What's on stage in Melbourne?
J.K. Rowling's West End play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to open in Melbourne in early 2019, and is almost certain to break as many records locally as it has in London. But before Harry, Hermione and Ron make their Australian theatrical debut, another group of Hogwarts students will take to the stage. Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic tells the story of students unlucky enough to be sorted into Hufflepuff (and let's face it – even though Rowling claims that she is herself a Hufflepuff, nobody wants to be sorted into the house whose most famous student is Cedric Diggory). The characters in Puffs might not be destined for greatness, but that doesn't mean they don't make for fascinating theatre. The play is set across the seven years when Harry Potter attended the school of witchcraft and wizardry. And while the Gryffindors and Slytherins get most of the attention of Hogwarts staff – and constantly threaten to derail the basic wizarding education most students are seeking – there's plenty happening to three students who went through school with the most famous boy wizard of all time. The show will start performances at the Alex Theatre in St Kilda on May 26, with playwright Matt Cox and American director Kristin McCarthy Parker travelling to Australia to oversee the local production. The show's protagonist, Wayne, will be an Australian boy wizard played by Ryan Hawke. His best friends are goth girl Megan (Ev
Patricia Cornelius is one of the most fearless and unique voices in Australian theatre, and although she’s won just about every prize available to a playwright in the country, she tends to fly under the radar at our biggest theatre companies. Now her work is coming to the Melbourne Theatre Company mainstage in this adaptation of The House of Bernarda Alba that transports the action to Western Australia where four daughters and their mother are mourning the death of their mining mogul father. Leticia Cáceres, who last year won the Helpmann Award for directing Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife will helm an all-star cast with Candy Bowers, Peta Brady, Julie Forsyth, Bessie Holland, Sue Jones, Melita Jurisic and Emily Milledge. Creating this uniquely Australian world is the always inventive designer Marg Horwell.