All ready for the launch in the Rydges Hotel Soleil Pool Bar
The huge audience awaiting the start of the launch in the Rydges Podium Room
Right: Jason Klarwein who will be directing an all star cast in the season opener Death of a Salesman. More photos follow the story
Five world premieres, a record number of interstate performances through co-productions, Queensland exclusives, Australia’s newest theatre - the Bille Brown Theatre - industry leadership via gender parity of writers and directors and four new women in artistic leadership positions, the first Principal Partnership in the Company’s history, and eight shows.
2019 will be Queensland Theatre’s biggest year yet.
Since taking over Artistic Director Sam Strong (right) has taken Queensland Theatre to huge success.
“͞In 2017 Queensland Theatre was the fastest growing major theatre company in Australia and the most watched performing arts company in Brisbane. In 2018, we grew our audience again and will open Brisbane and Australia’s newest theatre. And now, in 2019, we will take shows across Australia while also creating Queensland exclusives that will be the envy of the rest of the country,” said Strong.
“Queensland Theatre will present an unprecedented five world premieres in 2019. We begin with the world premiere of Hydra, award-winning playwright Sue Smith’s portrait of writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston.
“This is followed by the world premiere of the most provocative play to hit the Australian stage in years, City of Gold by electric young actor Meyne Wyatt. Next, in a coup for Queensland, we will be home to not just the world premiere of Joanna Murray-Smith’s latest play, but her world directorial debut, with the wickedly funny L’Appartement. Add to this the world premiere of hilarious new musical Fangirls by the unfairly talented Yve Blake, and the world premiere of award-winning Brisbane writer Merlynn Tong’s adaptation of Antigone, and you have Queensland Theatre’s most urgent, ambitious, and entertaining season yet," said Strong.
The season is rounded out by the classics, Death of A Salesman, performed by an all-star cast of Queenslanders (both resident and returning), the rock’n’roll family reunion Barbara and the Camp Dogs by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine, and a new production of Tom Holloway’s adaptation of Colin Thiele’s story Storm Boy, bringing together the creative forces behind Jasper Jones and The Wider Earth.
Season 2019 features local talent like David Morton of Dead Puppet Society, Emily Burton, Ray Chong Nee, Jason Klarwein, Thomas Larkin, Pacharo Mzembe, Christen O’Leary, Hugh Parker, Bryan Probets, and Melanie Zanetti.
It also continues Strong’s “State of Origin” approach of attracting leading Queensland talent home, actors like John Batchelor, Peter Kowitz, Angie Milliken and Anna McGahan, and one of Australia’s most in demand directors, Leticia Caceres.
Strong said 2019 was a season defined by the variety of experiences it gives audiences.
“Between the book-ends of two of the greatest plays ever written, we have an exquisitely observed relationship portrait, a rock and roll road trip, a provocative political battle cry, a heart-warming family classic, a wicked social comedy, and even a joyous new musical.
“Theatre-goers can be part of the extreme passion that only teenage years can induce, the disillusion that can accompany the end of a working life, the idealism of young adulthood, the ebbs and flows of a long relationship, and the bittersweet passage from childhood to adulthood,” said Strong.
͟In 2019 Queensland Theatre will once again traverse the rest of the country. Through co-productions with the state theatre companies in Adelaide and Melbourne, as well as two companies in Sydney, the work of Queensland Theatre will be seen on interstate stages for a record 129 performances.
2019 is a significant year for many reasons.
Next year Queensland Theatre will start the celebrations for the company’s 50th anniversary season in 2020, and it will see the first full year of programming in its own home theatre. The Bille Brown Studio is currently undergoing a $5.5million-dollar transformation and in October 2018 will take on a new life as the 351 seat Bille Brown Theatre a state-of-the-art corner stage, designed to be the perfect place for stories, artists, and most importantly audiences.
“We are tremendously proud of the community effort that has made the dream of our own theatre a reality,” said Executive Director Amanda Jolly. “We set ourselves our most audacious fundraising target ever, and with the help of the Queensland Government’s Arts Infrastructure Fund and our many generous and visionary donors we have succeeded. We thank each and every supporter. We can’t wait to share one of Australia’s best theatres with our audiences.”
In a continuation of the Company’s national industry leadership, Queensland Theatre has once again programmed a season that has achieved gender parity of writers and directors. In addition, in 2019, Queensland
Theatre will add to its reputation for revolutionising artistic leadership by appointing award winning Brisbane independent company, Belloo Creative, as resident company. All four women who make up Belloo - Caroline Dunphy (co-artistic director, director and performer); Katherine Lyall-Watson (co-artistic director and writer); Kathryn Kelly (dramaturg), and Danielle Shankey (producer and general manager) - will become an integral part of Queensland Theatre’s leadership team. They will also create a work for the 2020 season.
In a final coup for the Company, Queensland Theatre announced that from 2019 RACQ will become Queensland Theatre’s Principal Partner (the first for the Company).
Queensland Theatre season 2019:
9 February to 2 March: Death of a Salesman
9 March to 6 April: Hydra
1 May to 25 May: Barbara and the Camp Dogs
29 June to 20 July: City of Gold
29 July to 17 August: Storm Boy
3 August to 31 August: L’Appartement
7 September to 5 October: Fangirls
26 October to 16 November: Antigone
Bookings: Online at queenslandtheatre.com.au Telephone 1800 355 528 Email
Postal via PO Box 3310, South Brisbane 4101
In person at 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane
I had a ball at the launch...
With one of my favourite Aussie writers, Joanna Murray-Smith who makes her directorial debut with her latest play, a comedy called L’Appartement, and it was nice to meet Ursula Yovich (right) co-writer with Alana Valentine, of Barbara and the Camp Dogs.
With Jason Klarwein and radio announcer Jan Paterson.
Meeting up with a pair of Buchanans (not related) Leigh on the left and Andrew.