New Theatre

2002 Program

Lemon Delicious

Later in the season, the girls take over new theatre's stage in Lemon Delicious, a tart and tasty cabaret treat featuring great songs by great gals! All-time favourites, from Bessie Smith to kd lang: lesbian composers and performers who celebrate being women in words and music.

Dates:Sun 3, 10, 17 March at 9pm. Tix at the Door

Moved Reading of Six Pack

Moved reading of Michael Neaylon's new play Six Pack, adapted from his Awgie-award winning radio serial - what happens when a 75 year-old virgin, a plucky transexual and a lesbian decide to have a baby together?

Wed 27 Feb at 8pm.

Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde

Lynn Collingwood, Marty Dingle-Wall (who play Collen and Flynn in Home and Away) and Lee Leslie will be reading from Oscar Wilde's best-loved fairy tales- stories suitable for the whole family (adults + children 7-12)

Saturday 2nd March 2002, at 11am, 3pm.

the Australian Premiere of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moises Kaufman, directed by Elaine Hudson

This stunning work of theatre - a smash hit off Broadway - turns the trials of Oscar Wilde into riveting human and intellectual drama. Expertly interweaving courtroom testimony with excerpts from Wilde's writings, and the words of his contemporaries, Gross Indecency unveils Oscar Wilde in all his genius and human frailty, his age in all its complacency and repression. Rent boys and prostitutes appear alongside titled nobility and the rich and famous, including Lord Alfred Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry, George Bernard Shaw and Queen Victoria. Author Moises Kaufman also wrote the 2001 smash hit at Belvoir, The Laramie Project.

in repertory with Oscar Wilde's
The Importance of Being Ernest (as performed by the inmates of Reading Gaol)

A Prison Fantasy, concept by Barry Lowe, directed by Elaine Hudson.

Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Ernest, (as performed by the inmates of Reading Gaol) plays in repertory with Gross Indecency for eight performances only, with an all-male cast for both plays. As one critic observed, "Ernest is full of masculine women and feminine men."

"Ernest shattered sexual boundaries when it was written," comments director Elaine Hudson, whose Death of Peter Pan was a Mardi Gras hit in the mid 90's. "There are secrets and sins in both Ernest and Gross Indecency," she adds. "but they're light-hearted and benign in one, and deadly serious in the other."

The Importance of being Ernest is a triumphantly funny play, which Barry Lowe has set as a 'prison fantasy' against the grimness of Reading Gaol.

" I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky... " (The Ballad of Reading Gaol)

As Oscar Wilde also wrote, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

Directed: Elaine Hudson, Design: Alice Lau, Lighting design: Tony Youlden, Sound Design: David Cashman and Featuring: Michael Briggs, John Farndale, Peter Flett, John Grinston, Anthony Hunt, Michael Lynch, Brett Hicks-Maitland, David Michel, Leigh Rowney, David Scott, Simon Stollery.

Director Elaine Hudson is a NIDA graduate, whose directing credits include After the Fall (Associate Director), Barry Lowe's The Death of Peter Pan, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and Gina Schien's Relative Comfort, all at the New Theatre, Endgame at the Lookout, Poles Apart at the Stables, The Lady from Dubuque for Company 2a, The Man Who Came to Dinner (Genesian Theatre) and A Touch of Paradise Downstairs Belvoir. Elaine recently returned from The International New York Fringe Festival, where she appeared in Queensize Production's award-winning Mary Stuart.

Reedy River 2002

By Dick Diamond
Adapted by Elin O'Connell and New Theatre collective
Directed by Marie Armstrong

The Rip-roaring revival of the show about the 1890s strike that stopped the Nation. The New was given the rights to this musical by its author and has held many successful seasons, published a script and song-book and put down a soundtrack.

Appearing at:
  • Sutherland Trade Union Club, corner Kingsway & Manchester Rd, Gymea. Sat 11 May. Bookings: 95401933
  • 2002 National Folk Festival, Exhibition Park, Canberra. 8pm Fri 29/3 & 5.30pm Sat 30/3.
  • New Theatre, Newtown 8pm Tue 2 April - Sat 6 April.

New Theatre presents the Sydney premiere of

In Angel Gear

Written by Sam Sejavka. Directed by Alice Livingstone. Design by Wayne Harris. Featuring: Winston Cooper, Jessica Turner, Neil Henderson, Jaro Murany, Victoria Thaine, Kath Gordon, James Studdert, Tj Moore, Tony Stock, Rochelle Whyte, Rob Flanagan

"There are some places you wouldn’t even visit, some places where you can lose yourself, but the Blue Lady beckons and suddenly there is no way back."

There is an expression that truckies use, they say if you put your gears into neutral you can save fuel and coast downhill ‘in angel gear’. Sam Sejavka’s award-winning play, In Angel Gear follows the everyday lives of ten young people, brought together by their addiction to heroin. They drift along, caught in the moment, oblivious to danger.

New Theatre is proud to present the Sydney premiere of this extraordinary Australian play.

In Angel Gear is a compelling journey that follows the lives of some inner city junkies. The play neither condemns nor supports the use of heroin but takes us inside the world of dealing and using, stealing and abusing. Sejavka opens up this tawdry, horrifying but strangely intriguing world, making it possible for us to care for these characters and their fates. There is an honesty and integrity in Sejavka’s exploration of these people’s passions, obsessions, needs and fears and just when humanity is threatened with obscurity, there is a poignancy in the hope that surfaces momentarily.

"The most devastating play I saw all year... I left feeling I had witnessed something genuinely important." - Allison Croggon, The Bulletin.

Sam Sejavka was born in Melbourne in 1960 and is a fiction writer, playwright, actor and director. He has won awards for his plays, The Hive (Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Louis Esson Prize for Drama 1999), Mysterium (Winner of the 1999 Wal Cherry Award) and of course, In Angel Gear, which won the Victorian Green Room’s Best Production Award. Sejavka has also been Playwright in Residence at La Mama Theatre in Melbourne. His most recent play is The Lord of Misrule.

3 May - 1 June 2002. Thur-Sat 8pm, Sun 5.30pm.

Warning: Nudity, Drug Use, Violence, Explicit Language.

More Information about this Playwright, Play and production at

The Tempest

Due to overseas work committments, Tanya Deny has had to withdraw from directing the Margaret Cycle, her own adaptation of Shakespeare's trilogy - the War of the Roses. Instead Lee Lewis will direct Shakespeare's Tempest.

21 June to 20 July.

Abducting Diana

Written by Dario Fo, adapted from the Stephen Stenning translation by Shane Morgan, directed by Shane Morgan.

Diana Forbes-McKaye is probably one of the most feared, respected, lusted after and hated media magnates in the world. Perfect kidnapping material. What happens when the kidnappers are not perfect kidnapper material? What happens when they start taking orders from the person they have kidnapped.

2 August - 31 August 2002


~three plays running two weeks each~

Following the success of 6x6 (2000) and 3x2 (2001) New Theatre is proud to once again present this annual showcase season featuring new works and emerging directors.

The Castle

Playwright Howard Barker's story is set against a backdrop of medieval Britain at the time of the Crusades, but the isseus are vigorously modern: scientific mayhem, the redemptive power of sexual love, the alienation of the spirit of enquiry from the needs of the community, and the exploration of the point at which protection and oppression pass into one another

Directed by Rochelle Whyte, associate director: Jill Brown.
2-12 October 2002.

Australian premiere of


Written by Moira Buffini, Gabriel is a dark thriller set in the German-occupied Channel Islands during WWII. A family of women confront the nature of truth through their relationships with a German officer and a mysterious stranger, with potentially devasting consequences.

Directed by Kevin Jackson.
Featuring Wendy Strehlow, Elaine Hudson, Pete Nettell, Gabriel Andrews, Lee Lewis, and Elisha Oliver.
4-14 September 2002.

World Premiere of


Written by Margaret Davis
"Never marry a Mowbray. They're all mad. Mad before midday." This is the story of three sisters growing up on their own in a world without men. Set in Sydney and Hobart between 1914 and 1933, the fantasies of their childhoods are shattered by the realities of their adult relationships.

Directed by Sharna Galvin and featureing Eileen Camilleri, Elizabeth McDonald and Joanne Trentini.

This play received assistance from Playworks, the Women Performance Writers' Network.

18-28 September 2002.

One-off moved Playreadings.

New Theatre is turning 70 this year so to celebrate the great production history of our theatre, over the course of 2002, we will be presenting a series of one-off moved playreadings representing the past seven decades. Each decade is represented by a play, which has been New Theatre production and is indicative of theatrical styles and socio/political concerns of the time.

$5 tickets at the door from 7.30pm
  • 1930s: Waiting for Lefty (Clifford Odets); Director: Michael Briggs; Thurs 28 March 2002, 8pm.
  • 1940s: An Inspector Calls (JB Priestley); Director: Robin Castles; Wed 15 May 2002, 8pm.
  • 1950s: The Crucible (Arthur Miller); Director: Louise Fischer; Wed 26 June 2002, 8pm.
  • 1960s: The Season at Sarsaparilla(Patrick White); Director: Mary-Anne Gifford; Wed 17 July 2002, 8pm.
  • 1970s: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey); Wed 14 August 2002, 8pm.
  • 1980s: Cloud Nine (Caryl Churchill); Director: Louise Fischer; Tuesday 10 September 2002, 8pm.
  • 1990s: Only Heaven Knows (Alex Harding); Director: Lloyd King; Musical Director: Andrew Davidson;
    Kings Cross - the nightclubs - the sailors - the grog - the girls. The boys! Alex Harding's cult musical tribute to bohemian Sydney in the 40s and 50s returns to the new theatre stage for one night only! Narrated by the ghost of the outrageous true-life drag queen Lea Sonia, OHK tells the story a 'family' of outsiders determined to pursue love and life on their own terms, battling the stifling restrictions of a conservative society against the backdrop of a world in turmoil. Revisit the hit of 1998 as director Pete Nettell brings together his original team - Gill Falson, Don Ferguson, Paul Flynn, George Hoad, Karren Lewis, Alice Livingstone, Benjamin O'Reilly, John Short - for a night of music and laughter, cheers and tears. 4 Dec 2002


By Dale Wasserman
Based on the Novel by Ken Kesey
Directed by Lyn Collingwood

Featuring: Bridge Andrews, Chris Barker, Winston Cooper, Jennie Dibley, Einar Docker, Luke Finch, Neil Henderson, Deborah Hunt, Sally McDonald, Bart Rose, Gary Smith, Peter Talmacs, Anne Trefeli, Steve Vasquesz, Heath Wilder and Cheryl Ward.

Based on Ken Kesey's acclaimed bestseller, Dale Wasserman's powerful play takes us behind the walls of a psychiatric facility and into a tragi-comic, high-stakes power struggle between individuality and conformity.

Gambling that a six-month stay in a state mental hospital is preferable to a long stretch in prison, the free-spirited, silver-tongued Randle P. McMurphy fakes insanity and moves right on in. Immediately, his contagious sense of disorder runs up against the numbing routine. No way should guys pickled on sedatives shuffle around in bathrobes when the World Series is on. This means war! Formerly cowed by the sadistic and tyrannical Nurse Ratched - one of the most coldly monstrous villains of all time - the inmates are now galvanized by McMurphy who enters a pitched battle of wills with the nurse. The struggle unfolds through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Native American inmate who alone understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them all imprisoned. At stake is the fate of every patient on the ward, and in particular the sanity of McMurphy whose mistakenly undertaken power struggle has ultimately tragic consequences.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the classic anti-establishment tale of one man asserting his individuality in the face of a repressive, conformist system. It challenges our notions of what constitutes insanity, and shows how seemingly democratic social arrangements can be readily manipulated by those in control. Raucous, searing, ribald, and ultimately shattering, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - as novel, play and film - left an indelible mark on the culture of the 1960s-70s. But like the multi-award winning film version, Wasserman's play is timeless because the human qualities it captures - playfulness, courage, stubbornness, inspiration and pride - are universal.

21 November to 8th December 2002.

Stop Laughing - This is Serious! Stop Laughing this is Serious poster

After a sellout season early in the year, back by popular demand!

Australia's oldest theatre company - that "ratbag, lefty" New Theatre - celebrates a milestone birthday by taking a comic sprint through 70 years of Australian politics, headlines and social change.

Stop Laughing... This is Serious! 70 Years of Revue at the New - a mix of satirical sketches, comic songs, spoofs and cheap shots - opens in 1932 when the Harbour Bridge, the ABC and New Theatre were new and Australians were mourning Phar Lap and singing about Aeroplane Jelly.

Bob Menzies, Prince Charles, Harold Holt, Sonia McMahon, Dollar Bill and two well-known Governors-General show up, while John Howard goes overboard. Workers take on management, Bob Hawke takes on Darth Fraser with a Light Saber and the HMAS Melbourne takes on all comers.

Directed by Lyn Collingwood, the show is written and performed by three generations of New Theatre talent.

17-22 December 2002, 8pm Wed-Sat, 5.30pm Sun
Tickets $22/$15(conc). Bookings on 9519 3403.
  • Theatre Address: 542 King St, Newtown, NSW (5 minutes from Newtown Railway Station or bus 422 from Railway Square Sydney)
  • Administration Phone (+612) 9519 3403
  • Administration Fax (+612) 95198958
  • Become a Benefactor -New Theatre is able to receive donations through a listing on the Register of Companies under section 78(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act of 1936. Donations of $2.00 or more are eligible tax deductions. Donations should be made payable to "New Theatre Fund". Post to The Administrator, New Theatre 542 King St, Newtown NSW 2042. Include name and address for receipt. Enquiries (+612)9519 3403.
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