Chris Kohn unveiled his first season as Artistic Director of La Boite Theatre and the 2015 programme looks to be an exciting celebration for La Boite’s 90th birthday.
Wind in the Willows
In January, The Wind in the Willows is sure to charm and delight children of all ages. Luke Carroll takes on all the roles in what Khon described as ‘a one-man tour de force’. This adaptation by Queensland Drama Award Winner Maxime Mellor, directed by Kat Henry, will be one to look out for.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
In February, Benjamin Schostakowski (known for the hit A Tribute of Sorts) is adapting and directing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The classic tale will be transported into a ‘hyper urban environment’ of the 1960’s and will focus on a teen love… rectangle.
Next, La Boite’s former playwright in residence, Julia-Rose Lewis, has her main-stage debut in an Australian coming of age tale with Samson. This will be followed by Suzie Miller’s adaptation of Medea. Medea will be Khon’s directorial debut for La Boite. Starring Christen O’Leary and Helen Christinson, Medea promises to be an electric exploration of power, passion and intergenerational femininity.
In September, La Boite will transform into a boxing ring for the premier of Future D Fidel’s Prize Fighter. Future D Fidel is a La Boite Artist in Residence and this story is inspired by his experiences spending eight years in a Tanzanian refugee camp, having fled the Congo.
It will be performed by rising star Pacharo Mzembe (who comes to the role with years of boxing training) and his brother Gadeon Mzembe. As Khon said at the season launch, ‘La Boite will rock as the Mzembe brothers go toe-to-toe’.
A touch of Roald Dahl
Next, just in time for the July school holidays, La Boite will present a return season of the magical, naughty Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts. Get ready to see Roald Dahl’s witty words come to life as favourite nursery rhymes are flipped upside-down and turned inside-out.
La Boite Indie
Then comes the exciting La Boite Indie programme. Maxim is a dance show performed by Natalie Abbott (a contemporary dancer) and Donny Henderson-Smith (a professional body builder) and is billed as a feat of physical endurance.
Then, Krystal Sweedman’s Sunnytown. Sweedman is fresh from a playwriting degree at NIDA, and Sunnytown is a fiercely passionate and poetic exploration of family, choices and coping with consequences.
Created by Elbow Room, The Motion of Light in Water is a rollicking sci-fi adventure that explores both our past and possible future. Taking its inspiration from the life and work of Samuel R. Delaney and Marilyn Hacker, two of the boldest and most imaginative American writers of the 1960s, The Motion of Light in Water is a truly fantastic celebration of how we dream the future into being. Weaving music, language, movement and light, it takes the audience into thrilling imaginative territory.
To finish the year, The Chat. Written by former parole officer, James Brennan, this play is a philosophical exploration of notions of justice, forgiveness and what happens when the justice system gets it wrong.
I know I’m using the word a lot, but this season is SO EXCITING. There are so many new works and artists from many different backgrounds. I’m also excited that the presence of female creatives is so strong. of the ten shows, at my count, five are written or created by women and four have female directors. Thank you, La Boite, for following the lead of companies like Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company to redress the gender imbalance that has been rife in theatre circles.
Happy Birthday, La Boite
2015 is also special since as it marks La Boite’s 90th birthday. It was lovely to see Muriel Watson honoured at the launch as Muriel is also 90, and is a life member of La Boite. She was a member of the company when it moved to its previous Hale Street home in 1967. To celebrate, La Boite is asking for any memories you may have of the company- posters, playbills, photos, anecdotes. They invite you to add to their archive by going to 90yearslaboite.com.au.
Happy birthday, La Boite. You certainly don’t act your age.
2015 Mainhouse productions at the Roundhouse Theatre
The Wind in the Willows: 7 – 17 January
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 7 February – 7 March
Samson: 17 April – 2 May
Medea: 30 May – 20 June
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts: 4 – 11 July
Prize Fighter: 5 – 26 September
La Boite Indie 2015
Maximum by Natalie Abbott: 12 – 22 August
Sunnytown by Krystal Sweedman: 4 – 31 October
The Motion of Light in Water created by Elbow Room: 4 – 21 November
The Chat by James Brennan: 4 – 14 November