no better, no worse, no change, no pain

2009 at the theatre

In Theatre on December 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm

More for my own records rather that something with wider appeal, I present here a list of my theatre attendances in 2009. I have an awful memory for actors’ faces and always find it useful to refer back to the cast of previous productions. With further lists, I may also be able to track work I find particularly interesting in direction and set design.

Now for a little awards ceremony. My prize for Best Writing goes to Brendan Cowell for Ruben Guthrie. I was compelled to purchase the script so I could pour over the witty one-liners and delightful monologues again and again. I was mesmerized by Michael Kantor’s production of Beckett’s Happy Days, and Best Direction he is awarded thus. It was an exquisitely faithful yet fresh interpretation of the absurdist play, with a nod towards the vicious effects of climate change. I have witnessed so many outstanding performances this year, most notably Julie Forsyth’s Winnie in Happy Days and Toby Schmitz as Dadaist Tristin Tzara in Travesties. Forsyth’s impeccable comic timing and  irresistibly supple face rendered a truly unforgettable performance. Schmitz is cheeky and energetic, and his mastery of Stoppard’s characteristic verbal gymnastics made me sit up and listen: he’s truly one to watch.

To the plays…

Sydney Theatre Company

The Removalists
by David Williamson
Opened 31 Jan 09
Director Wayne Blair
Set/Costume Designer Jacob Nash
Lighting Designer Luiz Pampolha
Composer/Sound Designer Steve Francis
Fight Director Nigel Poulton
With Danny Adcock, Alan Flower, Sacha Horler, Ashley Lyons, Dale March, Eve Morey

by Tom Stoppard
Opened 09 Mar 09
Director Richard Cottrell
Set Designer Michael Scott Mitchell
Costume Designer Julie Lynch
Lighting Designer Bernie Tan
Composer/Sound Designer Paul Charlier
Choreographer Pamela French
With Robert Alexander, Blazey Best, Jonathan Biggins, Peter Houghton, Rebecca Massey, Toby Schmitz, Wendy Strehlow, William Zappa

by Franz Kafka
Opened 22 Apr 09
Adapted & Directed by David Farr and Gísli Örn Gardarsson
Music Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Design Börkur Jónsson
Lighting Björn Helgason
With Edda Arnljótsdóttir, Jonathan Mcguiness, Ingvar E Sigurdsson, Unnur Ösp Stefánsdóttir, Björn Thors

Based on a novel by Ingvar Ambjørnsen
Stage adaptation by Axel Hellstenius & Petter Næss
Translated by Nicholas Norris
Adapted by Simon Bent

Opened 30 May 09
Director Pamela Rabe
Set Designer Michael Scott-Mitchell
Costume Designer Tess Schofield
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Sound Designer Max Lyandvert
With Darren Gilshenan, Glenn Hazeldine, Lachy Hulme, Yael Stone, Frank Whitten

The City
by Martin Crimp
Opened 29 Jun 09
Director Benedict Andrews
Set Designer Ralph Myers
Costume Designer Fiona Crombie
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Composer Alan John
With Georgia Bowrey, Anita Hegh, Belinda McClory, Colin Moody, Gigi Perry

Poor Boy
A play with songs by Matt Cameron and Tim Finn
Opened 06 Jul 09
Director Simon Phillips
Musical Director Ian Mcdonald
Set Designer Iain Aitken
Costume Designer Adrienne Chisholm
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Assistant Director Naomi Edwards
Associate Musical Director Mathew Frank
Associate Lighting Designer Chris Twyman
Dramaturg Aidan Fennessy
With Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke, Linda Cropper, Matt Dyktynski, Sara Gleeson, Matthew Newton, Sarah Peirse, Jed Rosenberg, Greg Stone, Abi Tucker

Saturn’s Return
by Tommy Murphy
Opened 24 Jul 09
Director David Berthold
Designer Adam Gardnir
Lighting Designer Luiz Pampolha
Sound Designer/Composer Basil Hogios
With Toby Moore, Leeanna Walsman, Matthew Zeremes

A Streetcar Named Desire
By Tennessee Williams
Opened 01 Sep 09
Director Liv Ullmann
Set Designer Ralph Myers
Costume Designer Tess Schofield
Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper
Sound Designer Paul Charlier
Assistant to the Director Einar Bjorge
With Cate Blanchett, Michael Denkha, Joel Edgerton, Elaine Hudson, Gertraud Ingeborg, Morgan David Jones, Russell Kiefel, Jason Klarwein, Mandy McElhinney, Robin McLeavy, Tim Richards, Sara Zwangobani and musician Alan John

Accidental Death of an Anarchist
By Dario Fo
Translated by Alan Cumming and Tim Supple

Opened 11 Sep 09
Director Stefo Nantsou
Set & Costume Designer Pip Runciman
Lighting Designer Verity Hampson
Sound Designer Steve Francis
With Cameron Goodall, Ursula Mills, Julia Ohannessian, Richard Pyros, Tahki Saul, Brett Stiller

God of Carnage
by Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Opened 03 Oct 09
Director Gale Edwards
Designer Brian Thomson
Costume Designer Julie Lynch
Lighting Designer Trudy Dalgleish
Composer & Sound Designer Paul Charlier
Assistant Director Kate Revz
With Russell Dykstra, Marcus Graham, Sacha Horler, Helen Thomson

The Mysteries: Genesis
In a new version by Hilary Bell and Lally Katz
Opened 20 Nov 09
Directors Matthew Lutton, Andrew Upton, Tom Wright
Designer Alice Babidge
Lighting Designer Paul Jackson
Sound Designer Kingsley Reeve
with The Residents

Company B

Ruben Guthrie
by Brendan Cowell
Opened 23 May 09
Director Wayne Blair
With Roy Billing, Megan Drury, Geoff Morrell, Torquil Neilson, Adrienne Pickering, Toni Scanlan and Toby Schmitz

The Promise
by Alexei Arbuzov
A new version by Nick Dear

Based on the translation by Ariadne Nicolaeff
Opened 11 Jul 09
Director Simon Stone
With Alison Bell, Ewen Leslie and Chris Ryan

B Sharp

The Lonesome West
by Martin McDonagh
Opened 20 Aug 09
Director Peter Carstairs
With Sibylla Budd, Travis Cotton, Ryan Johnson and Toby Schmitz

Tamarama Rock Surfers

Sydney Ghost Stories
by Lachlan Philpott, Rebecca Clarke, Stephen Sewell, Tobsha Learner, Toby Schmitz, Verity Laughton
Opened 25 Nov 09
Directors Katy Alexander, Dean Carey, Glenn Fraser, Toby Schmitz, Anthony Skuse
Lighting Design Matt Cox
Set Design Andrew Bowden
Costume Design Catherine Bonner
Sound Design/Composer Braedy Neal
With Catherine Terracini, Jamie Irvine, Jeneffa Soldatic, Joe Manning, Matt Walker, Jamie McGregor

Malthouse Theatre

Happy Days
by Samuel Beckett
Opened 3 July 09
Director Michael Kantor
Set and Costume Designer Anna Cordingley
Lighting Designer Paul Jackson
Sound Russell Goldsmith
With Peter Carroll & Julie Forsyth

Sydney Festival 2009

The Tell-Tale Heart
Adapted and directed by Barry Kosky after Edgar Allan Poe
Opened 18 Jan 09
Set and Costume Design Anna Tregloan
Lighting Paul Jackson
Original Music by Barrie Kosky with songs by Bach, Purcell and Wolf
With Martin Niedermair and Barrie Kosky

The Yalta Game
By Brian Friel after Anton Chekhov
Opened 19 Jan 09

  1. An utterly admirable repertoire of production viewing habits darling! I can only aspire to be so culturally exposed in the coming year… In the light of this afternoon’s discussion, STC subscriptions seem too dubious to undertake without precautions. Hopefully this will be remedied by either claiming short-sightedness or purchasing tickets individually,(hopefully the former will suffice) *fingers crossed*.

    • My first comment! How I adore you! Oh absolutely, purchasing individually is perfectly fine – indeed Melanie and I only got about 8 plays in our subscription in 2009, and the remainder were purchased as single tickets. And we plan to do the same for 2010, given our subscription includes only 8 or 9 plays are there are about double that number I want to see 🙂 And for most productions, if you buy tickets a couple of weeks ahead, you will secure a good seat. I think the only exception to that next year will be Uncle Vanya at the STC, given the stellar cast (such as St. Cate) and the fact it’s a well-known play. And that means we can see a few together too! Thanks again for the comment darling!

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