'On the banks of the Georges River, Radha and her son Siddhartha release the ashes of Radha’s mother – their final connection to the past, to Sri Lanka and its struggles. Now they are free to embrace their lives in Australia. Then a phone call from Colombo brings the past spinning back to life, and we are plunged into an epic story of love and political strife, of home and exile, of parents and children
'Counting and Cracking is a big new play about Australia like none we’ve seen before. This is life on a large canvas, so we are leaving Belvoir St and building a Sri Lankan town hall inside Sydney Town Hall. Sixteen actors play four generations of a family, from Colombo to Pendle Hill, in a story about Australia as a land of refuge, about Sri Lanka’s efforts to remain united, about reconciliation within families, across countries, across generations.'
Source: Belvoir St Theatre.
'Bennelong is a dance theatre production that explores the story of Woollarawarre Bennelong (Bennilong, Baneelon) (c1764-1813), a Wangul man of the Eora nation who lived in the Port Jackson area at the time of the British first settlement. Today, Bennelong is one of the most celebrated and mythologised Aboriginal individuals from the days of early settlement. His wide notoriety is remarkable - not only for the stories about his interactions and relationships with the British, but for the amount of primary source material that refers to him in notebooks and diaries of several first fleet officers, as well as Governor Arthur Phillip himself.
'Bennelong’s story has been told and re-told many times over by historians, novelists and screenwriters, and his image has been depicted by artists from early times to the present in paintings, drawings and other media. Numerous geographical locations around Australia are named in his honour. Perhaps the most well-known ‘place’ name is Bennelong Point, where the iconic Sydney Opera House stands.
'Bangarra Dance Theatre’s unique telling of Bennelong’s story is imagined through the perspective of Bennelong himself as well as other Aboriginal people of the time. The work explores his personal character, his conflicts, his relationships, his community, and his standing within that community.
'Bangarra’s production of Bennelong is not a historical recount, nor is it a literal translation of events. The work looks between the lines and layers of the narrative that has gathered around this one man, and beyond the common perceptions that have prevailed in regard to Bennelong the man and his unique place in our post-colonial history.
'We are mindful that we look back to Bennelong’s time through the filter of our contemporary consciousness - what we know now is always superimposed over what we read about First Contact times and how we imagine the reality of those times.
'We hope to ignite audiences’ imaginations and focus their thoughts on the enormous impact brought to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through European settlement.'
'If anyone can write a full-throttle drama of our colonial past, it’s the indomitable Leah Purcell.
'We all know Henry Lawson’s story of the Drover’s Wife. Her stoic silhouette against an unforgiving landscape, her staring down of the serpent; it’s the frontier myth captured in a few pages. In Leah’s new play the old story gets a very fresh rewrite. Once again the Drover’s Wife is confronted by a threat in her yard, but now it’s a man. He’s bleeding, he’s got secrets, and he’s black. She knows there’s a fugitive wanted for killing whites, and the district is thick with troopers, but something’s holding the Drover’s Wife back from turning this fella in…
'A taut thriller of our pioneering past, with a black sting to the tail, The Drover’s Wife reaches from our nation’s infancy into our complicated present. And best of all, Leah’s playing the Wife herself.' (Publication summary)
'Step through the doors of F.G. Goode’s department store and into a marvellous musical whirl of glitz and glamour with Ladies in Black. This world premiere adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, The Women in Black, is brought to life by internationally-acclaimed director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies) with original music from superstar singer and musician, Tim Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House).
'Sydney is crossing the threshold between the stuffy repression of the 1950s and the glorious liberation of the 1960s. Bright-eyed bookish school leaver Lisa is to join the sales staff in the city’s most prestigious department store. In that summer of innocence, a world of possibilities opens up as she befriends the colourful denizens of the women’s frocks department – including her new mentor, the exotic European Magda, mysterious mistress of the gowns.
'With a dash of delicate comedy, Ladies in Black is a magical modern-day fairytale set in a city on the cusp of becoming cosmopolitan, and marks the triumphant return of musical theatre to Queensland Theatre Company’s stage.' (Production summary)
'John Marsden and Shaun Tan's haunting picture book tells a story we all know: a story of colonisation, civilisation and progress — a story about displacement, destruction and culture clash. And in that landscape, it tells a story of hope taking root.
'It's a story for young people, it's a story for old people, it's a story for all of us.
'Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company have assembled some of Australia's foremost creative talents to collaborate on a new opera for children and families.
'Gabriela Tylesova's kooky sets and costumes realise Tan's pictures in all of their mystical wonder, while Lally Katz has turned Marsden's spare poetry into an enchanting libretto. To write the score, Kate Miller Heidke: the butterfly-voiced, classically-trained indie-pop singer who is as at home on the charts as she is performing at the Met. As well as composing The Rabbits, Kate will perform in this production.' (Production summary)