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New Theatre Presents WHAT THE BUTLER SAW

New Theatre Presents WHAT THE BUTLER SAW

Libidos run riot in this darkest of farces, stuffed full of twists and turns, mishaps and changes of fortune, coincidences and lunatic logic, as six characters gradually lose the plot, their wits and/or their clothes.

Orton lays out a smorgasbord of politically-incorrect taboos in deliberately bad taste, attacking society's hypocrisy and the established order with his delicious brand of outrageous and subversive provocation.

Highly controversial when it premiered in 1969, What The Butler Saw retains its ability to shock, even though what society deemed unacceptable 50 years ago has fluctuated over time. The play remains a joyous and very, very silly celebration of queerness.

Following our production of Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane in 2012, we are delighted to be giving this, his final play, a long-overdue Sydney revival, with director Danielle Maas making her New Theatre debut.

Danielle is a graduate of AADA (now AIMDrama), Artistic Associate of Sydney Chamber Opera, a member of Directors Lab for the 2016 Melbourne Festival, and holds a Masters of Advanced Theatre Practice (Distinction) from the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, London. Recent credits include Assistant Director to Kip Williams on Cloud Nine (STC) and Assistant Director to Andrew Davidson on Xerxes (Hampsted Garden Opera).

"Orton is one of my favourite playwrights," says Danielle, "and his final work is enormously challenging: technically monstrous, with more entrances and exits than any other play in history; textually dense with subversive language, and a masterpiece of farce. It's like choreographing a ballet whilst conducting a symphony. I suppose I'm drawn to it because it's utterly impossible and totally offensive, and that seems like a great night out in any context.

"I hope audiences leave having rediscovered laughter as a form of meditation for an array of ideas: the institutional abuse of power, the patriarchal use of jargon as one-upmanship in the pursuit of status, the danger of repression, the beauty of queerness and the challenge of communicating what you want and then going after it."

The production design by Tobias Manderson-Galvin is being realised by Aeva O'Dea (costumes) and Tom Bannerman (set), and one of Australia's most accomplished lighting designers, Martin Kinnane, makes a welcome return to New Theatre.

The cast of six reaches across the spectrum of diversity: recent NIDA graduate Ariadne Sgouros is of Greek heritage; Amrik Tumber identifies as gay and has Indian heritage; Andrew Guy, co-host of Channel 10's The Project, is a transgender male.

In keeping with the 'queer' nature of the play, the director has gender-switched a number of the roles, so the usually male-identified characters of 'Dr Prentice' and 'Nick' are being played by female actors, while the roles of 'Geraldine' and 'Mrs Prentice' are being played by males.

Cast Madeleine Carr, Jake Fryer-Hornsby, Andrew Guy,
Martin Quinn, Ariadne Sgouros, Amrik Tumber

Director Danielle Maas
Production Designer Tobias Manderson-Galvin
Lighting Designer Martin Kinnane
Sound Designer Georgia Condon
Assistant Costume Designer Aeva O'Dea
Assistant Set Designer Tom Bannerman
Accent Coach Alistair Toogood
Production Manager Gundega Lapsa
Production Assistant Mark G Nagle
Stage Manager Angela Atkinson
Assistant Stage Manager Bernadette Fam


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