Sydney Theatre Company Taps Cate Blanchett for Chekhov and Geoffrey Rush as King Lear in 2015 Season

News   Sydney Theatre Company Taps Cate Blanchett for Chekhov and Geoffrey Rush as King Lear in 2015 Season
The Sydney Theatre Company has announced a new production of Anton Chekhov's first play, The Present, starring Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh, as part of its 2015 season, which will also feature Geoffrey Rush as King Lear.

Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett

The season opens with After Dinner from When the Rain Stops Falling playwright Andrew Bovell (Jan. 15-March 7, 2015). According to STC, "The 1980s are brought hilariously to life in this comedy about friendship and singledom, featuring Helen Thomson, Josh McConville, Anita Hegh, Glenn Hazeldine and Rebecca Massey."

A revival of Tennessee Williams' dark and poetic drama Suddenly Last Summer, starring Robyn Nevin, will follow (Feb. 9-March 21); with Olwen Fouéré performing Riverrun, her "bold and captivating solo performance based on James Joyce’s final book 'Finnegans Wake'" (March 10-April 11).

April De Angelis' Jumpy, a "frank and funny family drama that charts the mother of all midlife crises," will star "Kath & Kim" comedian Jane Turner (March 26-May 16); with Hugo Weaving (STC's Macbeth, "Priscilla Queen of the Desert," "The Matrix") returning to star in Samuel Beckett's Endgame under the direction STC artistic director Andrew Upton (March 31-May 9).

The world premiere of Melissa Bubnic's Boys Will Be Boys, "unearthing the dirty dealings of the finance world and the secrets of one woman’s ruthless rise up the ladder," will star Danielle Cormack (April 16-May 9); and Kylie Coolwell's debut play Waterloo, "a tender and engaging family drama set in the heart of Sydney," will follow (June 1-27). Also planned is the Australian premiere of Caryl Churchill's Love and Information, a snapshot that gives "tantalising glimpses into the lives of over a hundred charactersthank you" (July 9-Aug. 15).

Oscar winner Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine, "The Maids) will join Roxburgh in a new, world-premiere adaptation of Chekhov's first play The Present (Aug. 4-Sept. 19). Upton penned the adaptation that will be directed by John Crowley. According to STC, "Anton Chekhov's first play was a sprawling, unstructured epic but it marked out the style and themes he would return to in his later masterworks from The Seagull to The Cherry Orchard. It remains a mysterious, unpolished gem.

"The manuscript, left unpublished until almost two decades after Chekhov’s death, lacked a title. Over the years it has inspired various adaptations – Wild Honey, Fatherlessness, The Disinherited –but it is most commonly referred to as Platonov, the name of the man at its centre. And yet, the play has always contained another extraordinarily rich and complex character – that of Anna Petrovna."

Susie Porter and Eugene Gilfedder will star in Ariel Dorfman's tale of revenge Death and the Maiden (Aug. 28-Oct. 10); George Bernard Shaw's romantic comedy Arms and the Man is up next (Sept. 14-Oct. 31); and Sarah Ruhl's Orlando, based on the Virginia Woolf novel, follows (Nov. 9-Dec. 19).

The final production of the season will be Tony and Oscar winner Rush in his STC stage return as Shakespeare's King Lear (Nov. 24-Jan. 9, 2016). He will again collaborate with director Neil Armfield.


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