Fresh, Invigorating and Globally Relevant: Malthouse Announces 2012 Season, Melbourne

 This week, the Malthouse Theatre (Melbourne) announced its 2012 season featuring a mix of Malthouse Theatre’s signature engagement with cutting-edge contemporary dance and theatre, alongside companies and genres rarely seen on the company’s stages.

 This week, the Malthouse Theatre (Melbourne) announced its 2012 season featuring a mix of Malthouse Theatre’s signature engagement with cutting-edge contemporary dance and theatre, alongside companies and genres rarely seen on the company’s stages. The company have re-jigged their season structure to present a series of works which reflect the breadth and vivacity of Australian contemporary performance across its three stages. Drawing artists and ideas from all over the world, the twelve mainstage productions in the 2012 line up include six world premieres, five Melbourne premieres and five new commissions.  Artistic Director Marion Potts will direct a production of Lorca’s passionate Blood Wedding, in a new bilingual adaptation by Raimondo Cortese to be performed in both Spanish and English.  Circus and family theatre – not previously seen in Malthouse Theatre seasons – are featured in the 2012 program with the Brisbane-based contemporary circus company Circa, and Windmill Theatre Company’s musical for families, Pinocchio. “Circa and Windmill Theatre are two companies that have earned our national pride as internationally-renowned artists, and will now give our audiences an unprecedented experience of theatrical form: Circa’s contemporary circus language is unique, and Windmill Theatre Company is a benchmark in children’s theatre. Add to that works such as Vicki Van Hout’s ground-breaking Indigenous dance vocabulary in Briwyant, and the 2012 Malthouse Theatre season is fresh, invigorating and globally relevant”, said Potts. Thomas Bernhard’s comedy The Histrionic (Der Theatermacher), directed by Daniel Schlusser, will feature two Australian stage legends Bille Brown and Barry Otto. Tom Wright has translated Bernhard’s play, drawing out the gallows humour common to both Austrian and Australian culture. The Histrionic reveals the ingenious capacity of humans to create personas for ourselves and inhabit them like skin. Continuing its commitment to new Australian writing for the stage, Associate Artist, Matthew Lutton, will direct two world premieres: a reconstruction of classical mythology in On the Misconception of Oedipus, and the hedonistic ride of Pompeii, L.A., playwright Declan Greene’s Merlyn Theatre debut.  Also, Malthouse Theatre favourite Paul Capsis returns with his deeply personal exploration of his Maltese heritage in Angela’s Kitchen. Capsis’ voyage begins at a kitchen table but plunges into his sprawling family history and offers a fitting tribute to a much-loved matriarch.
The 2012 Company in Residence will be the dynamic Four Larks, who will dance until they drop in The Plague Dances. Four Larks has wowed Melbourne audiences with its playful and unique aesthetic, lush visual assemblages and mesmerising original live scores. This new production offers a danse macabre with a contagious undercurrent. The Beckett Theatre will be stripped of its seating, to be replaced by some comfy sofas for Opera XS, complete with mulled wine for custom-made, intimate opera experiences.  A snippet of the Opera XS program (full program released in early 2012): 

  • Another Lament by Rawcus and Chamber Made Opera
  • Redfern, a work-in-progress by Deborah Cheetham and Short Black Opera Company.
  • One-on-one madrigals
  • An open-mike night 
  • A few improvised operas, conducted by Victorian Opera’s charismatic Richard Gill.

 Also in the Beckett Theatre, country music celebrity and global icon for peace, Tina C is on a mission in Tina C Solves the Aboriginal Crisis. She knows the relationship between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people is rife with tension. She knows it goes back a long way, and with her tongue firmly in cheek, Tina C plans to realise reconciliation, alongside Auriel Andrew, by singing original classics such as ‘You Built A Rabbit Proof Fence Around Your Heart’. Finally, building upon the critical successes of this year’s 90-seat black-box studio space the Tower Theatre, Malthouse Theatre is presenting Helium, an opportunity for independent artists or ensembles to present new works within a compact season July through to November 2012. “Independent artists are often at the forefront of the artistic zeitgeist and we want to assist them and their work with the profile and exposure they deserve. Helium is designed to offer juicy opportunities for contemporary performances which are made independently from Malthouse Theatre, but which have a strong affinity with our creative visions and aspirations. These artists will be able to tap our practical and artistic resources to further their creative and cultural careers”, said Artistic Director, Marion Potts.  The call for expressions of interest from artists is now open, and Helium season details will be announced in March 2012.    



The Wild Duck Directed by Simon StonePerformed by John Gaden, Anita Hegh, Ewen Leslie, Eloise Mignon, Anthony Phelan, Toby Schmitz Season dates: 17 February – 17 March
The HistronicDirected by Daniel SchlusserPerformed by Bille Brown, Barry Otto, Josh Price, Katherine Tonkin, Jennifer Vuletic, Edwina WrenSeason dates: 2 April – 5 May
CircaCreated by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa ensemble Performed by Nathan Boyle, Jessica Connell, Daniel Crisp, Jarred Dewey, Todd Kilby, Alice Muntz, Brittanie Portelli Season dates: 29 May – 10 June
Briwyantby Vicki Van HoutPerformed by Henrietta Baird, Ian RT Colless, Ghenoa Gela, Raghav Handa, Mel Tyquin, Vicki Van Hout Season dates: 4 – 14 July

Blood WeddingBy Federico Garcia LorcaPerformed by Silvia Colloca, Nicole Da Silva Ivan Donato, Mariola Fuentes, Ruth Sancho Huerga, Matias StevensSeason dates: 21 July – 19 August
PinocchioDirected and Created by Rosemary Myerswith Writer Julianne O’BrienPerformed by Danielle Catanzariti, Jude Henshall, Derek Lynch, Nathan O’Keefe, Geoff Revell, Alirio Zavarce Based on the books by Carlo CollodiSeason dates: 6 – 29 September Pompeii, L.A.By Declan GreeneDirected by Matthew LuttonCast includes Belinda McClory, Chris Ryan, Anna Samson, Greg StoneSeason dates: 16 November – 9 December



Tina C Solves The Aboriginal Crisis Created by Christopher Green Performed by Tina C and Auriel Andrew Season dates: 21 March – 8 April
Opera XS Operatic productions by Chamber Made Opera, Rawcus, Short Black Opera Company and Victorian Opera.Opera XS season dates: 6 – 11 JuneAnother Lament season dates: 6 – 10 JuneFull performance dates and times to be announced in early 2012. On The Misconception of Oedipus Devised by Zoe Atkinson, Matthew Lutton and Tom Wright Performed by Natasha Herbert, Richard PyrosSeason dates: 10 – 26 August

 Angela’s KitchenWritten by Paul Capsis and Julian Meyrick Performed by Paul CapsisSeason dates: 4 – 23 September
Wild Surmise Based on the verse novel by Dorothy Porter Devised by Jane Montgomery Griffiths Directed by Marion PottsCast includes Jane Montgomery Griffiths Season dates: 9 November – 2 December




The Plague DancesCreated by Four LarksMat Diafos Sweeney, Sebastian Peters-Lazaro, Jesse Rasmussen with Marcel DorneySeason dates: 14 – 29 April

Malthouse Theatre’s core artistic team is made up of its Artistic Director Marion Potts, and Associate Artists Van Badham (writing), Paul Jackson (design), and Matthew Lutton (directing). These artists, along with Executive Producer Jo Porter and the extended Malthouse Theatre team, have programmed a combination of new commissions, local collaborations, and national and international co-productions. 

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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