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Belvoir Street Theatre

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by Emma Brown (subscribe)
I'm a freelance journalist and public relations consultant specialising in arts and entertainment.
Published January 3rd 2011
Take in some nourishment for the soul - some acclaimed theatre at one of Australia's most celebrated theatre companies at reasonable prices.

The Belvoir Street Theatre in Surry Hills has presented acclaimed productions from contemporary to classical under the artistic leadership of Neil Armfield for 15 years and in 2011 Ralph Myer takes the helm as artistic director.

Belvoir Street Theatre
Belvoir Street Theatre

According to the theatre's website: "Belvoir engages Australia's most prominent and promising playwrights, directors, actors and designers to present an annual artistic program that is razor-sharp, popular and challenging."

Belvoir sprang into being out of the unique action taken to save the Nimrod Theatre building from demolition in 1984."

The brainchild of Sue Hill and Chris Westwood, more than 600 theatre lovers, arts, entertainment and media professionals formed a syndicate to buy the building. Syndicate members included Gillian Armstrong, Ruth Cracknell, Judy Davis, Mel Gibson, Max Gillies, Dorothy Hewitt, Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Dame Joan Sutherland, Patrick White and Neil Armfield. "The idea of a new and innovative theatre - owned and run by people who worked in or loved the arts."

Many famous actors have trodden the boards at Belvoir St Theatre's Upstairs and Downstairs stages such as Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, Susie Porter, Richard Roxburgh, Max Cullen, Bille Brown, David Wenham, Deborah Mailman and Catherine McClements to name a few.

Production highlights include: The Alchemist, Hamlet, Waiting for Godot, Keating! And Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Diary of a Madman by Nikolai Gogol (playing till February 6, 2011) starring Geoffrey Rush is performing to packed houses.

The Sydney Morning Herald review revealed that: "Structured in diary form though David Holman's adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's story makes it seem more fluid Madman is a playful, frame-busting experience. In one moment, Poprishchin is speaking his thoughts aloud to no one in particular; in the next he asides to someone in the audience; suddenly he's parrying with the two-man orchestra perched on a platform above the stage entrance."

Diary of a Madman staring Geoffrey Rush
Diary of a Madman staring Geoffrey Rush

Upcoming productions include The Wild Duck (12 February 27 March 2011), Jack Charles v the Crown(30 March - 17 April 2011), The Kiss, (12 May - 5 June 2011), Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (24 September - 13 November 2011) and As You Like It (19 November - 24 December 2011). View the full 2011 calendar of productions here.

The Wild Duck is by Simon Stone with Chris Ryan after Henrik Ibsen and the director is Simon Stone with John Gaden, Anita Hegh, Ewen Leslie, Eloise Mignon and Toby Schmitz.
Are there some truths it's better not to know?

Hjalmar Ekdal's father was rich until scandal cast the family into poverty. Now he lives in a tiny flat with his father, his wife Gina and his daughter Hedvig. And a duck. And there's about to be a new member of the household. Gregers Werle has just returned to town with some unfinished business that could shatter the little world Hjalmar has built around himself."

The Kiss by Anton Chekhov, Kate Chopin, Peter Goldsworthy and Guy de Maupassant, the director is Susanna Dowling with Danielle Cormack, Catherine Davies, Yalin Ozucelik and Steve Rodgers.

"What do Peter Goldsworthy, Anton Chekhov, Kate Chopin and Guy de Maupassant have in common? They're all masters of the art of the short story, and they all wrote a story called The Kiss. Realising this, director Susanna Dowling had the inspired idea to put their four stories on stage, word for word."

The company also tours nationally and internationally two of its shows The Diary of A Madman and The Sapphires, featuring Casey Donovan, will tour to New York and London in 2011.

The Diary of A Madman's season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music will run from 11 February 12 March 2011.

"The Sapphires, a heart-lifting, foot-stomping Indigenous musical that features a live band and the some of the soul hits that defined a generation, will find a new audience at the Barbican in London, from 2-12 March 2011."

The Sapphires
The Sapphires featuring Casey Donovan
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Why? Enjoy some of the country's best theatre at affordable prices
When: Open Mon 9:30am-5pm; Tue-Sat 9:30am-7pm; Sun 2:30pm-4pm.
Where: 25 Belvoir Street Surry Hills.
Cost: Depending on production ranging from $39.
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