|This Bitter Earth. Image credit: Matthew Predny|
Kicking off 2020 is Theatre Works' Midsumma season with several shows including This Bitter Earth by Chris Edwards, a very gay collection of six scenes dissecting modern Australian queer crises. Another show in its jam-packed Midsumma schedule is a queer clapback to Eat, Pray, Love with Poorly Drawn Shark by Andrew Sutherland and Vidya Rajan that recalls Sutherland's time in Singapore. Starring Ming Yang Lim and Sutherland, this is a sexually charged examination at being queer in Singapore where once we see beyond the fetishisation and Otherness of a white man in an Asian country, we can come to realise that we are not all that different after all.
|The Great Australian Play. Image credit: Jack Dixon-Gunn|
Job interviews are nothing to be afraid of right? In Mish Wittrup's dark humoured The Hitmen, this interview could very well be your last. In this surreal comedy, six unemployed people take part in a group interview to get the job they've been dying for, to become a hitman at one of Australia's largest professional agency of contract killers and assassins. How far would you be willing to go for your dream job?
If anyone missed Salty Theatre's People Suck earlier this year at Theatre Works, the company is back with the Australian premiere of a magical musical comedy that is sure to grab your attention. Voldermort and the Teenage Hogwarts is a Harry Potter parody focusing on He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named when he was simply Tom Riddle, a moody teen who couldn't talk to girls.
There are also plenty of opportunities for children to join in the theatre fun beginning with Jungle Bungle by Craig Christie, an exhilarating musical safari exploring the theme of fear of the unknown while celebrating friendship, individuality and imagination. Romi Kupfer is premiering her work Singing Swallows, providing an early start to understanding the Holocaust and connecting to young people's lives through voice recordings of survivors and visual storytelling. Out There by Sean and Hollie Bryan sees a routine space mission go wrong and a space ship finding itself hurtling towards an undiscovered planet. An interactive and immersive journey that is bound to be be a blast for all earthlings.
|Mara Korper. Image credit: Stu Brown|
If history with a twist of absurdity is your thing, then Caligula by Albert Camus will have you covered. Burning House is making a name for delivering high octane edgy adaptations of classic plays and its look at this Roman Empire should not disappoint with a play bursting with poetry, violence, sadness, love, blood and glitter. Yes, glitter.
The always outstanding and bold The Bloomshed return to Theatre Works with an exciting new work based on George Orwell's masterpiece Animal Farm. Putting this text into a contemporary context under a modern political lens will see oppression, extremism, misinformation and goods production come to light in a way that only The Bloomshed can make possible.
Theatre Works has taken a big step in financial barriers preventing people from attending and engaging with theatre in Melbourne by introducing a "2020 for $20" initiative. "We are committed to removing barriers to participation and high-ticket prices prevent audiences from experiencing theatre across the board,” Toulson says. "To break down this barrier and to make Theatre Works’ shows, artists and programs accessible to everyone, we will be offering $20 tickets for each performance of every show for the entire year." With this in mind, there is no excuse for not going out and seeing some original and inspiring works at Theatre Works. Bookings for all 2020 shows are now open.