New Theatre is bringing to Sydney stages a new initiative: Brand New - a season of Australian plays. The season will consist of the World Premieres of The Park by Simon Thomson and The Chocolate Factory by Brooke Robinson. Each play will have a season of one week, with six performances from Monday - Saturday, 17 - 29 January 2022. Both plays were originally entered in The Silver Gull Play Award in 2020, and bringing these two examples of local contemporary playwriting to production is yet another step on New Theatre's commitment to seeking out and encouraging new theatrical voices. The productions mark the New Theatre debuts of directors Jess Davis and Emma Whitehead, set designer Verica Nikolic, sound designers Samantha Cheng, Jazz Chun and Nefarious, and multi-ARIA awarding winning composer Sally Whitwell who's creating an original score for The Chocolate Roster. THE PARK by Simon Thomson
“I like this place. It scares me as well. Weird energy.”
A small group of characters traverse a park, accosted by both the fantastical and the earthly. What terrors are brutally real, and what are imagined? And how do they deal with the consequences of their journeys as narrative threads reveal themselves to be increasingly intertwined?
In our collective psyches, parks are places of fun and relaxation during the day but take on darker, more threatening aspects at night. The benign becomes sinister as the sun goes down.
Etched in magic realism, this new Australian play combines humour and horror to explore themes of social anxiety, physical and psychological violence, and infidelity. The Park plays Monday - Saturday, 17 - 22 January, 7:30pm
CREATIVE TEAM Director Jess Davis Set & Vision Designer Verica Nikolic Lighting Designer Mehran Mortezaei Sound Designer Samantha Cheng Set Construction Tom Bannerman
CAST Michela Carattini, Ben Dewstow, Shanti Goupil-Gilderson, Priyanka Karunanithi,Mym Kwa, Simon Lee, Tahlia Merlino, Orlando Norman, Madeleine Osborne
THE CHOCOLATE ROSTER by Brooke Robinson
“I know how you feel about praline, but not your son.”
In the small regional NSW town of Dorewick, Toni and Jane have set up a support group for mothers who’ve lost children to suicide. They meet weekly above the local pub, to chat and share a rotating selection of chocolate.
But numbers are falling, and Toni has resorted to subterfuge to boost membership: she’s started promoting the group as a social meet-up for childless women over thirty. When prospective new member Eliza arrives, hoping for fun outings, she soon finds herself trapped in a lie.
This warm, moving, gently funny new Australian play balances darkness and truth to present a profoundly honest portrayal of community and healing. The Chocolate Roster plays Monday - Friday, 24 - 28 January 7:30pm, Saturday 29 January, 2pm.
CREATIVE TEAM Director Emma Whitehead Composer Sally Whitwell Set Designer Verica Nikolic Lighting Designer Mehran Mortezaei Sound Designers Jezz Chen, Nefarius Props and Set Dressing Sangeeta Tandon Set Construction Tom Bannerman Stage Manager Marica Fumanti
CAST Amy Victoria Brooks, Susan Jordan, Atharv Kolhatkar, Heather Pitt, Annette van Roden
Full details/tickets for both shows https://newtheatre.org.au/brand-new/