He doesn’t want to be anything. Drawn by the alluring pulse of Collingwood’s gay clubs, he finds an escape, and a family in the form of drag queens and one-night stands.
Ash Flanders’ new work, This Is Living – a semi-autobiographical play that turns the Merlyn into a Hepburn Springs getaway in July, is a salty, sweet and honest look at love and friendship.
Hugh has organised a fabulous weekend away for his partner and their best girlfriends to escape a year from hell. But even deli meats, medicinal hydroponics and soaking in spring water can’t fix everything. Try as they might to float on the surface, life has a funny way of bubbling up – and over.
Writer Ash Flanders is notorious for crafting caustic comedy that makes audiences laugh ‘til they hurt, only this time he’s gone somewhere completely unexpected – the real world.
“The stories we are telling in 2023 are not the stories you hear every day. Every story is bringing an infrequently heard perspective to the surface, with creators are drawing on personal experiences to create these deeply felt fictions,” said Malthouse Theatre’s Artistic Director, Matthew Lutton.
They are all stories best told on stage. They are theatrical and will provoke you in a way that causes you to forget the outside world and engage in a fiction that you will take with you out into the world again.”
The final three shows for Season 2023 will be announced in detail early 2023, but in a sneak peek of what’s to come:
- Company in Residence, A Daylight Connection – the self-described motley crew that created 2022’s CHASE at The Malthouse in 2022 – will create a new work that will smash the binaries of theatre and radically reimagine what First Nations theatre can be.
- Telethon Kid is a play about a disability influencer and body positivity activist by Alistair Baldwin, who describes himself as a writer, comedian, and disabled ingénue.
- Building on the success of Because The Night, new immersive theatre mystery, Hour of the Wolf, created by Matthew Lutton and Keziah Warner, will transform Malthouse into a maze of 20 nocturnal rooms set at 3am.
Malthouse also announced a major update to its digital archive Stories of M. This first of its kind online database chronicles Malthouse Theatre’s 46-year body of work, featuring over 3600 artists and more than 650 productions.
The archive makes connections through stories, which tell Malthouse’s rich history as Melbourne’s leading experimental theatre company. Stories of M has won multiple awards including Best in Show at the 2022 Australian Web Awards.
Later this year, Malthouse will unveil the Malthouse Outdoor Stage Summer 2022/2023 program in November, and the Comedy Festival at Malthouse 2023 program in December.
For more information about the 2023 Season, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Malthouse Theatre presents Loaded – photo by JM Tubera