CANBERRA Repertory Society Theatre has launched its 2022 season, celebrating 90 years of operation, with an eclectic mix of conundrums, family dynamics, love stories, shenanigans and visits into history.
Themed “Canberra is Our Heart”, there are six plays in the season, with three of them, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”, “Hotel Sorrento” and “Sense and Sensibility”, moved from the 2021 season because of covid.
First up is Cate Clelland’s staging of Tom Stoppard’s sardonic slant on “Hamlet”, “R & G are Dead”, where the story is seen through the eyes of Hamlet’s two obsequious uni mates.
The second play is “Hotel Sorrento” by Hannie Rayson, a family reunion play where three sisters, reunited after 10 years in different worlds to be staged in her Rep directorial debut by Alexandra Pelvin,
“Romeo and Juliet” follows in a co-production by Kelly Roberts and Christopher Zuber, “the most impassioned of stories ever told,” Rep says.
Balancing the romantic tragedy is that old warhorse, “Arsenic and Old Lace”, as funny as it was in 1941 when it burst on to Broadway and the West End, and directed by an old hand at Rep, Ian Hart.
An unusual choice for Rep is the fifth play of the season, “Our Country’s Good” by Timberlake Wertenbaker, to be directed by Karen Vickery. Based on Thomas Keneally’s novel “The Playmaker”, and set in 1789 Sydney, a young lieutenant works with convicts to stage Farquhar’s “The Recruiting Officer” – that really happened.
The sixth and final play of the 2022 season is “Sense and Sensibility” by Kate Hamill, to be directed by Liz Bradley, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel presented, Rep says, “with a fresh female voice”.
Canberra Rep’s 2022 Season, subscription packages at canberrarep.org.au or 6257 1950.
At a glance:
- “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” February 17-March 5
- “Hotel Sorrento,” April 28-May 14
- “Romeo & Juliet,” June 9-25
- “Arsenic & Old Lace,” July 28-August 13
- “Our Country’s Good,” September 8-24
- “Sense and Sensibility,” November 17-September 3.
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Ian Meikle, editor