Sydney’s New Theatre has revealed the eight plays that make up its 2024 Season.
“It is so exciting to once again be able to announce a full year of productions. And what a line-up we have for 2024: eight amazing plays, including three Australian premieres and two Sydney premieres,” said Artistic Director, Louise Fischer.
The nitty-gritty truths of modern relationships, gay and straight, are explored in Homos, or Everyone in America by Jordan Seavey and Wife by Samuel Adamson.
There’s a brace of brilliant satires exposing the disreputable underbelly of the fourth estate in Ink by James Graham and the 1928 classic The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.
There’s the blackest of black comedies from a master of the genre: Hangmen by Martin McDonagh, winner of the 2015 Oliver Award for Best New Play.
New Theatre are mounting new productions of plays by two of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary female playwrights: Atlantis by Lally Katz and Sunset Strip by Suzie Miller.
And rounding off the year, the stage adaptation of an Oscar-winning rom-com: Shakespeare in Love, based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall.
The productions will be helmed by a group of dynamic and imaginative directors. Returning to lead shows are Deborah Mulhall (The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Pygmalion, The Lovely Bones), Madeleine Withington (Banging Denmark) and Alex Kendall Robson (Bathhouse, the Musical).
New Theatre welcomes Tiffany Wong, Nicholas Papademetriou, Annette van Roden and Darrin Redgate, all making their directorial debuts with the Company.
For more information about New Theatre’s 2024 Season, visit: www.newtheatre.org.au for details.
Image: New Theatre’s 2024 Season (supplied)
New Theatre’s 2024 Season:
Homos, or Everyone in America
6 February – 9 March
In a supposedly ‘post-gay’ America, a booze-infused date in a New York bar sets two men on a rollercoaster ride of lust, love and the messy stuff in between. Taking place in Brooklyn and jumping around moments in time scattered between 2006 and 2011, this sexually blunt, raw and outrageously funny dramedy explodes the attitudes, emotions and prejudices that sit at the heart of every relationship, gay or straight. The age-old conflict between committed monogamy and sexual freedom must be navigated, the personal becomes the political, and we go deep into what it means to love to the point of heartbreak and beyond. Australian Premiere. Directed by Alex Kendall Robson. Playwright: Jordan Seavey.
19 March – 13 April
A play about ovaries and climate change and pursuing your dreams. Australian writer ‘Lally’ is on a quest to make sense of her life, seeking to rediscover the lost innocence of her childhood in America, when things were simple, carefree and defined. Using both autobiographical fact and flights of imagination, the writer examines the turmoil of her personal situation within the context of a country gone crazy with excess and deception. By turns self-deprecating, incurably romantic, optimistic and cynical, her journey through a maze of outrageous situations is hilarious and intoxicating. Infused with a delicious blend of the real and the fantastical, this superb example of theatrical magic realism takes us on a wild adventure. Directed by Tiffany Wong. Playwright: Lally Katz.
The Front Page
23 April – 18 May
Late at night, in the crowded press room at Chicago’s Criminal Courts, a group of reporters is waiting to cover a controversial execution the next morning. Then an unexpected event breaks through the banter and bravura, the cynicism and ennui, and suddenly a scoop is on the cards. This landmark comedy from 1928 introduced the now-familiar stereotype of the hard-living, hard-drinking reporter determined to get to the truth. Though computers have replaced typewriters, and the internet has changed the way news is reported, this satire on systemic corruption, manipulation and scandal in politics, journalism and justice still hits a nerve. The plot twists and turns as much as its the ethically elastic characters, and the laugh-a-minute, rapid-paced script will get the adrenaline rushing. Directed by Nicholas Papademetriou. Playwrights: Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur.
28 May – 29 June
They called him ‘The Dirty Digger’. In 1969, freshly-landed in London’s Fleet St, bursting with ambition and a colonial’s desire to shaft the British establishment, he took ownership of a flagging daily newspaper and turned it into a media phenomenon. His name was Rupert Murdoch. The paper was The Sun. And together with its maverick editor, Larry Lamb, he was on a mission to give the people what they want – which turned out to be screaming headlines, scuttlebutt, and page three girls! Award-winning writer James Graham (The Angry Brigade) reveals the inner workings of the tabloid press, as the upstart rag and its staff of underdog reporters engage in a circulation war of attrition with the best-selling newspaper in the world, The Mirror. It’s a brutal, belligerent and blisteringly funny expose of how two men changed print media forever. Sydney Premiere. Directed by Louise Fischer. Playwright: James Graham.
9 July – 3 August
How far will you go and what will you put up with in the name of family? Sisters Caroline and Phoebe have charted very different courses in their lives. While one escaped their hometown, the struggling holiday hamlet of Sunset Strip, the other has stayed, caring for their father in between her stints in rehab and battles with DOCS. Now Caroline has returned, recovering from chemotherapy, to find the ever-optimistic Phoebe newly in love and determined to make life fabulous, despite dad’s decline into dementia. From acclaimed playwright Suzie Miller (Prima Facie, RBG: Of Many, One) comes this exquisitely wrought examination of familial love, dysfunctional relationships and surviving the worst that life can serve up with humour and resilience. Directed by Annette van Roden. Playwright: Suzie Miller.
13 August – 14 September
It’s 1965, and capital punishment has just been abolished in the UK. In a dingy, old-school pub in Oldham, the landlord, Harry, who until recently was known as ‘the second-best hangman in Britain’, holds court. Surrounded by a motley crew of sycophants and hangers-on, he relishes the celebrity his profession has brought him. His wife works behind the bar; neither seems to notice that their anxious, awkward teenage daughter is ripe for exploitation. The arrival of a mysterious stranger from ‘the South’ turns the atmosphere toxic with suspicion, and when Harry’s arch-rival turns up, the clash of egos is both brutal and desperately sad. This brilliantly plotted and wildly off-beat play is a stinging condemnation of state-sanctioned murder delivered with furious, macabre humour. Australian Premiere. Directed by Deborah Mulhall. Playwright: Martin McDonagh.
8 October – 2 November
A love-letter to the power of theatre, and a decade-hopping investigation into marriage, queerness and gender. Daisy is at a crossroads. Her moral compass tells her to go one way, society the other. What she chooses to do next will have consequences not just for her and her husband, but for four couples over the next ninety years. With Ibsen’s classic drama of marital discord, A Doll’s House, as its unifying device, the play ranges across the fifties, the eighties, the present and the future. We meet intertwined characters, gay and straight, over generations, all invested in some way with the concept of ‘wife’, Ibsen’s rebellious Nora being the benchmark against which they judge themselves. Australian Premiere. Directed by Darrin Redgate. Playwright: Samuel Adamson.
Shakespeare In Love
12 November – 14 December
A boisterous romantic comedy set in the world of the theatre. Young Will Shakespeare has a bad case of writer’s block and desperately needs a muse. His new comedy, Romeo and Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter, isn’t turning out how he’d hoped and he’s up against a tight deadline to deliver his next masterpiece. That is until he meets Viola de Lesseps, and a real-life romance starts to take hold. But Viola has a secret and this new play isn’t shaping up to be the light-hearted comedy Queen Bess demanded. From the pen of Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) comes this scintillating stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, brim full of passion, love and laughter. Sydney Premiere. Directed by Madeleine Withington. Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard. Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall.