North Melbourne’s Arts House champions bold, experimental works that provide an alternative to the work on Melbourne’s Southbank main stages – now more than ever.
Over the course of ten years, Arts House has marked its place in Melbourne’s artistic community by presenting imaginative works, running highly regarded programs like the biennial Dance Massive and last year’s debut of the Festival of Live Art, and fostering new talent through programs like CultureLAB and artist residencies.
Given the quality and originality of Arts House’s first program (Dance Massive and the wildly funny Oedipus Schmoedipus being two shining examples), it’s no surprise that the second season – running from July to December – looks very promising indeed. The season kicks off with a Melbourne premiere of Ahilan Ratnamohan’s piece SDS1 (pictured. Aug 19-22), where soccer is brought to the stage as dynamic, abstracted dance theatre. Following that is local choreographer Jo Lloyd’s dance performance, Confusion for Three (Aug 26-30).… Read more
If the title doesn’t spark the musical theatre-loving sensors of your brain, then surely the song titles ‘Hey Big Spender’ or ‘Rhythm of Life’ will.
In February next year, the Arts Centre’s Playhouse will be transformed into a seedy dance hall of ’60s New York: the world of Charity Hope Valentine. Sweet Charity tells the story of an eternally optimistic, tragically gullible ‘dance hall hostess’ looking for love. During her journey, she finds herself trapped in elevators, hiding in closets and joining the congregations of a new-age flower child religion. It’s silly, slapstick, romantic but – in the end – not the least bit predictable (really!). Song and dance-wise, you can expect everything from huge brassy numbers to jazzy ballads, plus the quirky, jerky moves of the ‘Rich Man’s Frug’, choreographed by the unmatched Bob Fosse, and immortalised in the Sweet Charity film of 1969, starring Shirley MacLaine.
The show touches down in Melbourne after scoring three Helpmann awards (sort of like Australia’s Tonys) – one being for an outstanding performance by leading lady Verity Hunt-Ballard, known for her practically perfect take on Mary Poppins in the 2010 run at Her Majesty’s Theatre.… Read more
Today, it comes in the form of news that Fitzroy Street’s George Cinemas will be converted into a mid-size performing arts hub: the Alex Theatre, opening in February next year.
Earlier this year, the George Cinemas were closed by developers who planned to convert them into a block of apartments. Thankfully, progress was halted by entrepreneur and theatre producer Aleksander Vass, who couldn’t abide seeing yet another of St Kilda’s arts venues fall.
Stepping up in front of media and local politicians at the site of the former cinemas, Vass proudly announced that the building will be transformed into three performing arts spaces.
“St Kilda residents have been blunt in telling me how much they want our theatres to succeed,” he said.… Read more
MTC must be acutely aware that it’s never had a female Artistic Director in its history, and next year’s season clearly aims to redress this, featuring several plays with women in key creative roles. The result of a welcome cultural shift in the medium as much as the fruition of its inaugural Women Director’s Program, exactly half of the 2015 season is written, adapted or directed by women.
Opening play Jumpy, by British playwright April De Angelis, stars Jane Turner in a comedy about a fractious mother–daughter relationship. No doubt trading on audiences’ fondness for Kath and Kim, it will be directed by MTC royalty Pamela Rabe, and comes off a highly successful West End run.
An alumnus of the Cybec Electric series of play readings is playwright Kylie Trounson, the daughter of the “Father of IVF” Professor Alan Trounson. Her play The Waiting Room explores the profound changes in society’s notions of family and fertility brought about by her father’s pioneering work on IVF.… Read more
Launched on a surprisingly balmy September evening, the Malthouse Theatre 2015 season boasts a healthy mix of new faces and Malthouse favourites, dance and theatre, text-based work and more exploratory, devised pieces. There’s tragedy and comedy, world premieres and worthy revivals.
The year opens with the return of Blak Cabaret, followed by a swag of new dance pieces as part of Dance Massive 2015, including work from Kate Champion, Anouk van Dijk and Victoria Chiu. Deeper into the season, there’s new theatre from Malthouse regulars Lally Katz, Declan Greene, Jane Montgomery Griffiths and Ash Flanders.
Looming as a season highlight, Caryl Churchill’s most recent play, Love and Information will get its Australian premier in a co-production with the Sydney Theatre Company in June. Nicola Gunn and David Woods collaborate on a new work about class and privilege. The year then rounds out with newcomers Justine Campbell and Sarah Hamilton, and holiday favourites The Listies.… Read more