The cast of Sydney Theatre Company’s Gross und Klein (Big and Small) are today celebrating the closing performance of a triumphant season at the famed Théâtre de la Ville in Paris ahead of a European tour.
Critics have praised the cast and the creative team of this hot ticket show, which is touring from Paris to London, Vienna and Recklinghausen.
France’s Minister of Culture, Frederic Mitterrand, awarded star of the show (and STC Co Artistic Director) Cate Blanchett the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres, one of France’s highest cultural honours.
Blanchett has been described by the French media as “mesmerising”, “magnetic” and “endearing” in her portrayal of Lotte Kotta, the role which won her the Best Actress in a Leading Role of a Mainstage Production at the Sydney Theatre Awards this year.
Gross und Klein’s Paris season sold out soon after Opening Night, and the entire original STC cast of 14 will be celebrating Easter Sunday with the knowledge that this production, Directed by Benedict Andrews, is creating a stir around the world.
The New York Times, responding to the buzz and excitement around the production in Paris has attributed the success of the show to “the result of the happy chemistry of Ms. Blanchett’s versatile skills, the sharp wit of Martin Crimp’s English script and the direction of Benedict Andrews, an Australian who sees humour as a way for the audience to get close to the main character, Lotte Kotta.”
STC General Manager Patrick McIntyre is thrilled with the response in Paris, as he announced to the opening night audience of Les Liaisons Dangeruses last week:
“The rapturous response in France to STC’s Gross und Klein (Big and Small) is truly exciting. To have won over the notoriously tough Parisian audiences is a wonderful start for the Company’s biggest ever European tour” he said.
“Everyone at STC also takes great pride in that fact that our Co Artistic Director Cate Blanchett has been awarded Frances’s highest cultural award, the Chevalier Medal. This is an extraordinary and well-deserved honour.”
Gross und Klein (Big and Small) premiered at Sydney Theatre in November 2011. In her review of the Sydney season, AussieTheatre’s Suzanne Mackay said “It is so good to see a play like this attempted by the STC and is worth the price of admission for the performances alone”.
Performances in Paris began on 29 March and end today, Sunday 8 April.
The STC touring party then travels to London for performances at the Barbican, from 13 – 29 April (as one of the leading projects in the London 2012 Festival ahead of the Olympics), followed by performances at Wiener Festwochen, Vienna, from 11 – 20 May, and finally the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, from 25 May – 2 June 2012.
The touring cast includes Cate Blanchett, Lynette Curran, Anita Hegh, Belinda McClory, Josh McConville, Robert Menzies, Katrina Milosevic, Yalin Ozucelik, Richard Piper, Richard Pyros, Sophie Ross, Chris Ryan, Christopher Stollery and Martin Vaughan.
Gross und Klein features set design by Johannes Schütz, costume design by Alice Babidge, lighting design by Nick Schlieper and sound design by Max Lyandvert.