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Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes
Photograph: Jo Duck

Melbourne Theatre Company announces its 2021 season and January reopening

The 2021 season has been split into two parts, with part one to launch late January

By
Nicola Dowse
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Melbourne Theatre Company has announced it will reopen on January 29 with a special summer series of theatre, following over ten months of shutdowns. MTC's Summer Series relaunches the company with five weeks of semi-staged productions, play readings and sneak peeks. Events happening as part of the Summer Series include:

The Well (Jan 29-30)
The Well is a live staged reading by Louris van de Geer. Starring Heidi Arena, Nicholas Bell, Nadine Garner and Tamala Shelton, the reading is based off Elizabeth Jolley's Miles Franklin Award-winning novel about two women on a sheep farm in Western Australia.

Beating the Blues with Finn, Burns and Phillips (Feb 5-6)
Carolyn Burns, Tim Finn and Simon Phillips are working together on a new musical – and you can get a first look at the work in this bare-bones early-insight performance starring Alison Bell, Simon Gleeson and Chris Ryan.

Well, That Happened (Feb 12-13)
We were just waiting for a work like Well, That Happened to appear. This production reflects on the tumultuous year that was 2020 through both universal and personal lenses. The work was created by Dean Bryant for Esther Hannaford, Bert LaBonté, Zahra Newman, Christina O’Neill and Eddie Perfect.

Cybec Electric (Feb 19-20)
These annual play readings are back, with actors like Grace Feng Fang Juan, Margot Morales Tanjutco, Benjamin Nichol, Maurial Spearim, Dylan Van Den Berg and Jamaica Zuanetti presenting excerpts from their current works in progress. 

The Black Woman of Gippsland (Feb 26-27)
Playwright Andrea James takes a First Nations lens to Victoria's colonial past in this personal and powerful reading. 

The Summer Series is part of MTC's 2021 season which has been split into two acts. Act one includes the Summer Series, as well as two mainstage productions – the first in nearly a year. Both are productions that were slated for the 2020 season, before the 'demic put down those plans. 

From March 6, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes will finally premiere to Australian audiences. Hannah Moscovitch's witty production explores the student-teacher romance archetype in the modern era, following the affair between a university professor and one of his students. 

Then in April, MTC NextStage production Berlin will take to Southbank Theatre. Joanna Murray-Smith's work follows the relationship between Tom (an Australian abroad) and Charlotte (a Berliner) and the secrets their desire unleashes. 

MTC artistic director and CEO, Brett Sheehy, says: "Announcing our return to stage is a significant milestone – it marks the end of our longest stretch off-stage in the Company’s history and the beginnings of MTC’s recovery."

Tickets for MTC's Summer Series are available now, with tickets for Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes on sale from Feb 4, and Berlin from Feb 25. Due to ongoing capacity restrictions, there may be limits of booking numbers and subscription packages are not currently available. 

Malthouse Theatre is also running a summer program and building a new outdoor stage to do so.

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