B Sharp has announced its line up for the first half of 2010. It’s a powerful combination of new writing and older classics by local and international writers, that will make audiences laugh, cry, talk, think and reflect on their place in the world around them.

Downstairs Theatre Director, Annette Madden said, ‘All the projects in this season ask us to acknowledge the frame through which we see the world and consider new perspectives – as all great theatre should. I’m thrilled to be working with such a passionate group of artists with brave and dynamic visions. As a result we have five extraordinary theatrical experiences on offer and I have no doubt that this collection of work will challenge and entertain our audiences over coming months.’

 

BENT

18 FEBRUARY – 14 MARCH

WRITTEN BY: MARTIN SHERMAN

DIRECTED BY: PETE NETELL

WITH: WALTER GRKOVIC, SAM HAFT, GARTH HOLCOMBE, RADEK JONAK, LACHLAN MANTELL, ANT SULLIVAN & JOHN TURNBULL

PRODUCED BY: FOCUS THEATRE

In response to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival’s 2010 theme History of the World, Focus Theatre and B Sharp will present Martin Sherman’s iconic play Bent (written in 1979). This brutally honest, powerful and delicately funny drama moves from the decadence of 1930s Berlin to the inhumane excesses of the Nazi concentration camps, exploring how love can overcome the most ruthless circumstances. It brings to light the treatment of homosexuals during the Third Reich who were arrested, interned in concentration camps, and branded as deviants with what is now become a universal symbol for gay pride – the pink triangle.

 

THE SUICIDE

18 MARCH – 11 APRIL

ADAPTED BY: SIMON STONE FROM THE ORIGINAL BY NIKOLAI ERDMAN

DIRECTED BY: SIMON STONE

WITH: JOHNNY CARR, GARETH DAVIES, SHELLY LAUMAN, AARON ORZECH, ANNE-LOUISE SARKS & TOM WREN

PRODUCED BY: THE HAYLOFT PROJECT

Simon Stone returns to the Downstairs Theatre to direct his contemporary adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s 1928 comedy, The Suicide. Banned before it opened in Stalin’s Soviet Union, this comedy of despair and longing follows the hapless Semyon Semyonovich who finds himself entrenched in an existential crisis. Stuck living with his mother in law and a wife who refuses him midnight snacks, he disappears into the night. While those around him are convinced he’s on the verge of suicide his opportunistic neighbours start a bidding war for dedicating rights for Semyon’s suicide note. Every political, social and personal cause is aired, culminating in a party to see him off. This is The Hayloft Project’s follow up to their acclaimed previous seasons for B Sharp - Spring Awakening and The Only Child, recently named Best Independent Production at the 2009 Sydney Theatre Awards.

 

PARLOUR SONG

13 MAY – 6 JUNE

WRITTEN BY: JEZ BUTTERWORTH

DIRECTED BY: CRISTABEL SVED

WITH: PIPPA GRANDISON & MATT DYKTYNSKI

PRODUCED BY: MT PRODUCTIONS

‘blissfully funny’ The Daily Telegraph

Director Christabel Sved makes her B Sharp debut in 2010 with the Australian premiere of British playwright Jez Butterworth’s surreal comedy about the trappings of the ‘aspirational’ generation in a world where anything can be purchased or blown up, possessions mysteriously disappear and no-one is quite what they seem. Set in a homogenous suburbia where lawns are manicured and houses are identical, this hilarious exploration of desire is Butterworth’s newest work and premiered in New York in 2008.

 

BANG

10 JUNE – 4 JULY

WRITTEN BY: JONATHAN GAVIN

DIRECTED BY: KIM HARDWICK

WITH: BLAZEY BEST & WENDY STREHLOW

PRODUCED BY: WHITEBOX THEATRE

B Sharp will present the world premiere of Jonathan Gavin’s new work – witty, heart breaking and thoughtful exploration of faith and moral codes set against a backdrop of religion inspired violence. This new Australian work overflowing with a cast of exceptional characters will have audiences laughing, crying and questioning their beliefs. Directed by Kim Hardwick, Bang will reunite the creative team behind critically acclaimed, sell-out productions such as A Moment on the Lips.

 

DIRTY BUTTERFLY

8 JULY – 1 AUGUST

WRITTEN BY: DEBBIE TUCKER GREEN

DIRECTED BY: WAYNE BLAIR

WITH: ISAAC DRANDICH

PRODUCED BY: FLOUR SUGAR TEA-TALES AND ARTS RADAR

‘Green writes dialogue that is like secret whispers... there is a sly, controlled power in this writing.’ The Guardian

Wayne Blair returns to B Sharp to direct the Sydney premiere of this confronting work from British-Jamaican playwright Debbie Tucker Green. It is a moving tale of three lives brought together by their proximity and misfortune, linked by the paper-thin walls of their tenement housing. Trapped in a cycle of poverty and racial discrimination, Amelia and Jason cannot escape the dark and compelling world of their neighbour Jo, who in turn cannot seem to break from the reality of her own horrors. This will be Wayne’s follow up to previously acclaimed shows in the Downstairs Theatre such as Jesus Hopped The A Train (2007) and Ruben Guthrie (2008).