new theatre
Established October 1932


Programme for Current Season

2005 Programme

Special Event: MONA BRAND 90th Birthday Celebration - NIDA, 3pm, Saturday 22 October

Seven Little Australians | Falling Petals | The Wild Duck | Medea | Continental Drift - LUNCH WITH LUDWIG - THE GIRL ON THE SOFA - I WAS IN THE HOUSE, WAITING FOR THE RAIN | The Woman in the Window | Manly Mates

Love the Words>>>Staged readings of classic plays

Our scheduled series of staged readings takes its title from Gielgud's famous words of advice to young actors. These are texts we love and want to share with you. Their theme relates to the current show, but for one reason or another we cannot include them in our season as full productions. For pure enjoyment!

Running up a Dress |The Winslow Boy | Thief River |The Titanic Orchestra | Pelleas and Melisande | The Country|Black Sail White Sail

Ethel Turner's


Dramatized by Julia Britton
Directed by Elaine Hudson and Anne-Louise Luccarini
Thurs - Sat @ 7pm / Sun @ 5pm / Sat Matinees: 22 & 29 Jan @ 2pm
All Tickets: $15.00

This entertaining adaptation of the classic Australian story makes the perfect holiday treat for all the family.

Laugh and cry with the Woolcot family of 'Misrule' as the Captain tries unsuccessfully to control his madcap brood.

Meet the ever-hungry Bunty, little Nell, Pip, Baby and The General, the irrepressible Judy, and Meg, discovering what it means to be sixteen in 1895.

A talented ensemble cast ranging in age from 3 to 63 brings Australia's most famous family tale to life.

Photo from New Theatre production of
FALLING PETALS.  Photo: Phil Sheather

"full of provocative ideas...darkly satiric" Mark Hopkins, SMH


By Ben Ellis
Directed by Brendon McDonall
10 Feb - 12 March
Thurs - Sat @ 8pm / Sun @ 5.30pm
Tickets: $25.00 / $20.00 concession

Assistant director: Esti Regos; Set Designer: Tom Bannerman; Costume Designer: Jen Hird; Lighting Designer: Spiros Hristias with Peter Barry, Kellie Higgens, Emma Wood, Amelia Longhurst and Adam Kennedy.

The Sydney premiere of this award-winning Australian play, a thought-provoking contemporary satire that is both funny and frightening.

Something strange is happening in the country town of Hollow: a mysterious plague is killing the young people. Sally, Tania and Phil, three vulnerable school-leavers, are caught in this diseased backwater. Success in their final exams may be the only passport out of a country town with no future. As the deadly outbreak reaches epidemic proportions, it becomes a desperate race against time, their straightforward ambitions ever more threatened as Hollow is put under quarantine and mob rule takes over.

Winner of the Wal Cherry Play of the Year award and the ANPC Young Dramatist award, this play shows brilliant young Melbourne writer Ben Ellis at his most sharp and observant. FALLING PETALS is a darkly humorous fable about the consequences of a culture of disposable youth. Powerful, caustic and deeply contemporary, it blasts the urban/rural fissure wide open.

love the words>>> Special Mardi Gras event
Presenting a staged reading of a classic of contemporary American theatre.


By Lee Blessing
Directed by Leigh Rowney and Michael Briggs
Three performances only:
Tues 15 Feb @ 8pm / Mon 21 Feb @ 8pm / Wed 2 March @ 8pm
All tickets: $10.00 cash/door sales only

"I just kept listening to him. That afternoon, and the next, and the next. That's how you fall in love. One confession at a time."

In an abandoned farmhouse near the fictional Midwestern town of Thief River, two men's different paths converge in a lyrical story of haunting desire. Spanning half a century of gay history, the play charts two lives and the changing values that shaped them.

Presented by arrangement with Hal Leonard Australia Ltd.

love the words>>>the winslow boy

by Terence Rattigan
directed by Rosane McNamara
by arrangement with Dominie Pty Ltd
8pm Tues 12 and Wed 13 April 2005.
All Tickets: $10 cash/door sales only
What price truth? Is it better not to know?

The Wild Duck

by Hendrik Ibsen
24 March - 23 April 2005
Thurs - Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 5.30pm

The tranquil existence of the Ekdal family is shattered when a long-hidden secret is revealed and events from the past impact on their lives with terrible repercussions.

photo from New Theatre 2005 production of Wild Duck

Henrik Ibsen, the great Norwegian dramatist, was a master at creating characters of profound psychological and emotional complexity. In plays such as HEDDA GABLER, A DOLL'S HOUSE and GHOSTS, he challenged the constricting social conventions and hypocritical attitudes of 19th century society with a striking clarity of perception that still resonates today.

THE WILD DUCK is not Ibsen's most often performed play, yet it is arguably his finest, matchless in its poignancy, depth and humour.

love the words>>>running up a dress

by Suzanne Spunner

Co-directed by Louise Fischer with Leigh Rowney, the play explores the complex and dynamic relationship between mothers and daughters.

The use of various sewing terms provides a strong metaphoric basis which underlines these relationships and causes us to question the role of women in today's society.

Running up a Dress is presented as a series of scenes involving mothers and daughters, doctors and midwives.

8pm 24th, 31st May, 1st June 2005
Finishes approximately 9.30pm
All Tickets: $10 cash/door sales only
Photo of scene from New Theatre production of Medea by Bob Seary


by Euripides

They are scared of the blood that flows
without the need of a wound

it's why they lock us up

to protect us from ourselves they say

to break the spell of the woman

A great tragedy of love, lust, betrayal, retribution and revenge, a young, dynamic cast and a powerful and exciting new interpretation

One of the greatest of all plays: a classic drama of love, betrayal, revenge and retribution.

5 May - 4 June 2005 Thursday-Saturday@8pm, Sunday@5.30pm
Special School Matinee Performance: Sat 14 May@3pm
The director and cast will discuss the production after the show.
School Students: $15 (one teacher free per 20 students)
Tickets: $25 ($20 Concession).

love the words>>>

By arrangement with Judy Daish Associates
THE COUNTRY by Martin Crimp
Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd June at 8 pm
Director: Fiona Green
Cast: Eve Hannefer, Ellouise Rothwell, Donald Sword

Richard and Corinne have moved to the country with their children, to escape the aspects of London that were threatening Richard's career as a doctor and their marriage. This may not have been as successful as Corinne had hoped, and an unexpected visitor brings all her doubts and fears to the surface.

Martin Crimp is one of the English-language writers who (like our own Daniel Keene) has absorbed and contributes to the post-modern stream of writing in Europe. Like The Girl On The Sofa, The Country takes a long, close look at a relationship in crisis.

Director Fiona Green is a recent new member. Also an actor, musician and dramaturg, she directed Twelfth Night (2004) and Much Ado About Nothing (2005) for the Coogee Summer Arts Festival. Fiona is very excited at this opportunity to present The Country for only the second time on a Sydney stage.

All Tickets: $10 cash/door sales only


CONTINENTAL DRIFT is a dynamic season featuring Australian premiere productions of three groundbreaking plays from contemporary Europe.

CONTINENTAL DRIFT explores the nuances of modern relationships and society in plays by Jon FOSSE (Norway), Thomas BERNHARD (Austria), and Jean-Luc LAGARCE (France).

CONTINENTAL DRIFT opens up a cultural world outside the tradition of English-speaking theatre with three acclaimed examples of current European drama.

single play: $20 / $18
season ticket: $45 / $40
BOOKINGS: 9519 8958

love the words>>>the titanic orchestra

by Hristo Boytchev

- but in fact there's no ship, and no orchestra, just one of the funniest political plays you'll ever see, a farce that sits midway between Samuel Beckett and Groucho Marx.

Directed by Peter Talmacs
With Frank McNamara, Kim Knuckey, Sandra Velini, Rich Knighton and Mark Butler.
8pm 26-27 July 2005
All Tickets: $10 cash/door sales only from 7.30pm

love the words>>>pelleas and melisande

by Maurice Maeterlinck
directed by Maréa Burton

With: Florette Cohen, Nick Simpson-Deeks, John Keightley, Barry French, Peter Talmacs, Jennie Dibley, Michelle Buckley, Arlene Head

8pm, Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 September 2005
All Tickets: $10 cash/door sales only

Sunday 18th September at the New Theatre

1 p.m. BIRD SINGS THE BLUES, a folk concert by Loosely Woven, the well-known group of 22 instrumentalists and singers. Fully acoustic - hear the actual sounds of violin and guitar strings, accordion & concertina, reeds, recorders and human voices (including your own!). All proceeds towards the New Theatre Building Fund. Tickets: $10 (9519 8958)


5 p.m. THE FIREGROUND, a new play by award-winning Sydney playwright Jennifer Compton. First-ever reading, staged and directed by Matthew O'Sullivan in the author's presence. THE FIREGROUND is a gripping human drama set in a NSW rural community. Cast includes Jock Brown, Alan Faulkner, Marcello Fabrizi, Les Asmussen, Angela Carmichael, Amanda Crompton, Tony Curtis, Libby Fleming, Louise Luccarini, Aidan Pezzutto, Steve Vella. Entry by donation.

Scene from THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW - Photo Bob Seary Sydney premiere production

The Woman in the Window

by Alma de Groen

Directed by Kevin Jackson.

Cast: Bard Canning, Les Chantery, Tanya Goldberg, Elaine Hudson, Belinda Sculley, Amber Todd, Lucy Taylor

Set: Tom Bannerman; Lighting: Michael Schell; Costumes: Kim Scott; Sound: Pete Neville; Asst. Director: Kate Wild

29 Sept - 29 Oct 2005 Thurs - Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 5.30pm
Tickets: $25 ($20 Concession).

Australia in the 23rd century: humanity is blinded by science; there are no countries, only corporations; Shakespeare lies undiscovered deep within the computer archives; and no female poet is ever acknowledged.

But in this futuristic world of intellectual terrorism and rigid controls, one young woman fights back.

Funny, ironic, thrilling, visionary: THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW celebrates the endurance of the human spirit of creativity.

A beautiful play by one of our finest writers at the height of her powers.

(by arrangement with RGM Associates)

"striking and compelling ... a wonderful play ... moving and imaginative ... Kevin Jackson has gathered an excellent cast and directs with an expressive, simply physical grammar and utter clarity ... Tom Bannerman's set and Kim Scott's costumes are delightful and serve the production well." - review by Stephen Dunne, SMH. October 1, 2005

love the words>>>black sail white sail

by Helene Cixous
A fully-staged reading
directed by Louise Fischer
Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th October at 8 pm

Cast includes: Marie Armstrong, Kath Perry, Jan Langford-Penny, Rosane McNamara, Chiara Giuliani

This play by the legendary feminist writer Hélène Cixous (who wrote The Flood Drummers for Ariane Mnouchkine's Théâtre du Soleil, the sensation of the Sydney Festival in 2002) is a natural partner for The Woman In The Window, giving us a close-up look at the great dissident poet Anna Akhmatova during the years of her house-arrest in Stalinist Russia. A study in courage, humour, love and remembrance. Don't miss this one; it's our last Love The Words for the year

All Tickets: $10 cash/door sales only


Playwright, feminist, social activist and New Theatre Life Member MONA BRAND will turn 90 on Saturday 22 October.

To honour her life and work, New Theatre and NIDA are joining forces to present a SPECIAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION in her presence.

New Theatre members will present excerpts from her plays and songs; there will be tributes from old friends and professional colleagues; a birthday cake (of course) and the chance to toast an important Australian artist.


Mona Brand was one of a group of determined women dramatists whose work for stage and radio from the 1930s to the 1950s helped establish our national theatre culture.

Many of these women were also left-leaning: paid up members of the Communist Party or fellow travellers, active in political and social movements of the day and consequently deemed dangerous and subversive by the conservative powers-that-be, their activites closely monitored by ASIO!

It was at the radical New Theatre that these writers and their plays found a natural home. Mona Brand broke new ground with he r examination of Australian society and culture from a feminist, anti-colonial and anti-racist standpoint, in opposition to the 'pioneers-and-bush' mythology that characterised so much Australian writing. Her plays questioned and explored the way we live in a manner not seen again until the emergence of 'new wave' groups like Nimrod and The Pram Factory and playwrights such as Sewell, Nowra and de Groen. New Theatre is proud to claim Mona Brand as a Life Member.

New Theatre and NIDA hope that you will be able to join us for this very special event.


"What did Premier Askin, his Police Commissioner and their mates get up to in the Octopus Room of the Hotel Manly on a Saturday arvo?"

part of poster for New Theatre production of Manly Mates

Manly Mates

by Frank Hatherley
(by arrangement with David Spicer Productions) Directed by Lyn Collingwood

It's January 1972. The NSW Premier has just changed his name by deed poll and had himself knighted. With his mate the Police Commissioner he's celebrating with a few illegal bets and a glass or two in the Octopus Room at the Hotel Manly.

Add to the mix a tipsy wife, an SP bookie, a curvaceous political candidate, a shrewd barmaid, a Mafia hitman, a rookie cop, a junkie and paper bags full of money! Stir well and let the farce unfold.

Corrupt politicians, crooked cops, cunning local councillors: even if you're too young to remember who said: "Run over the bastards!" you'll recognise the real bent bastards in this fast and funny Sydney comedy!

Cast: Frank McNamara, Alan Faulkner, Jennie Dibley, Alan Popely, Erin McMullen, Barry French, Syann Williams, Jennifer Davis, Gerrard Woodward, Glen Fey and Rich Knighton

Set and Lighting Design: Tony Youlden
Costume Design: Suzanne Gayle
Assistant Director: Leigh Rowney


Tickets: $25 ($20 Concession)
Bookings: 9519 8958

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