Happy is the theatre company that can enjoy the regular services of a genuine international star, as admired on stage as she is on film. Cate Blanchett’s commitment has extended beyond her term as co-artistic director of the STC, once again an adornment to its next season. But she is not alone. 2015 is by any measure an all-star season which includes Robyn Nevin, Richard Roxburgh, Hugo Weaving, Jacqueline McKenzie and Geoffrey Rush; a roster that includes several Oscar winners. Rightly, the STC takes the opposite position to those companies which barely mention performers, instead focusing on repertoire. It’s a false choice; the public cares about both.
Nor is the STC stinting on repertoire in 2015. There are four out-and-out classics: Suddenly Last Summer, Endgame, Arms and the Man and King Lear, plus three adaptations of classics by James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Anton Chekhov. Does this mean the company is neglecting contemporary Australian writing? Probably not; Artistic Director Andrew Upton must choose from the best material available, matching it with his remarkable performing talents. Often that will involve favouring existing master works.
This is a season any company in any major city in the world would be proud to announce. It is now up to the individual directors and designers not to muck it up; not to try too hard to be smart, different or shocking. Great material, brilliantly performed is an end in itself. Here’s hoping!
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