A boisterous, topical and entertaining year of theatre is on offer for South Australians in the 2021 season from State Theatre Company South Australia.
Featuring an audacious new commission from South Australian playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer and the Australian premiere of an international hit, the season invites audiences to reflect on the power of community and the possibility of positive change.
Launching the season at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 29 October, Artistic Director Mitchell Butel says the 2021 season examines who we were, who we are and who we hope to be.
“Those questions are at the heart of the work we’re presenting in 2021 – explorations of community, class, conflict and even our planet’s history and future,” he says.
“This year made us confront new paradigms about how we live, work and love. The work we offer in 2021 won’t have all the answers but it will crack open those conversations in a dynamite fashion.”
Opening the season is the world premiere of The Boy Who Talked To Dogs, based on the true story of Byron Bay’s ‘Dog Man’ Martin McKenna.
A co-production with Slingsby for Adelaide Festival, Irish playwright Amy Conroy takes McKenna’s extraordinary childhood story of his time living with a pack of stray dogs in the city of Limerick and weaves it with shadow puppetry, raucous Irish music and physical performance under the direction of Andy Packer.
Starring acclaimed actor Bryan Burroughs as McKenna and taking place at Thomas Edmonds Opera Studio at the Adelaide Showground, the story that has featured in news programs over the years unfolds for the first time on stage in what is sure to be a magical experience for audiences of all ages.
The Gospel According to Paul, originally programmed for the 2020 season, descends at Dunstan Playhouse in April following hit seasons across the country.
Jonathan Biggins’ ode to Paul Keating hilariously skewers both sides of politics and chronicles the former Prime Minister’s professional achievements and personal obsessions through a mix of song and story, all delivered with the signature wit and eccentricities of the controversial political giant.
Euphoria, the bittersweet new play by Adelaide playwright Emily Steel, will finally have its world premiere at the Chaffey Theatre in Renmark before heading to the Space Theatre for two weeks in May.
Originally programmed for 2020, the two-hander then commences an extensive tour to regional South Australia, including Burra, Tanunda and Whyalla.
Commissioned and developed by Country Arts SA, Euphoria is a tender and wry examination of the challenges faced, and joys experienced, by thousands of people in regional SA, informed by conversations between Steel (Decameron 2.0, 19 Weeks, Rabbits) and residents themselves.
Under the direction of Nescha Jelk (Jasper Jones, Terrestrial), actors
James Smith (Jasper Jones, Vale) and Ashton Malcolm (Rumpelstiltskin) bring an entire town to life in an intimate town meeting-style setting from designer Meg Wilson.
Elena Carapetis returns to the Company (and the Royalty Theatre) in June to direct The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race, starring Susie Youssef (The Project, Have You Been Paying Attention, Home I’m Darling, Rosehaven) in her STCSA debut.
With a tone reminiscent of classic Australian sitcoms, Tait’s play centres on a woman named Penny who returns to her childhood home just in time for the town’s famous Potato Race.
When she learns the women’s prize is $200 compared to the men’s $1000, she sets out to right this wrong – but not without jumping a few hurdles of her own.
Inspired by real events, the hit comedy by ABC journalist-turned playwright Melanie Tait brings together a cast of SA greats, including Genevieve Mooy, Carmel Johnson (Ripcord) and Anna Steen (The 39 Steps) as Penny.
Supported by STCSA’s Dramatic Women, a donor collective that has been supporting female-driven works for more than 15 years, The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race is a big-hearted tale about women getting loud and making waves in a town resistant to change.
View the full program here: statetheatrecompany.com.au