A CHRISTMAS CAROL
This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ enduring story is best described as a political panto. Directed by Damien Ryan and featuring John Bell as Scrooge, music hall sing-alongs collide with a bracing call-to-arms against mean-spiritedness.
ALPHABETICAL SYDNEY: ALL ABOARD!
CREATED BY HILARY BELL AND ANTONIA PESENTI, WITH COMPOSER GRETA GERTLER GOLD
This family musical is an expansion (rather than adaptation) of the bestselling picture book, ‘Alphabetical Sydney’. Collaborating with composer Greta Gertler Gold and illustrator/designer Antonia Pesenti, the show has been developed through a City of Sydney Council grant. Thanks to a generous grant from RISE, the production premiered at Riverside Theatres in March 2022.
Stay tuned for details about the 2023 season at Sydney Opera House, followed by a tour.
Listen to Luke Escombe and Justine Clarke as Ibis and Nanna, singing ‘Feed Me’:
SUMMER OF HAROLD
The power of inanimate objects is huge, but only because of the stories we tell about them. Without the meaning we endow them with – history, memory, even magic – they are just a ‘thing’. A fake can be elevated to cult status; a cherished treasure ends up in an op shop, stripped of its associations and rendered worthless.
In Summer of Harold, three physical objects serve as portals into the intangible mess of existence, triggering crises that force their keepers to re-examine how they’ve lived their lives.
Commissioned by the Ensemble Theatre, and coming in September 2023. Details here.
An adaptation for the stage of the novel The Mind of a Deviant Woman, by American author Paula Paul. The play centres on the story of Carrie Buck, a teenage girl who in 1920s Virginia was used by the eugenics movement in a court case to legalise the forced sterilisation of ‘the unfit’. The criteria for ‘fitness’ were wildly biased, according to race, class, disability, and the prevailing morality of the day. 60,000 Americans were sterilised without their consent (or often, their knowledge); the Nazis cited the US Supreme Court’s decision in their defence at Nuremberg. It is yet to be overturned.
Find out more here.
Commissioned by Michael Dengler of Exit Game Productions.
Works In Progress
DO GOOD AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY
A MUSICAL FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN
COMPOSER PHILLIP JOHNSTON
A musical fantasia inspired by Cole’s Funny Picture Book, the enduringly popular 19th century publication from Melbourne bookseller E.W. Cole. The show is a gift to an imaginative director and design team, drawing in the first half on the gilded ornateness of Victorian music halls, and in the second becoming the stuff of a Dickensian nightmare.
A SONG CYCLE CREATED WITH COMPOSER LUKE STYLES
International film star, queen of vaudeville, champion swimmer, pioneering health & fitness guru, trail-blazing entrepreneur, female action hero, Hollywood’s highest-earning actor…
Annette Kellerman (1887-1975) was an expert manipulator of the media and creator of her own mythology. She caused sensation from her home in Sydney to the world stage, yet she has been virtually erased from history. Marrickville Mermaid restores her to her rightful place via a highly original work of music theatre. It is a vehicle for a star performer whose range runs from cabaret to classical.