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2016 saw the State Theatre Company soar to new heights with a record-breaking production of the West-End version of Hitchcock's The 39 Steps starring four actors playing 139 roles in a raucous 100 minutes, while Andrew Bovell's Things I Know To Be True was the company's first-ever international co-production. And on the back of those successes, the State Theatre Company has released their 2017 program which promises to be even better than the heights they reached in 2016.
2017 commences with The Secret River during Adelaide Festival, an adaptation of Kate Grenville's 2005 text set on the Hawkesbury River in the early 19th century. Directed by Neil Armfield, The Secret River is to be staged in the abandoned quarry of Anstey Hill, a venue which was last used during the 1988 Adelaide Festival. With the gum trees and a sunset in this outside venue as backdrop, The Secret River is sure to become an unforgettable experience.
The second of seven main-stage works will be Mr Burns – A Post-Electric Play, a co-production with Belvoir Theatre which sees the survivors of an apocalyptic event spark a new type of religion with their re-creation of episodes of The Simpsons. An inventive production that's intelligent and holds good humour from characters we have all grown up with will be one of the more popular shows this season.
Image courtesy State Theatre Company
The company's upcoming season also features a number of new Australian works, including Joanna Murray Smith's Switzerland, which will see actress Sandy Gore portray author Patricia Highsmith, and Nicki Bloom's Vale, a dark comedy described as "a collision between the wit of Edward Albee and a modern Greek tragedy".
The 2017 State Education commission, Sista Girl – co-written by Elena Carapetis and Alexis West especially for Natasha Wanganeen and Nadia Rossi – is about two women, one indigenous and one non-indigenous, who share the same father but meet for the first time at his deathbed.
The complete 2017 programme reflects a resurgence of creative energy within the State Theatre Company with strong playwrights delivering stories of both the familiar and the first-time and is as follows :
This year also marks a significant shift in the creative direction of the State Theatre Company as well, with the introduction of the Ensemble comprised of six actors, a resident artist, resident designer and a resident director all devoted to working on two new productions to be presented in 2017 and 2018. It is anticipated that the Ensemble will reintroduce a method of theatre-making not seen for many years and will spearhead two classic productions during the year being A Doll's House and MacBeth.
The Company will be making use of Adelaide's existing, old and some new venues with this year's plays being performed in the Space, Dunstan and Her Majesty's Theatre, the Adelaide Town Hall, Plant 1 at Bowden, and of course Anstey's Quarry at Tea Tree Gully. For further details on the program and where to purchase tickets refer to the State Theatre Company website or to their facebook page.