From opera to dance with a bit of Bard in between, La Boite’s 2016 season seems to have something for everyone as the theatre company plans works with an array of collaborators in a line-up that can only be categorised as diverse…. in culture, identity, ideas and forms beyond just text-based theatre.
Following the critical success of the theatre company’s recent co-production with Brisbane Festival of the new Australian work “Prize Fighter”, creative partnerships feature prominently in the 2016 program, promising magical synergy as, for example, the company joins together with Opera Queensland as part of next year’s Brisbane Festival to present the World Premiere of a gripping re-imagining of Grimm’s Snow White “as juicy as a poisoned apple and as bloody and brutal as deer-kill”. This is not a fairy-tale retelling for children though, as it intends to upend expectations and blur the boundaries of good and evil for audiences up close and in-the-round. Given that the show features four musicians and four singer/actors from styles from opera to rock joining forces, it promises to be an evocative, memorable season from September 3 – 24.
In another Queensland collaboration, La Boite will work with Circa, Brisbane’s world-renowned contemporary circus company, to present “When One Door Closes” from April 6 – 23, a story that considers if three of the great heroines of Twentieth Century drama, Miss Julie, Hedda Gabler and The Dollhouse’s Nora were to meet, and promises, in true Circa style, to stretch the laws of nature in a stunning display of extreme acrobatic theatre.
There is also an inaugural co-production with the State Theatre Company of South Australia in “Straight White Men”, a razor-sharp 2014 social comedy from Korean American Young Jean Lee which tells the story of three brothers returning to their Midwest American home to keep their widowed father company over Christmas and, in doing so examines how carefree youth can give way to mid-life anxiety. The interrogation of cultural privilege through sit-com sensibility will play from 27 July to 13 August with a cast including Roger Newcombe, Hugh Parker, Chris Pitman and Lucas Stibbard.
To end the season from October 15 – November 12, Tennessee Williams’ stormy “A Streetcar Named Desire” is set to sweep onto the Roundhouse Stage with Bridie Carter and James Stewart headlining as its flawed characters: brittle southern belle Blanche DuBois and her sister Stella’s brute beefcake husband Stanley Kowalski, upon whom she descends for extended New Orleans visit. The Pultizer Prize Winning 1948 drama of a damaged diva’s ruined grandeur is an American classic, yet also suggests essential contemporary thematic resonance in the hands of La Boite’s Artistic Director Todd Macdonald.
Of similarly classic canonical origin comes “The Tragedy of Richard III”, arguably Shakespeare’s most famous history play, which depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. With direction by Daniel Evans, the devised work promises to transform the deformed discontent stage of Shakespeare’s telling to a story for this century…. one can only imagine the contemporary corruption fuelled take that awaits during its May/June season, if his Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and The Seagull are indicators. With performers including Amy Ingram, Todd MacDonald and Naomi Price, the show promises to be a treat for audiences in want of a right royal excavation of ‘the play, the man and ourselves’.
Change is evident in the closure of the La Boite Indie program. Rather, in 2016 a new Hwy program will see the company’s six diverse artists-in-residence (Kim ‘Busty Beatz’ Bowers, Daniel Evans, Michelle Law, Suzi Miller, Ngoc Phan and Mark Sheppar) showing work in a two week festival in June with the aim of engaging audiences in the artistic process. In conjunction with the eclecticism of the season’s five shows, Hwy hopes to both introduce new audiences and inspire existing ones.
With collaboration at its core, the 2016 La Boite Theatre season of unique and passionate shows is sure to be fresh as well as fulfilling. As Artist Director, Todd MacDonald has noted “theatre has the capacity to embrace difference in so many ways.” Given its varied 2016 menu, the theatre company seems set to continue to both enliven and inspire its audiences, no matter what the nature of their tastes might be. Indeed, whether you want to lose yourself in the languish of Tennessee Williams’s words or appreciate the physical language of a modern acrobatic show, the line-up is sure to offer something that will matter to you. Season packages are on sale now.