IF CATE Blanchett and Andrew Upton’s first year at the Sydney Theatre Company signalled a re-energised, broad-based collaborative hub, then 2010 is likely to reveal that substance and style need not be mutually exclusive.
”Next year has heft,” says Blanchett. ”There is meat on the bones,” adds Upton.
The 2010 season, announced at the company’s home base at the Wharf yesterday, is potentially one of the most star-studded, weighty and ambitious programs to be produced by the STC. Highlights include Steppenwolf’s staging of Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County, the hit musical Spring Awakening, and Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, starring William Hurt and Robyn Nevin. Philip Seymour Hoffman returns to direct Sam Shepard’s True West. And in November, Blanchett stars in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, alongside Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh and John Bell.
”Hugo and Rox [Roxburgh] haven’t been on stage together before,” Blanchett says. ”You’d be hard put to get a better line-up,” Upton chimes in. ”It’s a shameless list of classics … We just hope that people will want to come.”
Local works include Melbourne Theatre Company production The Grenade, featuring Garry McDonald, and a revival of Joanna Murray-Smith’s Honour, starring Wendy Hughes, Paula Arundell and William Zappa.
Although there is an accent on international collaborations, notably Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the company’s alliances are predominantly with Australian theatre-makers, including Melbourne’s Malthouse and the Suitcase Royale.