Time Out Melbourne

The MTC launch their inaugural festival of independent theatre with new work from the Daniel Schlusser Ensemble

Daniel Schlusser’s Menagerie, a new play about the life of Tennessee Williams, set in a squalid flat peopled with gargoyles of Americana, is the first show programmed as part of Neon, the MTC’s new festival of independent theatre, running 16 May to 21 July. The festival aims to open up the MTC’s previously under-utilised Lawler studio space to the creative energies of independent theatre makers, and to celebrate the work of five of the city’s best-known companies.

The Daniel Schlusser Ensemble's Menagerie opens 16 May and runs through to 26 May. Sharing the bill with the DSE are:

Fraught Outfit (30 May to 9 June) adapt Frank Wedekind’s Mine-Haha or On the Bodily Education of Young Girls. Company artistic director Adena Jacobs describes the project as 'a theatrical poem, largely silent, created in rich sensory detail with a large ensemble cast.'

The Hayloft Project ( 13 June to June 23) further exploring Greek myth in By Their Own Hands, a story which places the elusive messenger figures from Greek tragedy centre stage.

The Rabble (27 June to 7 July) and their take on the infamous Story of O, exploring the darker secrets of Réage's literary submissive.

Sisters Grimm (11 July to 21 July) closing out the season with The Sovereign Wife. Get ready for epic Australiana as the Sisters pitch camp on the Victorian Goldfields.

In addition, the ten-week festival program will also feature "activities designed to flesh out the experience of the performances, as well as provide a platform for dialogue between theatre makers of our city," according to MTC artistic director Brett Sheehy.

Activities include a series of panels covering topics such as the art of adaptation, innovation and interdependence and diversity in the arts, a series of practical workshops for theatre makers and a series of post-show Q&As with the Neon artists. Check website for details.

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Updated on 11 Apr 2014.

By Andrew Furhmann   |  

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