Australia’s largest professional theatre company, the Sydney Theatre Company, has just launched its 2013 season of plays.
At the top of the pile is Samuel Beckett’s timeless classic, Waiting for Godot, starring Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh. The play will be directed by Tamas Ascher, responsible for the STC’s hugely successful international touring production of Checkhov’s Uncle Vanya.
Probably the most recognisable play of the absurdist movement, Godot comfortably rests near or at the top of many theatre critics lists as one of the best plays of the 20th century. It is also what Kenneth Tynan famously reviewed upon its premiere in 1955 as a play in which “nothing happens, twice”. Close behind Godot is another absurdist masterpiece, Jean Genet’s The Maids, starring Cate Blanchett, while Tom Stoppard’s 1966 comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead also sees the light of day.
As with the Melbourne Theatre Company, the Sydney Theatre Company will boast a new work by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. While the MTC will premiere True Minds, the STC will be busy showcasing Murray-Smith’s other new play Fury. Like the MTC, The Sydney Theatre Company will host the award-winning touring production of One Man, Two Guvnors by the National Theatre of Great Britain.
Also of note are two stage adaptations of Australian novels. The 2013 season begins in January with playwright Andrew Bovell’s (When The Rain Stops Falling, Speaking In Tongues) adaptation of Kate Grenville’s critically acclaimed novel about early white encounters with Aboriginal Australia, The Secret River. In August, Colin Thiele’s Storm Boy, a 1964 children’s book about a boy and his pelican Mr Percival, set on the South Australian coast, will be adapted for the Sydney Theatre Company stage by Tom Holloway.