2017 was a mighty banquet of performance delights smashed out on our stages.
We have produced ambitious and bold theatrical canvases, spotlighted iconic characters, chronicled Canberra, presenting ground breaking theatre from Australian and UK playwrights with our creative teams applauded for their brilliance in setting the scene for our many talented and award-winning actors and their wonderful performances.
And it didn’t stop there with inspiring collaborations bringing ideas-rich micro-festivals and the mammoth-proportioned comedy festival energising audiences and artists alike, transporting experiences from powerhouse Italian master Vincenzo Pirrotta’s forensic dissection of the Italian mafia to Ranters theatre of the everyday life whilst the engine rooms of The Hive and First Seen forged new work. And a magnificent stream of music from Tubular Bells for Two to Japanese composer Satsuko Fujii and her provocative Fukushima Suite performed with the Sirens Big Band to locals Happy Axe launching their first album.
We hoped you enjoyed your year with The Street. Here is a snapshot.
STREET PRODUCED CONTEMPORARY DRAMA
A box office smash hit, Street One was transformed with spectacular Canberra visuals and characters from its early days as Australia’s capital for the world premiere season of Cold Light. Adapted by Alana Valentine from the novel by Frank Moorhouse, the racy and entertaining epic story of a remarkable woman with ambition and vision and her role in the transformation of modern Australia over three decades from the 1950s was played out by an outstanding cast – the first time a Moorhouse novel was presented on the stage, with his iconic literary character Edith Campbell Berry brought to life. In partnership with Currency Press, the program featured the script in its entirety.
Directed by Caroline Stacey, with Sonia Todd as the redoubtable Edith, supported by the artistry of Craig Alexander, Nick Byrne, Gerard Carroll, Tobias Cole and Kiki Skountzos.
THE ILIAD OUTLOUD
“Fury, so much fury, Tell us Muse, of Achilles, insane and cursed, whose fury cost the Achaeans dear . . . ”
Over three days, Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, adapted and performed by William Zappa was read live from start to finish with Nick Byrne and Chrissie Shaw, accompanied by percussionist Gary France.
What if every choice you’ve ever made and never made, exists…
Canberra audiences got their chance to experience the astonishing play written by young British playwright Nick Payne that has taken the theatre world by storm since it opened in London in 2012, and Broadway two years later. The staging of Constellations at The Street gave our early career artists a tremendous opportunity to creatively respond to this ingenious, witty, and intellectually searching work bringing science and art together. Starring Lexi Sekuless and Kristian Jenkins.
UNDER SEDATION: CANBERRA VERSE REMIXED
“Remember, sister, we are under sedation of habit, of hope, of lust” A.D. Hope
This ambitious production presented in the round reworked, remixed, re-ticked and re-loaded Canberra verse to create a remarkable emotional and exciting performance. Edited and directed by Adele Chynoweth, Under Sedation credited Canberra poets for their national contribution to poetry, song lyrics and the spoken word. Starring Ben Drysdale and Ruth Pieloor.
BOYS WILL BE BOYS
“I’m no friend to the sisterhood. I’m basically a man who sits to pee.” – Astrid
Furiously funny, Boys Will Be Boys, a no-holds-barred, biting satire written by award-winning playwright Melissa Bubnic and set in the intoxicating world of investment banking took us on a journey through gender inequality issues and the subsequent power struggles that are still rife today – asking timely questions including To succeed, what do we have to sacrifice and who truly has the control?
Starring Pippa Grandison as Astrid with Isha Menon, Dianna Nixon, Joanna Richards, Kiki Skountzos and Stuart King as guitarist on stage.
The Street’s Contemporary Music Program brought a mash-up of sound worlds to our city for those who love their music experiences live, up close and in the intimate surrounds of a theatre.
We welcomed an eclectic mix of international and Australian artists ranging from the familiar to the unknown including Australian legends and favourites Tim Rogers, Tex, Don and Charlie, Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp and album launches from My Friend The Chocolate Cake, Jeff Lang, Pheno and more.
7 GREAT INVENTIONS OF THE MODERN INDUSTRIAL AGE
New music, old objects, an actor and a sextet took to the stage in a new theatre work directed by Shelly Higgs. Inspired by inventions that changed our lives forever, a suite of music works composed by Sally Greenaway were linked to the theatrical performance by Syzygy Ensemble and Dene Kermond.
Since 2012 FIRST SEEN has offered playwrights the opportunity to collaborate with a creative team to further develop their work through intensive practical investigation and audience feedback. A lot of new work seen this year is bubbling away from the stories of mothers, daughters, sisters and brothers to the kooky Sybilla set in the shed on the outskirts of Queanbeyan.
In our search for contemporary regional and Australian writers, The Street has developed a place for the gathering of theatrical ideas and minds and a fertile ground for Canberra to develop a distinctive and strong voice.
Our much-loved micro-festival where Europe meets Australia in Canberra in partnership with the ANU Centre of European Studies returned with a spotlight on democracy. Welcoming European festival favourite Mikey Weinkove in the role of artist-in-residence, The Street Theatre was charged with collective decision making, good humour – and tasty pizzas.
For the festival’s finale, ideas were put forth and debated, with a final vote by the audience to donate proceeds of the entire box office to the development of a event to welcome migrants to Canberra.
CANBERRA COMEDY FESTIVAL
For the first time, we partnered with the Festival to present a riot of comedians from around the world on our stages – from Doug Anthony and the All Stars to a family friendly event with a line-up of favourties and no swearing.
MINI CAPITAL JAZZ PROJECT
Mini and mighty, this year we celebrated artists from Israel, Japan, US and Australia, welcoming Israeli-born Yotam Silberstein, iconic Japanese musicians Satsuko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura, the super collective Sirens Big Band and the genre-defying ensemble The Vampires.
FESTIVAL OF UNSCRIPTED THEATRE
This mirco-festival featured a season of improvised music, comedy, genre shows and Shakespeare zombies, by Alchemists Improvisation, BnC Theatre, Chrysalis Theatre and Lightbulb Improv
The international festival founded by Improv ACT once again presented on our stages an eclectic mix of the most exciting new works of unscripted drama, music theatre, experimental and physical theatre.
RANTERS THEATRE: INTIMACY
Why is it sometimes easier to be honest with a total stranger than with someone we know?
The Street Theatre welcomed the award-winning Melbourne-based Ranters in presenting Intimacy, an absorbing work inspired by loneliness based on real life encounters with strangers. Great to have the Ranters team in Canberra before Artistic Director Adriano Cortese and co headed off to Dublin.
Blending beautiful and surreal illustrations with exquisite puppetry, digital animation, haunting music and fine acting, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre brought their award-winning adaptation of Shaun Tan’s book The Arrival to The Street Theatre just in time for the ACT school holidays.
We welcomed the UK based Imagination Company with Pip Utton back on our stage for his captivating performances of two legends.
LA BELLATA DELLA BELATA
In partnership with the Italian Institute and performed in Italian, award-wining writer/performer Vincenzo Pirrotta brought his critically acclaimed theatre work La Ballata Delle Balate (The ballad of the ‘balàte) accompanied live by percussionist Dario Sulis on the cajon.
WHO AM I?
An hilarious true story of dedication, perseverance and grit written and performed by Russell Cheek, who took to our stage to share the story of his efforts to climb out of unemployed-actor poverty by attempting to win the jackpot on Sale of the Century in 1993. And he did win the lot.
We laughed with Mark Swivel as he shared his middle-aged man’s hilarious howl of rage and joy with a free dive into his heart, family, and politics.