RUPERT Heads to Sydney's Theatre Royal from November; Show Transfers to the West End in 2015

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RUPERT Heads to Sydney's Theatre Royal from November; Show Transfers to the West End in 2015

On Thursday 29 August 2013 the Melbourne Theatre Company presented the World Premiere of Rupert, David Williamson's take on the greatest media mogul of all time, which enjoyed a sell-out season and critical acclaim. The production then had its USA premiere at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, where it received standing ovations.

Rupert is now heading to Sydney for an exclusive premiere season at Sydney's Theatre Royal opening on Saturday 29 November 2014 for a strictly limited three week season. This Sydney season precedes a transfer to London's West End in 2015.

With 2 actors playing the roles of Older and Younger Rupert and featuring a 6 strong ensemble cast in a myriad of over 60 roles, Rupert is a timely, theatrically inventive, often hilarious, cabaret infused recounting of the life and times of this influential yet elusive man who has shaped our world. Charting his stellar rise to the top, Rupert tap dances (sometimes literally) his way through his first newspaper acquisitions, discoes toward his American breakthrough, shares a fiery flamenco with Margaret Thatcher, and charms some of the most colourful characters of the 20th century, including Tony Blair, Ronald Reagan and Wendi Deng. But what happens when the man behind the news suddenly becomes the news?

Born in Melbourne in 1931 into one of the Australia's most powerful and influential families, Rupert Murdoch's passion for print saw him build an unrivalled global media empire. Yet few would argue his rise to the top has not been without controversy or sacrifice. Following the Leveson Inquiry into News International's phone hacking scandal, Williamson's play looks behind the news to the man himself -- a political kingmaker, devoted father, loving son, ruthless businessman -- as he forges his destiny.

David Williamson's impressive career spans film, TV and theatre. The production of Rupert will make it a record-breaking 9th Williamson play to be presented in Sydney in 2014. Williamson's major works include The Removalists, Don's Party, Don Parties On, The Department, Dead White Males, The Club, Travelling North, The Perfectionist, Emerald City, The Year of Living Dangerously, Gallipoli, Let the Sunshine and his most recent hit Cruise Control. His many awards include twelve Australian Writers' Guild AWGIE Awards and five Australian Film Institutes' Awards for Best Screenplay.

Lee Lewis directs Rupert, with an all-star cast soon to be released. The cast play a host of powerful characters including Margaret Thatcher, David Frost, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Tony Blair, Wendi Deng, Rebecca Brookes, Barry Diller, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch.

Lee Lewis is the Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company. Her Griffin directing credits include The Bull the Moon and the Coronet of Stars, A Hoax, Silent Disco, The Call and The Nightwatchman. Other directing credits include The School For Wives, Twelfth Night for Bell Shakespeare; Honour, ZEBRA! and Love Lies Bleeding for Sydney Theatre Company; This Heaven, That Face for Belvoir; and Highway of Lost Hearts for Darwin Festival.

Producer, Daniel Sparrow is an Olivier Award winning West End producer who is originally from Australia but moved to the UK some 14 years ago where he has since produced 9 plays and musicals in London and in New York. Rupert will be his first production as producer in his homeland.

West End productions include Almodovar's All About My Mother (Best New Play 2008 Whastonstage Awards), Three Days of Rain, starring James McAvoy, the UK premiere of Holding the Man starring Guy Edmonds and Jane Turner (Kath & Kim), Michel Legrand The Umbrellas of Cherbourgâ directed by Emma Rice, in collaboration with Kneehigh Theatre, the 2013 Olivier Award winning Sweeney Todd starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, Stiles and Drewe new musical Soho Cinders, the recent Palladium revival of A Chorus Line and on Broadway, Exit the King, starring Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon.

Think you know this man -- think again! For more about the production, visit www.rupertonstage.com.

Tickets go on sale on Friday 25 July. Performances run at the Theatre Royal, 108 King Street, Sydney. Previews from Tuesday 25 November 2014. Opening Night Saturday 29 November 2014 at 7pm. Performance times: Tues - Wed 7pm, Thurs - Sat 8pm (except 29/11 at 7pm); Matinee performances Wed at 1pm, Sat at 2pm, Sun at 3pm. Tickets from $50. Booking details: Ticketmaster.com.au or 1300 723 038; Groups 10+ 02 8240 2290.

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