New Theatre Announces Its 2019 Season

New Theatre Announces Its 2019 Season

Last night, in front of a packed house, Artistic Director Louise Fischer announced New Theatre's 2019 Season.

Stories of love, friendship and betrayal, of the bond between mother and son, of manipulation and liberation, the clash of the political and the artistic, anarchy and urban terrorism, the quest for a new life, and the pursuit of dreams.

The eight plays include an LGBTQI favourite, a contemporary Australian drama, a classic English social comedy, three political satires and the stage adaptations of one of America's great 20th century novels and a much-loved feel-good film.

There are four Australian premieres, Olivier and Tony Award winners, the work of two Nobel Laureates, and two plays forged in the crucible of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.

The comedy is sharp and dark, the human drama profound.

Political and satirical, epic and entertaining, 2019 at New Theatre will be a wild and wonderful ride.

We kick off with a revival of Kevin Elyot's Olivier Award-winning comedy My Night With Reg for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, 20 years after its original Sydney production, followed by the contemporary Australian drama Once in Royal David's City by Michael Gow, George Bernard Shaw's classic Pygmalion and Australian premieres of Collaborators by John Hodge (winner of the 2012 Olivier Award for Best New Play) and Angry Fags by a bold new voice in American playwrighting, Topher Payne, which premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre in 2013. Then comes Frank Galati's Tony Award-winning stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's great novel The Grapes of Wrath, Steppenwolf Theatre's first major Broadway success, and to round off the year, two more Australian premieres: The Angry Brigade by James Graham (UK) and the musical adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Little Miss Sunshine, by the Tony Award-winning team of James Lapine (Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George) and William Finn (Falsettos, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee).

We're welcoming back a number of directors from 2018, including Louise Fischer (August: Osage County), Deborah Jones (Nell Gwynn), Alice Livingstone (The Elements of an Offence), Deborah Mulhall (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), and Mark G Nagle (F-ing Men). Patrick Howard takes on his first main-stage production here after directing 5 Guys Chillin' for the Sydney Fringe Festival last year, and Alex Bryant-Smith makes his New Theatre directorial debut.

Our Play Assessors panel of six read and report on around 100 plays per year, and advise our Artistic Director and Artistic Associate on those which might be suitable for production at New Theatre. Then it's a matter of creating a balance, securing rights (and that can mean red-hot favourites having to be dropped due to unavailability, and replacements found), and locking in directors.

Says Artistic Director, Louise Fischer: "This season took a little longer than usual to finalise but the resulting program is worth the wait. It reflects the world we live and work in - compelling, subversive, provocative, universal and quirky.

"We look forward to seeing you at New Theatre in 2019 and sharing great theatre with you."

In association with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
5 February - 9 March
By Kevin Elyot
Director: Alice Livingstone

Follows a group of gay men over several years, through the ups and downs of their lives and relationships and the chain of deception set off by the promiscuous and dangerously attractive Reg. Winner: 1995 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

19 March - 13 April
By Michael Gow
Director: Patrick Howard

Christmas can be a emotionally stressful period. For Will Drummond, dealing with the terminal illness of his mother, and questioning his career in the theatre, it is also a time of reckoning.

23 April - 25 May
By George Bernard Shaw
Director: Deborah Mulhall

It's the beginning of the 20th century, and in newly-industrialised England, class-barriers are breaking down. Aspirational flower-seller Eliza Doolittle wants to escape the destiny of her birth, and linguistics professor Henry Higgins seems just the ticket. But a ticket to what?

Australian premiere
4 June - 6 July
By John Hodge
Director: TBA

When prominent Russian writer Mikail Bulgakov is commissioned to pen a biographical drama about Joseph Stalin to celebrate the Russian dictator's 60th birthday, he soon discovers there is a high price to pay. Winner: 2012 Olivier Award for Best New Play.

Australian premiere
10 - 27 July
By Topher Payne
Director: Mark G Nagle

If gays aren't respected enough to win equal justice and rights, fear will achieve what good intentions and politics cannot. A deliciously subversive dystopian revenge tragedy - with more than a nod to Tarentino - that pushes all the buttons.

6 August - 7 September
Based on the novel by John Steinbeck
Adaptation by Frank Galati
Director: Louise Fischer

The story of the Joad family escaping the dust bowl of the American midwest for the promise of a new life in California during the Great Depression is a soaring and deeply moving affirmation of the indomitability of the human spirit. Winner: 1990 Tony Award for Best Play

Australian premiere
1 October - 2 November
By James Graham
Director: Alex Bryant-Smith

Set in 1970s England, a society blighted by government cuts, high unemployment, austerity measures and deregulation, this sharp, funny, dark look at political activism poses a question that is both topical and relevant: when does one person's resistance fighter become another person's terrorist?

Australian premiere
12 November - 14 December
Book by James Lapine
Music & lyrics by William Finn
Director: Deborah Jones

Based on the Academy Award-winning film about nine year old Olive Hoover, her dysfunctional family, and her dream of becoming a pageant queen, this delightful musical comedy filled with warmth and humour will charm audiences of all ages.

Full details of all the productions are on our website:

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