In 2019, we are setting out to embody our values and create a space for conversations that matter.
This means presenting more work for children, young people and families. In Chapter 1 we are so excited to present Arena Theatre’s vital production of ROBOT SONG and Holly Austin’s ALPHABET SOUP. In Chapter 2 we host JUNGLE BUNGLE in a tent during school holidays, present the riotous MAD AS A CUTE SNAKE during Fringe Festival and host a new hip-hop initiative for young people with the PLAY IT FORWARD HIP-HOP FESTIVAL. All these works are central to ensuring new people, young people, get to the theatre and become engaged with stories that matter.
This year, we are also making a concerted effort to change the very face of Australian theatre, by putting teams led by female-identifying artists front and centre. Fleur Kilpatrick’s stunning adaptation of SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE leads the charge in Chapter 1, with Leah Shelton’s staggering BITCH ON HEAT, The Anchor’s thought-provoking THE THREE GRACES and Rebecca Meston’s riveting DRIVE filling out Chapter 2. On top of this, Bridget Balodis and Krystalla Pearce’s SHE IS VIGILANTE program will see six women writers develop new works throughout the year, creating new narratives and new voices for female-identifying people.
Continuing our tradition of presenting tenacious, dangerous and boundary-shattering works, we are proud to present productions such as AUTOCANNIBAL by Mitch Jones and LET MEN TREMBLE by the Danger Ensemble. One a jaw-dropping solo piece, the other a rigorous ensemble show. Through new works by The Danger Ensemble, The Very Good Looking Initiative and The Anchor, we are supporting uncompromising ensemble practice; encouraging and promoting tight knit theatre communities and networks.
But where the focus of 2019’s programming truly lies is in our commitment to new writing and new scripts, proudly providing a platform for the storytellers of tomorrow. From ROBOT SONG to DRIVE to THE OTHER PLACE, THE THREE GRACES, MAD AS A CUTE SNAKE and SHE IS VIGILANTE, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are full of exciting new stories that need to be brought to life.
This year we will support 13 of these productions through the funding we received from the Australian Government’s Catalyst fund – putting every last cent of it towards funding the artists that will ignite the imaginations of audiences throughout 2019. As an organisation, we don’t hold on to any of this money.
We do this because the artists we want to work with need and deserve the support. There isn’t enough arts funding (full stop) to support independent artists and the visionary productions that we believe in.
We believe in exploring and celebrating hidden and unheard voices. We believe in courage and curiosity and stories of joy, discovery and searing insight. We believe that the artists we have programmed across 2019 have the power to shape the future with their vision.
– BRYCE IVES
BITCH ON HEAT
PRESENTED BY LEAH SHELTON & THEATRE WORKS
MAY 08 – 19
By Leah Shelton
Love latex and hate the patriarchy? Pour a drink, ditch the leash, and come revel in this twisted rehashing of the vintage sexism that drives how we live and love and fight and f*ck.
Absurdist lip-synch meets high-camp performance art in this pop-fuelled critique of sexual politics in the age of implied consent. Nothing is sacred as psycho-siren Leah Shelton trawls through a Pandora’s box of ancient myths, porn, pop-culture, instructional records and revenge movie heroines.
Welcome to the doghouse.Beware. This Bitch bites.
“An all-guns blazing, brute force demolition of sexual politics”
“Performance art at its best. Every moment is executed with the intention of provoking emotion in the audience – from bemusement to anger to a righteous rage that stays with you as leave. ”
“They come along once in a blue moon. Shows that stop you dead in your tracks. Simply magnificent … don’t think I’ve ever seen an audience so totally gobsmacked.”
“Provocative and thought inducing…absolute perfection.”
PRESENTED BY THEATRE WORKS
MAY 15- 18
Back by popular demand and following sell-out seasons in New York, Los Angeles and Melbourne in 2018, SWANSONG returns to Theatre Works for a strictly limited season before a massive regional tour across Victoria.
Meet Occi Byrne, the illegitimate child of a single mother in the Catholic west of Ireland. Shunned by church, state and family, Occi must ght his way to adulthood in a dog eat dog world. SWANSONG is the story of a lost soul from one of the masters of Irish drama.
REGIONAL TOUR LOCATIONS
CITY OF CASEY
BURRINJA CULTURAL CENTRE
KYNETON TOWN HALL
COHUNA ANGLICAN CHURCH
KINGSTON ARTS CENTRE
POTATO SHED GEELONG
WEST GIPPSLAND ARTS CENTRE
HEYFIELD WAR MEMORIAL HALL
FRANKSTON ARTS CENTRE
MOUNT BEAUTY COMMUNITY CENTRE
“Swansong is responsible for one of my favourite performances of 2018. Andre de Vanny is absolutely astonishing in this violent, tragic and hauntingly tender story of a young man fighting his way into adulthood.”
MYRON MY, MY MELBOURNE ARTS
THE THREE GRACES
PRESENTED BY THE ANCHOR & THEATRE WORKS
MAY 22 – JUN 02
Carved straight from the epic traditions of Greek theatre, The Three Graces is drama on a grand scale. With striking visual clarity and amplified physical performances produced by Melbourne theatre company, The Anchor, The Three Graces will plunge audiences straight into the gearshift of the twenty-first century.
The Three Graces have a lot to say. They are a legacy from a different time; an artistic symbol of what humans have chosen to preserve, what humans have valued in the past and what humans think should endure into the future. In this play, they manifest as a public fountain and meeting place. When the water is turned off, they become aware that the world is crumbling around them, and are forced to decide whether it’s worth sticking around for a future that humans are failing to preserve.
In the same city, three young women are making their way in the world. They are living in a time of extremes, with a volatile future staring them down. As woman, they finally have the power and opportunity to lead. Yet there is a snag, and it comes in the shape of a baby. Can women raise profit margins and the next generation, while simultaneously treading lightly on the earth?
This play is set at a tipping point, in a world of shifting morals. It explores the tension between our personal responsibility to the future, and our collective desperation to transform ourselves into something worthy of preservation. The Three Graces asks: can we live a valuable life under the weight of the legacies we’ve inherited? Who has the right to make their mark on this earth? And how much time do we have left before this all evaporates?
“The Anchor Theatre Company has provided new and insightful theatrical challenges that are dramatically absorbing and daring in style and technique”
FLORA GEORGIOU, STAGE WHISPERS
“The development of The Anchor as a theatre company is something to which theatre goers should pay attention”
TIM GARRETT, THEATRE PEOPLE
PRESENTED BY REBECCA MESTON & THEATRE WORKS
JUN 06 – 15
Drive is an exploration of fallen, deviant women set against long stretches of open road. It is inspired by the true story of former NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who in 2007, got into her car and drove non-stop 14-hours from Houston to Orlando to confront her ex-lover’s lover. Disguised in a dark wig, glasses and trench coat, she had in her car a knife, mallet, BB gun, duct tape, rope, photos of women in bondage – and allegedly wore an adult nappy so that she didn’t have to stop.
This new theatrical work re-imagines Lisa’s story and her 14-hour drive, putting the spotlight on a particular kind of female implosion that’s as old as Anna Karenina and Hedda Gabler and as recent as any number of news articles about a woman, usually in her 40s, seemingly the image of perfection, who suddenly snaps, and drives her life into a ditch. Over 50 minutes, Drive tracks the unravelling of a highly capable woman, filled with mess, nuance and controlled rage.
The work is situated across four worlds: Space; the inside of a car; the open road; and the realm of Lisa’s imaginings. She drives, but in the back seat of her car, memory and fantasy come and go, like a dark, otherworldly version of Taxicab Confessions. The text is blended with strong choreographic elements and a richly evocative soundscape to mine the terrain of grief, loss, disappointment and the ways we find hope in the darkness.
Pushing together vast galaxies with cramped, hedged-in spaces; loneliness with unfettered desire; and motherhood with the requirements of being an elite professional, Drive asks the ultimate question, how close are any of us, at any time, to snapping? To getting into a car and not looking back?
PRESENTED BY OOZING FUTURE & THEATRE WORKS
JULY 09 – 21
Why do we do things that we know are bad for us?
Addiction, obesity, corruption, over-consumption. On all fronts homo sapiens seem to be intent on wiping themselves out through perplexingly myopic decision making.
In the aftermath of an apocalyptic social collapse, one person survives – but he’s still hungry…
Drawing together elements of circus, performance art, BDSM culture and clowning, AutoCannibal is an experimental new work of solo physical theatre that explores ideas of resource depletion, environmental exhaustion and social decay through the metaphor of the performers body.
What will we eat when we’ve consumed it all? Ourselves.
PRESENTED BY VTM PRODUCTIONS
JULY 09 – 14
It’s a new day and a new school for Oliver, and making a new friend when he meets Claire in the school ground doesn’t help him with the feeling that nothing is as it should be. Even when Claire agrees to show Oliver home at the end of the school day and then stay and play for a while thingsstill aren’t right. And they are about to get much worse. Somehow they find themselves a lot further away from home than either of them could ever have imagined! Here they were in a jungle, without supplies, a mobile phone or a map, and only Oliver’s crazy compass, which has a mind of its own, to guide them. How were they ever going to get out of this place and find their way home? Oh and did we mention that they were being followed?
Join Claire and Oliver on an exciting musical safari created to engage the young and young at heart in a magical adventure. JUNGLE BUNGLE explores the theme of fear of the unknown while celebrating friendship, individuality and imagination
“Jungle Bungle is a wonderful display of energy and enthusiasm, delivering a simple story with a surprisingly satisfying moral. Barrels of fun, Jungle Bungle is well worth a watch for any family.”
JAMES BEAGON, BROADWAY BABY
LET MEN TREMBLE
PRESENTED BY THE DANGER ENSEMBLE & THEATRE WORKS
AUG 14 – 25
Contemporary and experimental theatre company The Danger Ensemble return to Theatre Works following their hugely divisive 2018 production The Hamlet Apocalypse.
Inspired by The Scarlett Letter, a 17th century puritan romance, Let Men Tremble throws colonial concepts of sin, sex and the role of women in society into a modern day crucible.
Lead by award-winning Director/Designer Steven Mitchell Wright the cast of thirteen take a piece of seminal American literature and transform it into cuttingly-contemporary Australian theatre.
Let Men Tremble is a rebellion. A revolt. A clarion call. It is a battle cry against the patriarchy, the church and theatre itself. It is a liturgical slut drop dripping with song, dance and theatrical madness. Get whet.
verb sharpen the blade of (a tool or weapon). “she took out her dagger and began to whet its blade in even, rhythmic strokes”
noun a thing that stimulates appetite or desire. “he swallowed his two dozen oysters as a whet”
PRESENTED BY THEATRE WORKS
SEP 11 – 22
Visit Batmania, Melbourne’s most popular holiday destination!
Take your seat aboard the Batmania Tour Bus. Enjoy the sights on a fully guided journey through the dark heart of Australian history, culture and politics. Batmania is a surreal, twisted, horror comedy where tourists will be confronted with all that this great, southern land has to offer.
Ride a kangaroo! Get a photo with your favourite white colonial, male hetero! Buy an Australian flag from our gift shop! Or simply kick back and enjoy some of the freshest produce the Batmanian Tuckshop has to offer, including a selection of fresh Murray Cod, Calipos and fine wines organically sourced from the Coal Regions of Adani.
There is something for everyone in Batmania. Come visit and discover exactly why this place is called the “lucky country”.
“ Batmania is an extremely un – Australian examination of our unstable connection to the fiction underpinning this nations vexed sense of self. ”
“ I can’t think of any other company or individual in Melbourne that is doing this style of comedy and theatre as well as this. ”
MAD AS A CUTE SNAKE
PRESENTED BY THEATRE WORKS
SEP 25 – OCT 06
AD AS A CUTE SNAKE is a riotous and joyful theatrical adventure story about having the courage to be yourself – whatever that may be!
Join Cardigan Coriander-Turner on an epic adventure from suburban Melbourne to the Daintree Rainforest as she tries to save Trix, her family’s pet snake, from certain tragedy. They encounter a host of colourful characters along the way: a camel who dreams of performing in Birdz got Talent!, a ruthless baby-pirate, and the King of the Daintree, a rapping tree-frog.
Featuring hilarious clowning, backyard acrobatics, original songs, DIY sock puppets and plenty of high-energy slapstick humour, this silly-as-pants theatrical rollercoaster is about having the courage to be yourself – whatever that may be. It’s also chock-full of dance breaks, fabulous costumes, jokes about poo, bums, and other gross stuff that will delight family audiences.
MAD AS A CUTE SNAKE is from the multi-award winning team behind the nationally toured smash-hits CUT SNAKE and SUPERHERO TRAINING ACADEMY, and combines high-calibre theatre with insane amounts of silliness, wrapped up in a package that the whole family will enjoy.
SAVE UPWARDS OF $45 AND GET 25% OFF AT THE THEATRE WORKS BAR BY BECOMING A FRIEND OF THEATRE WORKS
To say thank you, after you have booked we will send you a personalised letter and a black Theatre Works loyalty card that will save you 25% at the Theatre Works bar for the rest of 2019.
This discount applies to all shows in Chapter One and Chapter Two.
WE’RE HIRING FOH CASUAL STAFF
To apply, please email your CV and Cover Letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviews to be conducted from Wed 20th March