This was always going to be a momentous year for Sydney Theatre Company (STC), finally settling back into their spiritual home at the Wharf in Walsh Bay with opening show Playing Beatie Bow. Act One also includes the long-awaited Australian debut of hit musical Fun Home, plus a sighting of Hollywood star Sam Worthing in Appropriate.
The Great Vanishing of 2020 has made the return all the sweeter. “It’s not just us who are coming back home to our home theatres, audiences are coming back to the experience of theatre as well, so there’s a beautiful synergy in it and it’s going to create quite a special year,” STC’s artistic director Kip Williams says.
He's a bit happy. “One thousand per cent, I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am. It's the soul of the company, that building. It’s in the DNA of who we are, those spaces, and the refurbishment has been a long time coming, well beyond the three years it’s taken to physically do the renovations. It’s been close to a decade of planning. So to be finally returning is an utter joy. And I feel very lucky to be the artistic director who gets to christen the theatre and plan the journey of theatrical experiences that the new space is going to offer.”
Williams is pumped for audiences to experience the new and improved Wharf, which will finally realise the original design ambition – that each space will be fully-flexible in its seating configuration. “The way that I’ve curated the first year is to have the space shift every time the audience comes in. So the thing I’m most excited about is audiences seeing all six of the shows and going on that journey, having the surprise and delight of walking into that familiar space and seeing it in a different configuration.”