September 24, 2011
LIKE any actor worth their salt, Cate Blanchett knows when it’s time to let someone else have the limelight.
Blanchett is conspicuously absent from the starring roles in Sydney Theatre Company’s 2012 season, announced at Walsh Bay tonight.
Instead, she has ceded the stage to next year’s leading ladies while she tours with the international co-production Gross und Klein.
“I can’t be too greedy,” Blanchett said.
Leading the charge next year, STC will adapt George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, directed by Peter Evans and starring Jessica Marais and Kim Gyngell.
“How extraordinary to take this work and blow the dust off it,’’ Blanchett said.
A second adaptation, of the French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos, will star actor Hugo Weaving alongside Pamela Rabe.
Liaisons also brings Griffin Theatre Company’s artistic director Sam Strong to the Wharf Theatre for the first time to direct the play.
Blanchett’s husband and co-artistic director Andrew Upton will direct Under Milk Wood, originally written by Dylan Thomas for radio, to which actors Sandy Gore and Jack Thompson lend their voices.
“Without trying to sound like a terrible salesman, I’m actually excited about everything for the year,’’ Upton said.
“They have all found their feet and they are the right creative teams (for each play). We’ve really tried to broaden the theatrical palate.”
New Australian works make up more than half the season, including plays from Hilary Bell, political satirist Jonathan Biggins and novelist Tim Winton.
Jacqueline McKenzie will star alongside newcomer Ryan Corr in the “dramedy” Sex with Strangers, which debuted at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre earlier this year.
Rounding out the season is STC’s collaboration with physical theatre company Force Majeure, Never Did Me Any Harm; the Simon Stone-directed Face to Face; The Histrionic starring Billie Brown and Barry Otto; and Midsummer, billed not as a musical but a play with songs.
Next year will also see the company reclaim its foyer as a community space, replacing the Hickson Road Bistro.
“It will give us a space to congregate beforehand and have proper conversations after,” Upton said.