Melbourne, school is back in session and now it’s time to learn how to rock. The musical version of Jack Black’s hit 2003 movie School of Rock will open at the Her Majesty’s Theatre in October, fresh from successful seasons on Broadway and the West End, where it’s still running.
It isn’t obvious from the promotional material, but A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is actually a musical adaptation of the classic 1949 Ealing Studios film Kind Hearts and Coronets.
Melbourne Theatre Company’s version of Shakespeare’s gender-bending comedy is shaping up to be one of the shows of the year. For starters, Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical) is directing.
It’s 1984. Gary Ablett has just signed up with Geelong, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun blares through every radio and 13-year-old Jimmy Djalu has plans to spend his entire summer holiday at the local video arcade – much to the consternation of his mum, who knows Jimmy could do much more with his life if he tried.
Indepdendent and mid-range
Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre has long been one of Melbourne’s leading proponents of new Australian writing thanks to its INK development program. Written by playwright Jane Bodie (Music, This Year’s Ashes), with music by Mark Seymour of Hunters and Collectors fame, Lamb (A New Play with Songs) follows two generations of family on an Australian sheep farm.
The duo behind the Green Room Award-nominated Angry Sexx and Ground Control are back with another strange and savagely funny creation celebrating the lives of women and queer folk everywhere. This time they’re taking a deep dive into the world of the occult to tell the story of Andie and Evie, who head into the woods one day to hex Evie’s uncle and punish the patriarchy.
After a decade of pushing boundaries and polarising audiences in their hometown of Brisbane, theatre makers The Danger Ensemble are relocating to Melbourne – and they’re bringing their acclaimed production of The Hamlet Apocalypse with them. Set on the eve of the apocalypse, seven actors come together to stage Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
A few years ago, Darwin playwright Mary Anne Butler won a whole swag of major literary awards for her play, Broken, including the $100,000 Victorian Premier's Literary Award – the first time a play had won the award. Now the play is finally getting its Melbourne premiere in a production directed by Melbourne independent theatre stalwart and Helpmann nominee, Susie Dee.
Wagner can get a bad rap among opera newcomers who associate him with epic (and epicly serious) works such as the Ring Cycle. Often we forget he can do comedy as well. In fact, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg was an instant success for the composer when it premiered in 1868 and remains one of his most beloved works.
Back in 2011, director Gale Edwards and designer Brian Thomson took Puccini’s smash hit La Bohème to the wild cabaret halls and streets of 1930s Berlin. The production was embraced by die-hard romantics, opera fans and newcomers alike, and is back yet again for Opera Australia's Melbourne season.