Season 2018-19

2018-19 Season promo image


Welcome to Canberra REP’s 86th Season

On behalf of the REP Council, the Play Selection Advisory Committee, and the REP membership, it is my pleasure to introduce our 2018-19 season with the theme of Power and Passion.

I am very excited about REP’s 86th Season, which features a new play by a young female playwright, a couple of theatrical classics, an uproarious farce (with music!), one rarely produced comedy from Kurt Vonnegut and something completely different – radio plays! Each of these in some way demonstrates the theme of the season, Power and Passion. With that, here are the shows!

The season opens with Dr Frankenstein, a new play by UK playwright, Selma Dimitrijevic. Her treatment of the classic story of Dr Frankenstein turns aspects of the story on their head while exploring a passion for knowledge and the power of life over death. In this thorough re-imagining of the classic of horror, Dimitrijevic challenges traditional perceptions of both the Doctor and the Creature while still thrilling and frightening us. Dr Frankenstein will be directed by Jordan Best, who recently directed Wait Until Dark for REP.

The second show of the season is the classic George Bernard Shaw comedy, Arms and the Man. Fifty years after Arms and the Man was written, George Orwell said, ”It is probably the wittiest play he ever wrote, the most flawless technically,and in spite of being a very light comedy, the most telling.” It is about passionate lovers, powerful soldiers and the fact that all is fair in love and war. Returning to REP to direct this romantic comedy is Ed Wightman who last directed Twelfth Night – Or What You Will for us.

The third play is actually a suite of plays – radio plays. Radio on Repertory Lane will, over the course of two weeks, provide three radio plays: a thriller, a comedy and a drama. Prepare to be taken back in time to when we witnessed power and passion on the wireless. The challenge of bringing radio plays to life and entertaining a live theatre audience with them, will be deftly handled by director Jarrad West who recently directed The 39 Steps for REP. An Omnibus selection of classic and modern Radio fare, presenting three-dimensional radio on Repertory Lane!

Fourth in the Season, is a rarely seen comic play from author Kurt Vonnegut: Happy Birthday, Wanda June. This play takes us back to the US of the 1960s and explores who is more powerful, the man with a passion for killing, or the man with a passion for intellect? The play shows what happens when a powerful soldier returns home after an eight year disappearance and finds that the world has changed too much for his liking. Cate Clelland will direct this play for REP, having directed Australia Day for us in 2017.

Next up, is the hilarious farce, One Man, Two Guvnors. In this play Rachel and Stanley are passionate for each other. Stanley just killed Rachel’s brother Roscoe. Pauline’s passionate for the sappy Alan, but is engaged to Roscoe (who is really Rachel in disguise). Frances is mostly passionately hungry and is hired by both Roscoe (really Rachel) and Stanley (actually Stanley), but after he has had a good meal he is willing to have a good time with Dolly! It is a powerfully funny comedy of misdirected love, ludicrous coincidences and one very confusing meal. Returning to direct this show for REP is Chris Baldock who directed A View From the Bridge in 2017.

The first play of 2019 will be the classic drama of passion and power that is A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (English version by Simon Stephens). A Doll’s House demonstrates the power of secrets and passion for freedom. It is an international theatrical classic and the lead role of Nora is considered to be one of the most challenging (and rewarding) for an actress. Returning to REP to direct this classic is Aarne Neeme AM who last directed Witness for the Prosecution for REP.

That is our 2018-2019 Season, our 86th Season! Come and witness the power and the passion of theatre at Canberra Repertory Society.

David H Bennett
President