Sydney Theatre Company announces 2012 SeasonCate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, Artistic Directors, ahead of the launch of STC’s 2012 Main Stage Season. Photo – Grant Spakes-Carroll

Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton yesterday announced their 2012 Main Stage Season for Sydney Theatre Company, comprising eleven productions throughout the year.

From an Austrian backwater to the West Australian outback, from Covent Garden to the Welsh seaside, from the streets of Edinburgh to the fictional Australian country town of Coriole, the 2012 Season introduces a kaleidoscope of characters and stories. Themes and ideas connecting the shows across the season include transformation and identity, sex and death, romance and the extraordinary power of language.

After a focus on American drama in 2010 and Europe in 2011, more than half of the 2012 Main Stage season is comprised of new Australian works, including premieres of new plays by Hilary Bell, Jonathan Biggins and Tim Winton.

Never Did Me Any Harm is Sydney Theatre Company and Force Majeure’s new dancetheatre work, commissioned by STC in 2008, exploring issues associated with raising children, presented as part of Sydney Festival.

With Jessica Marais as Eliza Doolittle, George Bernard Shaw’s enduring classic, Pygmalion, is set to be another summer highlight.

Midsummer (a play with songs) is a joyous rom-com with a touch of the tartan by playwright David Greig and Gordon McIntyre of indie folk-rock group Ballboy. Lawyer Helena and petty criminal Bob are thrown together in dubious circumstances, sharing a drunken one-night-stand.

Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe lead a cast that also includes Justine Clarke, Jane Harders and Heather Mitchell, in a new production of the scintillating drama Les Liaisons Dangereuses, directed by Sam Strong making his STC debut.

Jack Thompson and Sandy Gore provide two of the magnetic and melodic voices for Dylan Thomas’ beautifully poetic radio-turned-stage-play, Under Milk Wood, directed by Andrew Upton.

In The Histrionic, Bille Brown lets rip as the highly strung Bruscon, a once-feted star of the stage who has taken a spectacular fall from grace and is now reduced to playing in a backwater Austrian town. The charismatic showman remains determined however that he will present his greatest work.

In Face To Face, Kerry Fox plays Jenny, an intelligent, successful psychiatrist who finds that she is unable to help herself when she becomes plagued by terrifying, vivid dreams. After a shocking event she is shaken to the core by the realisation that she is incapable of feeling anything and must make a journey to very edge of sanity.

In the world premiere production of Hilary Bell’s gripping play The Splinter, a husband (Erik Thomson) and wife (Helen Thomson) struggle to re-connect with their child when she inexplicably returns after a nine-month disappearance. Inspired by the Henry James novel The Turn of the Screw, the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Snow Queen and real life stories of abducted children, Bell’s play is an emotional thriller about all consuming obsession, grief and identity.

Australia Day is Jonathan Biggins’ wickedly funny new play inspired by his own experiences as an Australia Day ambassador.

Jacqueline McKenzie (In The Next Room, or the vibrator play) plays opposite STC newcomer Ryan Corr in Sex With Strangers, a tender, sharply observed love story which premiered at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre earlier in 2011.

In Tim Winton’s new play, Signs of Life, bereaved widow Georgie (Greta Scacchi), living on an isolated farm parched by a drought of apocalyptic severity, is visited by two mysterious Indigenous siblings, Mona and Bender. All three have contending claims on the place and on their memories.

Sitting alongside STC’s Main Stage program, and in addition to STC’s perennial favourite, The Wharf Revue, the Company also offers three other special theatrical treats.

Director David Farr (who brought STC audiences Metamorphosis in 2009) works with London-based company Filter and Radiohead’s live performance designer Andi Watson to create an dazzling, witty and moving theatrical experience, Water.

Also from the UK comes an exquisitely funny and entirely fresh take on the most popular and enduring Gilbert & Sullivan work, an all-male The Pirates of Penzance directed by Sasha Regan, which promises to be a must-see for lovers of all things musical, comedy and high camp.

Other significant components of STC’s annual offerings are the Company’s artform development strand, Next Stage, and the Company’s comprehensive education program, STC Ed. Details of both programs will be announced soon.

2012 Season Tickets are on sale from 9am on 24 September 2011

Sydney Theatre Company 2012
NEVER DID ME ANY HARM devised by Force Majeure
Wharf 1. Previews from 6 Jan 2012. Season 11 Jan – 12 Feb 2012

PYGMALION by George Bernard Shaw
Sydney Theatre. Previews from 31 Jan 2012. Season 4 Feb – 3 March 2012

MIDSUMMER (A PLAY WITH SONGS) by David Greig & Gordon McIntyre
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Previews from 1 Feb 2012. Season from 6 Feb – 10 March 2012

From the novel by Choderlos De Laclos
Wharf 1. Previews from 31 March 2012. Season from 5 April – 10 June 2012

UNDER MILK WOOD by Dylan Thomas
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Previews from 22 May 2012. Season from 26 May – 7 July 2012

THE HISTRIONIC by Thomas Bernhard. Translated by Tom Wright
Wharf 1. Previews from 15 June 2012. Season from 20 June – 28 July 2012

FACE TO FACE a film by Ingmar Bergman. Adapted for the stage by Andrew Upton and
Simon Stone
Sydney Theatre. Previews from 7 August 2012. Season from 11 Aug – 8 Sept 2012

THE SPLINTER by Hilary Bell
Wharf 1. Previews from 10 Aug 2012. Season from 15 Aug – 15 Sept 2012

AUSTRALIA DAY by Jonathan Biggins
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Previews from 7 Sept 2012. Season from 12 Sept – 27 Oct 2012.

Wharf 1. Previews from 25 Sept 2012. Season from 28 Sept – 24 Nov 2012.

SIGNS OF LIFE by Tim Winton
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Previews from 2 Nov 2012. Season from 7 Nov – 22 Dec 2012

Extra Offers:
Text by Alexander Devriendt, Joeri Smet in collaboration with the cast
Wharf 2. Previews form 13 Jan 2012. Season 17 Jan – 5 Feb 2012.

Created by Filter and David Farr
Sydney Theatre. Previews from 12 Sept 2012. Season 13 – 23 September 2012.

Written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott.
Previews from 1 Nov 2012. Season 2 – 25 Nov (Wharf 2) & 27 Nov - 22 Dec (Wharf 1)

Sasha Regan’s THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE by W.S. Gilbert and A. Sullivan
Sydney Theatre. Previews from 8 Nov 2012. Season 10 – 24 Nov 2012

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