Time Out Melbourne

There's tragedy and comedy, world premieres and worthy revivals in the 2015 season from Malthouse Theatre

Launched on a surprisingly balmy September evening, the Malthouse Theatre 2015 season boasts a healthy mix of new faces and Malthouse Theatre favourites, dance and theatre, text-based work and more exploratory, devised pieces. 

The year opens with the return of Blak Cabaret (10-22 February), followed by a swag of new dance pieces throughout March as part of Dance Massive 2015, including work from Kate Champion, Anouk van Dijk and Victoria Chiu.

In a new move for the company, Malthouse Theatre will also present work outdoors in the forecourt shared with ACCA and Chunky Move, beginning with Blak Cabaret.

"It felt really fitting for a show like Blak Cabaret to be out there on the red earth," says artistic director Marion Potts, speaking to Time Out before the launch, "and apart from anything else it will be really fun for audiences to have that outdoor experience."

Deeper into the season, there's new theatre from Malthouse Theatre regulars Lally Katz (Timeshare, 23 April-17 May), Declan Greene (I Am a Miracle, 18 July-9 August), Jane Montgomery Griffiths (Antigone, 21 August-13 September) and Ash Flanders (Meme Girls, 8 April-2 May).

Katz will be collaborating with US director Oliver Butler, part of New York's The Debate Society.

"Oliver Butler and Lally have known each other for a long time and have been desperate to collaborate," says Potts. "And one of our ambitions for the Malthouse is to provide an artistic vehicle for that kind of international collaboration."

Looming as a season highlight, Caryl Churchill's most recent play, Love and Information (12 June-4 July), will get its Australian premiere in a co-production with the Sydney Theatre Company, directed by Kip Williams.

"Everything Churchill writes is still pushing formal boundaries , grappling with what the theatre really is," says Potts. "She's arguably one of the greatest writers of the twenty and twenty-first centuries."

Marion Potts, entering her fifth year as artistic director, has divided the season into three unique chapters around which the year's work is grouped: "Body // Language", "Post // Love" and "Ritual // Extinction".

"When we started to look seriously at all of the projects," says Potts, "we saw immediately these themes start to emerge."

The hope for Potts and Malthouse Theatre is that these "chapters" will translate into a more meaningful experience for audiences. Two series of panel discussions, one presented with Monash University and the other with The Wheeler Centre, will highlight and expand on some of the ideas raised by the chapters, while three special theatre events, one for each chapter, will add a playful, less formal dimension to the work.

During "Body // Language", Malthouse Theatre will host Fitter. Faster. Better., which pairs audience members with a personal trainer aged between six and ten years old. A Singular Love, part of the "Post // Love" chapter, tests the audience's pop-culture knowledge with a massive game of 20 questions. Finally, UK company Reckless Sleeper will prepare a banquet – ominously described as The Last Supper – for 39 guests per session as a part of the "Ritual // Extinction" chapter.

Each chapter will also feature an "independent artist in residence", which replaces the current "company in residence" programme.

"It means that we can communicate a bit more easily, and build in public programs around those sort of things," says Potts.

Check out the links below for more information on individual shows in the season.

2015 shows

Blak Cabaret   Wot? No Fish!!   Depth of Field
Nothing to Lose   Do You Speak Chinese?   Meme Girls
Timeshare   Love and Information   I Am a Miracle
A Social Service   Antigone   They Saw a Thylacine
The Listies Ruin Xmas        

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Updated on 5 Jan 2015.

By Andrew Fuhrmann   |  
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