First published on 28 Aug 2012. Updated on 20 Sep 2012.
"They've tried to stop them, son, but... the seniors get up so early in the morning they get everything done before everyone else is even awake." - Randy Marsh, South Park
The early-risers at Kirribilli's Ensemble Theatre have up and announced its 2013 subscription season: a bunch of world premieres, a true American classic, a new Williamson of course, a bit of monstrous nudity at the Opera House and 11 new productions in all.
It seems Murphy is the odd one out in that she only has one production to direct. Ensemble artistic director Sandra Bates will direct three productions for the company in 2013, including – coulda guessed it – the world premiere of a new play by David Williamson. But, er, not this one
. Williamson’s Happiness
centres around an ageing psychology professor whose own psychological well-being is severely tested by his family.
In March, Bates directs musical theatre fave Sharon Millerchip in Joanna Murray-Smith’s Bombshells
(not to be confused with the popular bucks night entertainment of the same name
). In October, she directs Chloe Bayliss (currently starring in Circle Mirror Transformation
) and Georgie Parker in Rapture, Blister, Burn
by Gina Gionfriddo (Time Out New York
’s Adam Feldman called it “biting yet generous” in his review
Oh yes, I mentioned nudity didn’t I. Bates’s fellow Ensemble artistic director Mark Kilmurry will direct the Australian premiere of playwright Nick Dear’s adaptation of Frankenstein
at two venues: the Sydney Opera House (from March 27) and the Ensemble (from April 17). The production will feature original music by Elena Kats-Chernin
. Dear’s adaptation was recently directed by Danny Boyle for London’s National Theatre, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, to rave reviews. [Time Out London’s site was down at the time of writing, so you’d may as well check out a review of the show by some chap named Michael Billington
.] Boyle’s electrifying production screened in Australian cinemas this year and last as part of the NT Live programme. “Frankenstein
is an astonishing adaptation,” Kilmurry says in the season brochure. “It’s going to be something very scary indeed.”
Kilmurry will also direct Gary Baxter’s campground comedy Camp
and Tennesee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie
, the cast for which includes Tom Stokes, currently in rehearsals for Toby Schmitz’s I Want to Sleep with Tom Stoppard
with Tamrama Rock Surfers.
Director Anna Crawford (My Wonderful Day
) has a big year at the Ensemble too. Crawford will direct a cast that includes William Zappa and Matthew Zeremes in Seminar
by American playwright Theresa Rebeck. (Jeff Goldblum and Alan Rickman starred in the Broadway production of the play. “Oh, I think there are a lot of zingy, peachy lines all along the way,” Goldblum told Time Out New York
. “In one scene, I talk about [a student] sucking my balls and all that. And it’s just outrageous and funny.” Critic David Cote gave the production five stars in his review
Crawford will also direct Alan Ayckbourn’s Neighbourhood Watch
, starring Alan Dukes, Lizzie Mitchell and Jamie Oxenbould
; the Tony-nominated children’s musical A Year with Frog & Toad
; and Lee Blessing’s American road trip drama Great Falls
(which Time Out New York
called “both incisive and devastating”).