new theatre 75th anniversary logo new theatre 2007 Season YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO PLAY!

new theatre
542 King St
Newtown (Sydney)

Current Program

2007 Past Productions


In 2007, new theatre is celebrating 75 years of continuous production, creating high calibre, diverse, entertaining and often challenging theatre. The company has a proud tradition of staging plays that have helped define us, plays that have changed the way we look at ourselves, play that question social mores and political attitudes, plays that have taken us on a journey of laughter and tears.

For this 75th birthday year new theatre is delighted to present a program that reflects and continues that tradition.

75th Anniversary Programme

Words Can Be Bullets

State Library of NSW - Thursday 22 March.

A 90-minute overview, in words and song, of high points in new theatre's colourful history of confrontation with authority, will be presented in the Metcalfe Auditorium to Friends of the Library and members of the public.

Since the police stepped on stage at 36 Pitt Street on 22 July 1936 to try and stop a performance of Clifford Odets' anti-Nazi play, Till The Day I Die, new theatre has more than once come under the scrutiny of the authorities for the works it has performed and for the causes it has supported.

Be entertained as Elaine Hudson and a troupe of New Theatre actors bring to life - in word and song - some of the New's most memorable stage battles. 5.30pm, 22 March State Library, $17, $12 (bookings)

Politics in the Pub

The theatre's history will be part of Politics in the Pub, 6.30 pm Friday 13 July at the Gaelic Club 64 Devonshire Street Surry Hills.

Banned Plays

The bar in the foyer of the Theatre, 1998 - Photo Tom Worthington.

new theatre celebrates controversy with a special season of staged readings: plays that have been banned, censored or caused a stir because they offended the wowsers, the Church, the Tsar, the Lord Chamberlain, the Nazis - or Ashfield Council!

  • Mae West's Sex, 1pm SUNDAY 18 February 2007
  • Alex Buzo's Norm & Ahmed, 1pm SUNDAY 25 March 2007
  • Alan Seymour's The One Day of the Year, 1pm SUNDAY 8 April 2007
  • George Dibdin Pitt's Simon Lee, 1pm SUNDAY 20 May 2007
  • Dick Diamond's Reedy River, 1pm SUNDAY 24 June 2007
  • Clifford Odets' Till the Day I Die, 1pm SUNDAY 29 July 2007
  • Sumner Locke Elliott's Rusty Bugles, 1pm SUNDAY 12 August 2007
  • Pushkin's Mozart & Salieri, 1pm SUNDAY 26 August 2007
  • Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, 1pm SUNDAY 23 September 2007
  • Moliere's Tartuffe, 1pm SUNDAY 14 October 2007
  • Jean-Claude Van Itallie's America Hurrah, 1pm SUNDAY 4 November 2007
All Tickets: $15 Bookings 9519 3403 or at door.

The Saturday Kids' Club

Every star sign of the Zodiac will be celebrated in a kids variety show of music, song, storytelling, magic, games and "reel" film with a whirring projector! Birthday children (ages 4-10) made a fuss of. You can view pictures of Kids' Club in action at

All Tickets: $12 Bookings 9519 3403 or at door.
  • CAPRICORN 11am SATURDAY 13 January 2007
  • PISCES 11am SATURDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2007 - new theatre is hosting more than 60 refugee children and their families at this show
  • ARIES 11am SATURDAY 24 MARCH 2007
  • TAURUS 11am SATURDAY 5 MAY 2007
  • GEMINI 11am SATURDAY 26 MAY 2007
  • CANCER 11am SATURDAY 30 JUNE 2007
  • LEO 11am SATURDAY 11 AUGUST 2007

Loosely Woven Deja Vu poster for new theatre fund raising concertLoosley Woven Concert
2pm Saturday 24 March 2007
Tickets: $10 Ph 9519 3403 or at the door.
All proceeds towards the Building Fund.


Performance starts at 6.30pm.
Questions and discussion with the directors and actors after each performance.
All Tix $10
School Group bookings and enquiries: 02-9519 3403


William Shakespeare

Directed by Fiona Hallenan & Juliette Ferrier
Key scenes will be presented and revisited to provide contrasting perspectives on this complex work.

6.30pm TUESDAY 27 February 2007 & WEDNESDAY 28 February 2007 (cancelled)

Death of a Salesman

by Arthur Miller
Directed by Luke Rogers

Miller's most famous work examines heartbreaking conflicts within a family and the personal cost of pursuing the ideal of the American Dream.

6.30pm TUESDAY 20 2007 (Note: Performance WEDNESDAY 21 March 2007 Cancelled)

Desire Under the Elms

by Eugene O'Neill

Desiring another man's wife is always risky, but when she is married to your father it can become downright deadly. A love affair has tragic consequences when a woman is forced to choose between her two loves.

6.30pm TUESDAY 3 April 2007

The Removalists

by David Williamson

Written in 1971, and allegedly based on a true story, this was Williamson's first large-scale success. The play explores the dynamics of power: those who gain power, those who lose power and those who misuse and abuse power.

6.30pm TUESDAY 8 & WEDNESDAY 9 May 2007 (Note: Wednesday performance is now Sold Out, limited tickets for Tuesday Performance)

Badjelly the Witch | Mardi Gras Season | The Crucible | Banned Plays | Kids' Club | Schools Readings / Workshops | Life After George | Talking to Terrorists | Oh What a Lovely War, Mate | The Man from Mukinupin | New Directions: Damages, After the End, Honeymoon Suite | Traitors | Art is a Weapon | New Theatre 75th Birthday Celebration | Howard's End | Confusions | More 75th Anniversary Information

"new theatre is cheaper than chips and far more nourishing" - Time Out Sydney.

Indeed new theatre has been feeding Sydney audiences a diet of vital and dynamic theatre for 75 years.


Badjelly the Witch, new theatre's smash hit 2006 summer production is back for January 2007


Lucy, Dingle Mouse, Rose and Tim fly home on Jim the eagle's back, in the new theatre 2007 production of Badjelly the witch - photo Bob Seary by Spike Milligan
Adapted by Frank & Rosane McNamara
Directed by Frank McNamara
Designed by Barry French

Spike Milligan adored the secret, magical world of childhood and his writing reflects an innocent delight in all things silly and fun. BADJELLY THE WITCH combines all the classic elements of fairy-tales with Milligan's unique 'Goonish' sense of humour.

Meet 6-year-old Tim and 5-year-old Rose, searching for their cow Lucy who has been stolen by Badjelly "the meanest, most wickedest witch in the whole world." Along the way they have many adventures and meet many wonderful characters including Binklebonk the Tree Goblin, Mudwiggle the World's Strongest Worm, Dulboot the Giant, Jim the Eagle and Dingle the Mouse (who used to be a Banana!).

BADJELLY THE WITCH is suitable for all ages from 4 to 94!

Lucy, Badjelly and the Giant, in the new theatre 2007 production of Badjelly the witch - photo Bob Seary

Performances: 5-25 & 27 January 2007 (note, no performance on Australia Day Friday 26th Jan 2007)
Tickets: $17 (Groups of 10 or more $14/ticket)
Bookings: 1300 306 776 or mca-tix

Errol Henderson (Peter George) and Kristie Jane Hogan (Ana George) in new theatre 2007 production of Life After George - Photo Bob Seary

Life After George

by Hannie Rayson
Directed by Ray Frankel
Assistant Director: Lynden Jones

"You can't have a feast without creating a mess." So states Peter George, academic, idealist, bon vivant. Now this passionate, larger-than-life and deeply flawed man is dead. As his wife, two ex-wives and daughter gather for his funeral, the truth about the man and his life is revealed.

Life After George is a moving and perceptive insight into social change, political trends and cultural shifts across three decades, told through the individual experiences of the wives, each an "It" girl of her generation, and a daughter coping with the legacy of her father. As the women begin to re-evaluate their relationship with one man, they come to understand the true impact of his influence on their lives.

Life After George PromoOn a wider level, the play is an exploration into the corporatisation of universities and the pressures on tertiary institutions to bend to market forces in order to survive economically. As the playwright says, "the emphasis on vocationalism and entrepreneurship in lieu of scholarship is a corrosion of one of the core values of a liberal education."

Cast: Ali Aitken, Christine Greenough, Errol Henderson, Kristie Jane Hogan, John Keightley and Kath Perry

26 April - 26 May 2007
Tickets $27 Full/$22 Concession/$15 School Groups
Bookings: 1300 306 776 or mca-tix
Education and School Bookings only: 9519 3403

More at Media Release: Life after George

Special Reading

Talking to Terrorists

Robin Soans
"I will be astonished if the year turns up a more important, illuminating or moving play than this" (*Daily Telegraph, London)

Talking to Terrorists /is based on the testimony of people who have experienced terrorism, as either victims or perpetrators.

Originally produced in the UK by the Royal Court Theatre and Out of Joint, the writer, directors and actors first interviewed people from around the world, then workshopped their stories, to find out what makes ordinary people do extreme things.

"Talking to Terrorists" takes us from Africa, Israel, Turkey, Iraq and Northern Ireland to deep inside the heart of the British Establishment as peacemakers, journalists, hostages, politicians, diplomats, soldiers and terrorists (some of them disturbingly young) give voice to their experience. The result is a compelling piece of verbatim theatre and a superb example of how artists can use their work to challenge and question issues with empathy and compassion in order to bring about change.

This profound dramatic work is a theatrical and emotional journey on a par with Out of Joint?s other astonishing verbatim piece "The Permanent Way". new theatre is proud to continue its commitment to theatre that addresses political and social issues with this presentation, part of the 75th anniversary season. Acclaimed actor Pamela Jikiemi ("Tituba" in the recent sell-out production of "The Crucible") will direct the staged reading, and perform alongside Ben Brock, Adam Gelin, Ben Oxenbould and a talented cast.

Tuesday19 & 20 Wednesday June 8pm
Tickets: $10
Bookings: 9519 3403
Scene from new theatre 2007 production of Oh What a Lovely War, Mate! - Photo Bob Seary

Oh What a Lovely War, Mate!

Joan Littlewood's Musical Entertainment by Theatre Workshop, Charles Chilton, Gerry Raffles, and members of the original cast, with additional material by Nick Enright

Directed by Rosane McNamara
Musical Director: John Short
Choreographer: Celeste O'Hara
Set: Barry French & Mitchell Lavender
Lighting: Tony Youlden
Costumes: Lucy Jensen
"Milords, ladies and gentlemen, may we perform for you the ever-popular War Game! We've got songs for you, a few battles and some jokes."

Nick Enright's adaptation of Joan Littlewood's classic anti-war satire highlights the Australian experience on the shores of Gallipoli, in the trenches of the Western Front and back home. "It's a long way to Tipperary" but "Pack up your troubles" and "Keep the home-fires burning"!

Using popular music-hall songs and comedy skits juxtaposed with a visual montage of WWI images, Oh, What a Lovely War, Mate! exposes the hype and hoopla that disguised the grim realities of the Great War.

Featuring: Ali Aitken, Jennifer Brian, Chris Cao, Elizabeth Cartmer, Callum Chynoweth, Barry French, Shannon Haritos, Sarah Herlihy, David Hilton, Rich Knighton, Ingrid Maganov, Iain McDonald, Andrea Pinnock, Nicholas Richard, Leigh Rowney, Adam Salter, Gina Schien, John Short, Kim Short, Penn Short, Brian Somerville, David Walker and Alice Wheelwright.

7 June - 7 July 2007
$10 Preview WEDNESDAY 6 June 2007
Tickets $27/$22
Bookings: 1300 306 776 or mca-tix

Oh What a Lovely War Poster Image, Oh What a Lovely War Scene - Photo Bob Seary

The Man from Mukinupin

by Dorothy Hewett
Original Music by Jim Cotter
Directed by Mary-Anne Gifford

Musical Supervisor: Michael Huxley; Choreographer: Celeste O'Hara; Set: Pia Leong; Lighting: Spiros Hristias; Costumes: Adriana Picker

Scene from New Theatre 2007 Production of Man from Mukinupin - Photo Bob SearyCast: Louise Fischer, Peter Flett, Danny Green, Michael Gupta, Elaine Hudson, Patricia Jones, Romy Teperson, Deborah Thomson

THE MAN FROM MUKINUPIN is a musical celebration of country life in a Western Australian wheat-belt town at the time of the Great War.

Dorothy Hewett's wonderful play has it all: star-crossed lovers; rivalries and feuds; dark secrets; hidden lies; and many sets of twins. Stargazers and star crossed lovers, Shakespearean players and knights of the road, strange doings at night and a murderous past - that's Mucka!

THE MAN FROM MUKINUPIN sparkles with the verve and innocence of "the good old days" but it also reveals the prejudices and ignorance of a less forgiving time. This town might have more than its fair share of eccentrics, but Hewett doesn't simply tell a folksy tale. There are serious themes running underneath to earth the humour, charm and quirkiness: the clash of European and indigenous cultures, the tensions and differences between city and country people, the effects of outsiders on a tight-knit community, and the profound changes wrought on a community by the experience of war.

The play was originally commissioned by Perth's National Theatre in 1979 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Western Australia. new theatre is very proud to be presenting this long-awaited revival, directed by ex-Artistic Director Mary-Anne Gifford, as part of its 75th birthday year.

19 July - 18 August 2007
Thursday - Saturday 8pm, Sunday 5pm
Tickets: $27 full / $22 concession / $20 Groups 10+ / $15 school groups / $10 preview Wednesday 18 July 2007
Bookings: 1300 306 776 or mca-tix Schools bookings only: 9519 3403

Media Release: The MAN from MUKINUPIN includes more images from Production

New Theatre 2007 New Directions Season Graphic

New Theatre's annual season of new exciting works.


3 Plays in 3 Weeks by 3 of Britain's best contemporary playwrights!

All Tickets $22 / Season Pass $55
BOOKINGS: 1300 306 776 /


Scene from new theatre 2007 production of Damages - Photo Bob Seary


by Steve Thompson (UK)
Director Adam Gelin

"It's not in the public interest just because it interests the public"

A tabloid newspaper an hour before deadline - and the clock is ticking. A sensational photo that has the potential to ruin a star has landed on the editor's desk. Who sent it, and why? Is everything really as it seems? And the biggest question of all: play it safe, or publish and be damned? As the ink hits the paper, the shit hits the fan!

Damages is a witty tale of power-hungry hacks, suicidal sub-editors and razor-sharp lawyers trying to put the past and the paper to bed.

"Anyone who has ever had a friend, a job or read a newspaper will find Damages enthralling" (Evening Standard - London)

"offers invigorating commentary on freedom of speech, privacy and the state of play in English print media, as well as the consumption and destruction of self by career." - Nick Marland,

CAST: Michael Briggs, Alan Faulkner, Pamela Jikiemi and Matt Rossner

22-25 August 2007
Wednesday - Saturday 8pm
BOOKINGS: 1300 306 776 /
Scene from new theatre 2007 production of after the End Australian Premiere

After the End

by Dennis Kelly (UK)
Director Luke Rogers

"The only way people can destroy you is if you let them make you become something else"

A pub is bombed. Louise wakes to find herself trapped with Mark in his bomb shelter. Mark is always prepared for the worst and has everything they'll need to survive; tinned chilli, Dungeons & Dragons, and a knife. Now all they have to do is wait. Can they survive the attack? Can they survive each other?

"This quirky, ballsy two-hander is a neat black comedy and psychological thriller that gathers potency the longer it lingers in the mind" (Time Out, Critics Choice - London)

"grows profoundly more disturbing by the minute ... a close-quarters psychological melodrama rendered most effectively" - Nick Marland,

"The play opens with a deafening crash as the unimaginable is realised and a peace loving, democratic, capitalistically inclined city is reduced to nuclear waste." - Aleksei Wechter,

Please note: This production contains coarse language, violence and sexual content

CAST: Katherine Hicks and Matthew Hyde

29 August - 1 September 2007
Wednesday - Saturday 8pm
BOOKINGS: 1300 306 776 /
Australian Premiere

Honeymoon Suite

by Richard Bean (UK)
Director Louise Fischer

"You love someone, you can feel it, like a lump, summat you carry around with yer. Bloody hell, it's either there or it isn't, like a hat"

If Romeo and Juliet had lived would their marriage have survived? When the honeymoon was over would the couple have coped with poverty, corruption, a miscarriage, an ungrateful daughter, infidelity with an attractive lad from night class, and even a murder?

Married life begins with great expectations, but the future may have other ideas.

"Richly funny, deeply sad... a superb play" (Daily Telegraph - London)

CAST: Honey Bourgeois, Zach Lee, Peter McAllum, James Shoobridge, Helen Tonkin and Annette van Roden

5-8 September 2007 Wednesday - Saturday 8pm
BOOKINGS: 1300 306 776 /

Censored! season: staged readings of banned plays


by Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Lyn Collingwood


For the mid-19th century, this was pretty strong stuff! GHOSTS was one of the most controversial plays of its time and was banned for references to incest, adultery and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Examiner of Plays in England stated that all Ibsen's characters were "morally deranged" and refused it a licence. The ban was lifted during WWI when a filmed version was shown to troops as a warning against contracting sexually transmitted disease.

Directed by Lloyd King
Cast: Robert Alexander, Harley Connor, Lori Killesteyn, Alice Livingstone, Anthony Phelan

Tickets: $15 At the Door or Bookings: 9519 3403

New Theatre 2007 Traitors Season Graphic


by Stephen Sewell

"You can hear anything if you're paranoid enough"

Set in Russia at the dawn of Stalinism, Traitors explores the conflict between the personal and the political, and charts the destruction of truth and innocence in the face of paranoia and fanaticism.

Written in 1979, Traitors established Stephen Sewell as a challenging new voice in Australian drama. Nearly 30 years on, the play continues to resonate, as our leaders tell us to be alert but not alarmed and citizens can be locked up and disappear without charge.

Sardonic, confronting and compassionate, Traitors is both a brutal social parable and a profoundly human story of love and idealism gone tragically wrong.

"Your relationship with power, how you manipulate power and how power manipulates you. That definition makes politics a central part of all human life." Stephen Sewell, 2004

Currency Press' author of the month for September is Stephen Sewell. Click here to be redirected to Currency Press' website and read their interview.

"A superb rendering of a play fuelled by political and emotional desires." Joanna Erskine,

new theatre 2007 Production of Traitors- Photograph by Bob Seary"Resonates on a level with the work of Bertolt Brecht ... Tom Bannerman's set is a stunning theatrical structure capturing the feeling and mood." Nicholas Pickard, The Daily Telegraph

"This revival is well worth seeing" Veronica Hannon, SX

"New Theatre's decision to stage Traitors is a bold choice and the work is still alarmingly resonant today" Joanna Erskine,

Cast: Sandra Campbell, Peter Buck Dettmann, Sophie Goldrick, John Grinston, Ruth Horsfall, Costa Ronin, Helen Scaysbrook and Pip Smith

Directed by Barry French
Design: Tom Bannerman
Lighting Design: Spiros Hristias

Please note: Traitors contains nudity and strong language

21 September - 27 October 2007
Thursday - Saturday 8pm, Sunday 5pm
$27 / $22 / $20 Groups 10+
BOOKINGS: 1300 306 776 /


Art is a Weapon - new theatre promo

Art is a Weapon is a season of new writing by some of Australia's best playwrights, inspired by the slogan under which New Theatre was originally formed in 1932.

With each writer contributing their own take on the theme Art is a Weapon, this season is shaping up to be something very special: controversial, political, imaginative, feisty and, above all, highly entertaining.

Written by: May-Brit Akerholt, Nicki Bloom, Alex Broun, Mary Rachel Brown, Terence Crawford, Margaret Davis, Ben Ellis, Noelle Janaczewska, Caleb Lewis, Ned Manning, Suzie Miller, Nick Parsons, Stephen Sewell and Wayne Tunks.

30 October - 2 November 2007
Tuesday - Friday 8pm
Tickets $22
Bookings 1300 306 776 /

New Theatre 75th Birthday Celebration Poster

New Theatre 75th Birthday Celebration

Saturday 3 November 2007

New Theatre is 75 years young and we're having a party to celebrate!

Come and meet old friends and enjoy some great food. There'll be entertainment - song, dance, new works and old favourites - and an exhibition showing what we've been up to for the past 75 years. Come celebrate with us as we look back on 75 years of New Theatre and toast its success for the future.

7pm - Arrival for pre-show drinks. Your first drink is on us!
8pm - Entertainment followed by party, food and drinks

TICKETS $50 ($40 concession)
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL - this night will sell out!
Phone 9519 3403

Raffle Prizes and Silent Auction Items
Welcome to


An old dog has many tricks - Cartoon by Joel tarling

Cheer as little Johnny gets bowled over on a sticky wicket (go Maxine go!) and 'Fishnets' Downer, 'The Mad Monk' and Peter Cost-a-lot finally get sin-binned!

Wait with baited breath as Kevin and the 07 team take on the hip-pocket voter and the big end of town. Cross fingers as the fight begins for an independent senate.

This really could be a night to remember! And what better place to be than at new theatre?

Enjoy food and entertainment (including some special 'vip' guests) and win great prizes in the 'political trivial pursuit' competition and 'pork-barrel' raffle (bring proof of residence in a marginal seat and double your chances!) and watch the results come in via our direct TV hook-up to the tally room floor.

When: 7.30pm onwards SATURDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2007
Tickets: $20 Bookings: 9519 3403
Venue: new theatre 542 King Street Newtown

Illustration by Joel Tarling: Joel Tarling's work features monthly in the Inner West's Sydney City Hub newspaper, published by the Alternative Media

Morning Tide

Loosely Woven are performing 'Morning Tide' - a light-hearted acoustic concert with 20 instrumentalist and singers - at new theatre

Tickets are $10
Bookings 9519 3403.

All money raised goes towards the new theatre Building Fund. More information at

"new theatre is cheaper than chips and far more nourishing" - Time Out Sydney.

Indeed new theatre has been feeding Sydney audiences a diet of vital and dynamic theatre for 75 years.

Promo for New Theatre's 2007 production of Confusions by Alan Ayckbourn


by Alan Ayckbourn

"You might as well talk to yourself!"

In five short interlinked plays, the master of British comedy Alan Ayckbourn takes a humorous look at the search for connection and love in a world that can sometimes be a very lonely place.

The young mother who babbles in baby-talk; the travelling salesman with an eye for the girls; the romantic dinner that goes disastrously wrong; the small-town community with secrets about to explode; and five strangers sharing four park benches. Nothing quite fits but no-one gives up trying!

CONFUSIONS is an excruciatingly funny revelation of the painful realities of modern life, layered with Ayckbourn's characteristic wit and sharp yet sympathetic observations.

new theatre's production of CONFUSIONS brings together five talented directors and the master of British comedy in a delightful night of laughter.

Directors include:
Adam Gelin, Lynden Jones, Lauren Pfitzner and Helen Tonkin

Cast includes:
John Bonaventura, Michael Harrs, Kendal Jones, Dave Kirkham, Anna Le Her, Richard Mason, David McLaughlin, Jan Langford Penny, Sarah Robinson, Samuel Rushton and Susannah Thompson

Set by Barry French

by Alan Ayckbourn
15 November - 21 December 2007 (Note Special Election Night Event on 24 November 2007
Thursday - Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 5pm
Tickets: $27 / $22 / $10 Preview Wednesday 14 November
FREE performance for unwaged: Sunday 18 November
Bookings: 1300 306 776 /

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