Belvoir has unveiled the productions that will make up its 2023 season; chock-full of joyful optimism, thought-provoking drama, and heart-pounding heartthrobs. 2023 will see ten plays grace Belvoir’s main stage, with something for everyone – from a Sondheim musical to a bestselling book adaptation, from climate issues to rambunctious comedy, and much more – while putting spotlighting incredible Australian artistic talent.
Belvoir artistic director Eamon Flack said: “Going to the theater is one of life’s great acts of optimism. This has never been truer than in recent years. But Belvoir was born out of optimism, so we continue to do what we do. the best: a lot with a little, and something for everyone. Our irresistible love for Australian stories continues – seven of them, including two stunning new Indigenous plays, a Chinese-Australian tri-language comedy, a lesbian divorce dramedy (yes, that’s a genre now), an astonishing, thought-provoking and moving play about life in the climate age, and Charlotte Wood’s magnificent novel The Weekend hits the stage.”
“Then there’s the music, and a lot this year – I guess because we’ve all had enough of it in real life. We’re doing our very first Stephen Sondheim musical. When he died last year, the great Australian critic Peter Craven called Sondheim the Shakespeare of musical theatre. We agree.”
“Plus, there’s Zahra Newman as billie holiday – say no more – and the return of the legendary Robyn Archer. Finally, there is a piece of pure theatrical pleasure, a stage version of the (literally) magical anti-authoritarian novel The Master and Margarita, which we began work on in the darkest days of confinement. We’ve taken ‘classics’ to new places, and these, alongside Into the Woods, are our offerings.”
“It’s a crazy time to be alive, but Belvoir is your yellow brick road through the demented wonderland of life on planet Earth in 2023.”
BLUE: JANUARY 14 – 29
Blue is a breathtakingly intimate work and remarkable theatrical writing debut written and performed by rising star and Fellow 2021 Balnaves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Thomas Weatherall (Netflix’s Heartbreak High), and directed by alumni of Bangarra Deborah Brown. This world premiere is a tender and exquisite monologue, Blue immerses us in the beauty and sadness of a young life at its new beginning.
By Thomas Weatherall
Realized by Deborah Brown
A cast of three, including Thomas Weatherall
In association with the Sydney Festival
Indigenous Theater in Belvoir supported by the Balnaves Foundation
BLESSED UNION: FEBRUARY 2 – MARCH 12
Presented in association with Sydney WorldPride 2023, Blessed Union is the lesbian divorce comedy you didn’t know you needed, from the wicked mind of Queerstories’ Maeve Marsden (Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin). This play follows Ruth and Judith, who have two children and a manageable mortgage in the Inner West. Their life together is a gradual success story, so why should the breakup be any different?
The story of a new kind of family, Blessed Union is for anyone who has looked at their life and wondered if there isn’t a better way to live it.
By Maeve Marsden
Realized by Hannah Goodwin
A cast of 4 including Danielle Cormack, Maude Davey
In association with Sydney WorldPride2023
Supported by the Oranges and Sardines Foundation
IN THE WOODS: MARCH 18 – APRIL 23
In a major hit, Belvoir is delighted to present a brand new production of the classic, Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim, thirty-five years after its Broadway premiere. Directed by Eamon Flack and featuring a cast of 12 including Tamsin Carroll (Dusty, Oliver), Esther Hannaford (M. Burns, Beautiful: The Carole King music) and Justin Smith (Billy Elliot the Musical), this dazzling musical masterpiece begins, of course, with “Once upon a time…” At the end of the opening number, not one but six fairy tale plots unfold. are intertwined, as Cinderella, the Baker and his Wife, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack of Beanstalk fame all head out into the woods in search of love, happiness, and wisdom. Three midnights of brilliant twists later, they all end up singing “Happy ever after.” Except that’s just the interval…
Into The Woods will be dark, funny, captivating and totally entertaining.
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Originally Booked and Directed on Broadway by James Rabbit
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Under exclusive license from Music Theater International (Australasia)
Directed by Eamon Flack
Co-produced by Hayes Theater Co
Supported by the president’s circle
AT WHAT PRICE ? : MAY 4 – MAY 21
Belvoir’s provocative 2022 season hit returns for a limited time with its original cast before embarking on a national tour. Written by brilliant Palawa writer and 2019 Balnaves scholar Nathan Maynard, At What Price? is a solid country story set in Tasmania. Every year more and more people claim to be Palawa. Are they legit? Or are they “checking a box”? Who’s deciding ? And how? At what price ? is the essential play, on a very contemporary Australian question.
Associate Writer and Director Nathan Maynard
Directed by Isaac Drandic
With Luke Carroll, Sandy Greenwood, Ari Maza Long, Alex Malone
CLIMATE ERA SCENES: MAY 27 – JUNE 25
From the mind of climate expert and playwright David Finnigan (Kill Climate Deniers), Scenes from the Climate Era is exactly what it says – over fifty short pieces that capture the euphoria, frustration and fascination of living in a time of total environmental crisis. change, ranging from the recent past to the distant future. Directed by Carissa Licciardello (Opening Night, A Room of One’s Own) and starring six actors, including Abbie-Lee Lewis (ABC Black Comedy), Brandon McClelland (Packer & Sons) and Charles Wu (Jasper Jones), Scenes from the Climate Era is shocking, ironic and often inspiring.
By David Finnigan
Directed by Carissa Licciardello
Supported by Oranges and Sardines, Patty Akopiantz & Justin Punch
MISS PEONY: JULY 1 – 30
2023 will see the long-awaited world premiere, twice delayed by Covid, from the writer who brought us the hit Single Asian Female. Michelle Law’s Miss Peony is a glitzy, glamorous, and slightly lopsided comedy about being caught between two generations, two cultures, and the ghosts of past generations coming back to haunt you. In a premiere, Miss Peony will be performed in three languages: as in real life, these characters alternate between English, Cantonese and Mandarin, so the show is subtitled in all three languages.
Written by Michelle Law,
Directed by Courtney Stewart
With Gabrielle Chan, Jing-Xuan Chan, Michelle Law, Mabel Li, Shirong Wu, Charles Wu
In association with Arts Center Melbourne, Queensland Performing Arts Center
Supported by the Nelson Meers Foundation
WEEKENDS: AUGUST 5 – SEPTEMBER 3
Adapted from Charlotte Wood’s bestselling novel, The Weekend follows three old friends and an old dog. Sylvie passed away and left behind three best friends who we believe weren’t as honest – or as good friends – as they thought. Directed by Sarah Goodes (The Sugar House), with a cast brimming with fierce female talent including three of our great actors, The Weekend is a gripping, funny and insightful story about aging, age, the toll of life lived and how still Direct.
Based on a novel by Charlotte Wood
Adapted by Sue Smith
Directed by Sarah Goodes
A cast of four including Belinda Giblin, Toni Scanlan, Melita Jurisc
Supported by The Group
LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL: SEPTEMBER 14 – OCTOBER 15
The extraordinary Zahra Newman plays the extraordinary billie holiday. It’s 1959, in a bar in South Philadelphia. It’s a bit outdated. You wouldn’t know it, but we are at a point in history – one of billie holidaylegendary last performances. As she sings her set (“Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do, Strange Fruit, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Easy Livin’, God Bless the Child, etc.), she shares her life story – a bit risque, humorous, political, ecstatic, tragic.Starring Zahra Newman (The Book of Mormon), this hit cabaret-style play makes its Australian debut after wowing audiences in its record-breaking box office run on Broadway .
Written by Lanie Robertson
Realized by Michael Butel
With Zahra Newman and a live band
musical arrangements of Danny Holgate
Co-produced with Melbourne Theater Company, State Theater Company of South Australia
Robyn Archer: AN AUSTRALIAN SONGBOOK : 18 – 29 OCTOBER
Robyn Archer – icon, Australian stage legend and provocateur – is joined by a trio of Australia’s finest live musicians (accordionist pianist George Butrumlis, actor and multi-instrumentalist Cameron Goodall on guitar and Enio Pozzebon on keyboards) to perform a rich interpretation of songs describing our country. This is Australia like you’ve never heard it before.
Designed and produced by Robyn Archer
Accordion/vocals by George Butrumlis
Guitar/vocals by Cameron Goodall
Keyboard/vocals by Enio Pozzebon
Originally commissioned by Queensland Theater
THE MASTER AND MARGARITA: NOVEMBER 11 – DECEMBER 10
Written in secret in the darkness of repression, passed under the nose of the state police, The Master and Margarita entered the legend long before the publication of the novel. Now this phenomenon of world literature, told via a giant talking cat, a mad novelist and a sick autocrat, takes to the stage at Belvoir, in an all-new adaptation by Eamon Flack and a team of animals from brilliant theatre. This wild, joyful and beautiful show features a cast of 11 including Paula Arundel (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Rebecca Massey (Cloudstreet), and the only actor to win two Helpmanns in a year, Mark Winter makes his long-awaited Belvoir debut.
Adapted and directed by Eamon Flack
From the book of Mikhail Bulgakov
A cast of 11 including Paula ArundelRebecca Massey, Mark Winter, Josh Price
Supported by the Creative Development Fund
Belvoir 2023 Season Passes are on sale now via www.belvoir.com.au.