A diverse program including National Treasure John Bell and touring to over 26 regional areas across Australia.
Bell Shakespeare has today announced their 2021 season, which will mark the company’s return to the stage and live performance for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown in March. As Australia’s national touring theatre company and now in its 31st year, Bell Shakespeare will travel across the country with a program including an evening with company Founding Artistic Director John Bell, a remounting of this year’s popular Hamlet production that closed just 1.5 weeks after opening due to lockdown, and a staging of the popular classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Following a successful online sneak peek filmed with Bell Shakespeare Founding Artistic Director John Bell at the Sydney Opera House earlier this year after a cancellation due to COVID-19, audiences will finally be able to attend the live performance of One Man In His Time: John Bell and Shakespeare. Presented at the Sydney Opera House (11-14 March) and Canberra Theatre Centre (15 April), this intimate one-man performance is a reflection on works by Shakespeare that have left their mark on Bell, the man who believed that Australians could see themselves reflected in the works of Shakespeare, and founded a Company based on his belief. Now in his 80th year, Bell is an icon of the Australian stage and respected by audiences and colleagues alike for his personal and genuine connection to Shakespeare that has inspired Australians for decades.
Audiences will have a second chance to see the seminal revenge tragedy Hamlet which premiered earlier in 2020 to rave reviews, directed by Bell Shakespeare Artistic Director Peter Evans and starring Harriet Gordon-Anderson (The Miser) as Hamlet. Presented at the Sydney Opera House (11 August – 4 September), Arts Centre Melbourne (10-19 September) and Canberra Theatre Centre (24 September – 2 October), the production has been reimagined for contemporary audiences, transporting them to a wintery Denmark scene in the 1960s.
One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream will debut at Arts Centre Melbourne (15-24 July) before travelling to far corners across the country to over 26 locations including Hobart, Alice Springs and Mackay, and finishing at the Sydney Opera House (14 October – 7 November), bringing Shakespeare’s classic comedy filled with magic and mirth to audiences all over Australia and reflecting the company’s ethos of providing all Australians with access to Shakespeare.
Bell Shakespeare Artistic Director Peter Evans said: “After a challenging year that saw us celebrate our 30th anniversary in a drastically different way than we had planned we can’t wait to get back into the theatre and enjoy live performance once again. We are going to keep celebrating Bell Shakespeare into 2021 and I’m delighted audiences will have a second chance to see our short-lived acclaimed 2020 production of Hamlet as well as an opportunity to see John Bell’s insights, thoughtfulness, deep love of this work and generosity on full display for One Man in His Time. To complete our year in a celebration of the theatre as we return to the stage, my refreshed and reimagined family friendly production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will tour to over 26 venues in almost every state and territory in Australia.”
Alongside this programming, Bell Shakespeare will present their extensive outreach and education program across the country in schools, juvenile justice centres, indigenous communities and community halls.
Company players will also for the first time present Play in a Day, an entertaining performance that is read, rehearsed and performed in just one day and available to season package purchasers. In 2021 the plays featured will be lesser known works by Shakespeare’s contemporary Thomas Middleton including Women Beware Women and The Revenger’s Tragedy.
Download the brochure here.
Eight extraordinary women
One brand new show that will blow your mind!
It was announced today that the new must-see original Australian theatrical experience DRUMMER QUEENS will play in Melbourne and Brisbane after its World Premiere in Sydney in 2021. Created and composed by Joe Accaria, with creative direction by Nigel Turner-Carroll and choreography by Peta Anderson, DRUMMER QUEENS will play at the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne from 27 April and the Lyric Theatre, QPAC from 11 May following the season at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.
With stunning staging and world-class percussionists, DRUMMER QUEENS delivers a live musical experience like you've never seen before. Audiences will be immersed in the powerfully irresistible rhythms of this remarkable all-female cast, in awe of their skill and inspired by the joy and energy of what promises to be a game-changing theatrical production.
DRUMMER QUEENS delivers a brilliant blend of movement and rhythm, with a huge variety of rhythmic styles that are irresistible and powerfully inspirational. It’s sure to leave audiences breathless.
The creator and composer of DRUMMER QUEENS, Joe Accaria, said, “Karen Carpenter was once famously asked why she plays the drums. Her answer: ‘Two words, WHY NOT’! Our heartbeat, our influencers and teachers are women. For me it was Sheila E, Cindy Blackman, Viola Schmidt, all of whom paved the way for a young man to ignore an historical anomaly. DRUMMER QUEENS aims to give a platform to women of inexorable talent and musical wisdom, all brought to the fore in a physical group dynamic that pushes the boundaries of rhythm and performance through inspirational drumming and musicianship, joyous danceable groove and awe. There are all female drumming groups in Asia, South America, Africa and beyond. WHY NOT now in Australia?”
“The first day I stepped into the studio as one of eight multifaceted female musicians I knew that DRUMMER QUEENS was something special”, said choreographer and performer Peta Anderson. “Being both a choreographer and performer in this brand new show allows me to explore and create new ways to push the level of drumming from all angles. As a woman in this female-driven show, I feel so empowered and inspired by the level of talent in DRUMMER QUEENS. and I know that the audience will feel every ounce of energy the drums and the queens will be giving to them.”
Get up close and powerful with the DRUMMER QUEENS in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane before they conquer the world. They are LIVE, LOUD and READY TO RULE!
Creator and Composer - Joe Accaria
Creative Director - Nigel Turner-Carroll
Choreographer - Peta Anderson
Production Designer and Lighting Designer - Richard Neville
Production Designer and Costume Designer - Adrienn Lord
Sound Designer – Michael Waters
Producers - Neil Gooding Productions & Repercussions Productions
Venue Comedy Theatre
Season 27 April – 8 May 2021
Performance Times Tues-Thurs 6:30pm, Fri-Sat 7:30pm, Wed & Sat 2pm, Sun 2pm & 6:30pm
Prices: From $49 (Transaction fees apply)
Bookings: ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100
Tickets on sale from 27 November, Presales from 25 November
WAITLIST NOW AT www.drummerqueens.com
Producers John Frost, Suzanne Jones and Ambassador Theatre Group Productions are disappointed to announce that the Australian seasons of Dolly Parton’s hit musical 9 TO 5 will be postponed.
The priority for the producers is the well-being of the audience, cast, crew and theatre staff. In consultation with both the Sydney Lyric and Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne, they have reviewed the most recent advice issued by the Federal Government to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and have postponed both the Sydney and Melbourne seasons of 9 to 5 THE MUSICAL to a later date.
We are currently reviewing options to reschedule in both cities and sincerely thank theatregoers for their patience and support of the industry while we work through these complex issues. Once we receive Government advice regarding the re-opening schedule for venues and new dates can be secured, existing ticket holders will be provided with an exclusive first option to secure the best seats.
In the meantime, patrons who purchased tickets to 9 TO 5 will receive an email from the official ticketing provider shortly providing details on the refund process for performances that have been postponed.
Theatre and the arts are an integral part of the social wellbeing of the community and we are looking forward to bringing 9 to 5 to Australia as soon as we are able. We look forward to sharing the joy of Dolly Parton’s 9 TO 5 with you soon!
The producers of SIX THE MUSICAL are sincerely disappointed to announce that as a result of the Government’s most recent advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all forthcoming seasons including Melbourne, Adelaide and Wellington are now postponed.
The health, safety and well-being of our staff, artists, audiences and our community will always be paramount and the producers are working on reviewing options to reschedule.
We sincerely thank the audiences and fans of SIX for their support of the full production team, cast, crew and musicians of the show, and look forward to being able to notify future season dates as soon as possible.
Ticket holders for all future performances will be contacted by your ticketing providers directly with refunds to be organised to the original credit card holder. There is no need to contact your ticketing provider unless you have been requested to provide further information.
Look out Melbourne – 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL is coming to Melbourne. Dolly Parton today announced that the smash-hit hilarious West End musical will play in Melbourne at Her Majesty’s Theatre from July 2020, following its Australian Premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in April. Waitlist now to be the first in Melbourne to buy tickets at 9to5themusical.com.au. Presales begin on 10 February ahead of GP sales from 14 February.
“I am beyond excited to be bringing this show to Melbourne after it’s Sydney premiere,” said Dolly Parton. “The response from the West End to 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL has been incredible. I can't wait for more people throughout Australia to have a toe tappin’ good time to the songs they love in a story they know.”
Starring Caroline O’Connor, Marina Prior, Samantha Dodemaide and Erin Clare, this run-away success on the West End features a book by the iconic movie’s original screenwriter Patricia Resnick and an Oscar, Grammy and Tony award-nominated score by the Queen of Country herself, Dolly Parton including her much-loved hit song, 9 to 5!
9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL opened at London’s Savoy Theatre in January last year, initially for a 16 week season and surpassed all audience expectations. It has been extended multiple times and is now selling until April 2020. Perhaps that whole new generation of Dolly fans are treating themselves to a fun night out on the West End!
The show was embraced by critics, with the major dailies united in their support . . .
“★★★★★ THIS IS ONE 9 TO 5 YOU'LL WANT TO DO AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN” – The Sun
“★★★★★ PACKED WITH LAUGHS AS BIG AS DOLLY’S PERSONALITY” – Daily Mirror
“★★★★★ A HILARIOUS COMEDY” – Daily Express
“'DOLLY'S FUN, FEEL-GOOD MUSICAL” – Daily Telegraph, UK
Inspired by the hit film and brought to you by Dolly Parton herself, this hilarious musical is about teaming up, standing up and taking care of business! It’s the most fun you’ll have this year at the theatre!
9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy, three workmates pushed to boiling point by their egotistical, sexist boss Franklin Hart Jnr. Concocting a plan to kidnap and turn the tables on their despicable supervisor, will the ladies manage to reform their office - or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit?
Caroline O’Connor will portray the comical Roz Keith, the administration assistant who is fiercely - and unrequitedly - in love with her boss Franklin Hart Jnr. Recently starring in Melbourne Theatre Company’s Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Caroline has played lead roles on Broadway, in the West End, France and across Australia, including Chicago, Anything Goes, West Side Story and Anastasia to name just a few.
Marina Prior will play Violet Newstead, a smart, sassy and efficient woman who has worked all her life at Consolidated Industries. She has all it takes to run the company but there is one small issue … her boss! Marina gained prominence as Cosette in the Australian premiere of Les Misérables and Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera, and has grown to become one of Australia’s favourite leading ladies, playing lead roles in The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, The Secret Garden and countless other productions.
Samantha Dodemaide will be Judy Bernly, a newly separated, never worked before young woman who finds more than just a job at Consolidated Industries. Samantha came to the fore playing Dorothy in the national tour of the London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz. Her career also includes roles in Chicago, Evita, Anything Goes, Sweet Charity and Singin’ In The Rain amongst others.
Erin Clare is Doralee Rhodes, a ‘don’t mess with me’ well-brought-up, bright and beautiful country gal. She may look like a push over but is anything but! Erin’s first starring role was as Scaramouche in the Gordon Frost Organisation’s national tour of We Will Rock You. She has also featured in Heathers the Musical, American Psycho, High Fidelity and American Idiot.
9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL is showing at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne from July 2020. Head to their website for more ticketing info.
The Australian producers of critically acclaimed West End hit musical SIX are thrilled to announce the Australian Queens set to join SIX as it embarks on its Australian tour. The tour will premiere at the Sydney Opera House on January 4 before moving to Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre from April 23 and Adelaide’s Her Majesty’s Theatre from June 11 as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Sydney season is presented by the Sydney Opera House.
A witty, pop-fueled musical full of sass, SIX remixes the history of the six wives of Henry VIII - Britain’s notorious Tudor King - as they take to the microphone to tell their stories: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr.
Established musical theatre performer Chloé Zuel, fresh from lead roles in The Production Company’s Ragtime and the Australian tour of West Side Story, takes on the role of Henry VIII’s first wife the sassy Catherine of Aragon.
The rule-breaking second wife Anne Boleyn will be played by accomplished newcomer Kala Gare having just starred in Bright Star at Melbourne’s Chapel off Chapel.
Loren Hunter stars as the loyal third wife Jane Seymour adding to her unfaltering musical theatre career including roles in Strictly Ballroom the Musical and King Kong the Musical.
The independent Anna of Cleves will be played by VCA graduate Kiana Daniele who made her professional debut only last year in The Production Company’s Boy from Oz.
Taking on the role of playful fifth wife Katherine Howard is Courtney Monsma having made her professional debut in the recent Australian tour of Mamma Mia the Musical before joining the cast of Disney’s Aladdin.
Musical maven Vidya Makan stars as the empowering Catherine Parr, a graduate of Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Vidya’s previous roles include the Australian tour of Green Day’s American Idiot and Australian Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet.
Joining the SIX Australian Queens will also be the extremely talented swings Ella Burns, Karis Oka and Shannen Alyce Quan.
“We are thrilled to have found our amazing Australian Queens! SIX has become a phenomenon around the world and we are sure to continue the sensation in Australia with these incredible and dynamic performers. We are excited to bring Australia’s next generation of leading ladies to the stage and we are sure to see them empower women around the country the way only Queens know how!”, said Louise Withers on behalf of the producers.
The six powerful women are transformed from Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses as they tell their rebellious tales in this original pop musical, accompanied by a phenomenal all-female band and inspired by the canon of music divas like Adele, Lily Allen and Ariana Grande. Since its Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut in 2017, SIX’s electrifying soundtrack has continued to capture audiences around the world, garnering more than 300,000 streams each day making it the second highest streaming soundtrack in the world, second only to the Hamilton original cast recording.
It has been a meteoric rise for the creators, 24-year-old Cambridge graduates Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss who co-wrote the book, lyrics and music. The first original musical from the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society, SIX blew away audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe and is now selling out an extended run on London’s West End, for which it received five Olivier Award nominations. SIX is also currently selling out houses throughout North America with seasons in Chicago, Boston and Edmonton, and has also just embarked on a full UK tour. A Broadway opening has been announced for March 2020.
SIX The Musical has book, lyrics and music by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. It is directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage and choregraphed by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. Set Design is by Emma Bailey, Costume Design is by Gabriella Slade, Sound Design is by Paul Gatehouse and Lighting Design is by Tim Deiling. The Orchestrator is Tom Curran and Musical Supervisor is Joe Beighton
Originally Produced by Kenny Wax, Wendy & Andy Barnes, George Stiles
Produced in Australia by Louise Withers, Michael Coppel and Linda Bewick
SIX twists the narrative from five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power.
SIX THE MUSICAL GLOBAL ACCOLADES
✭✭✭✭✭ ‘Kick-ass musical about Henry VIII’s wives channels its inner Beyoncé.’
THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD
✭✭✭✭✭ ’75 minutes of exhilarating entertainment from 6 killer queens. They will, they will rock you.’
✭✭✭✭ ‘Hamilton move over, there’s a new retelling in town…sassy, funny, sexy and funky…I predict a hit’
THE TIMES LONDON
✭✭✭✭ ‘Punchy pop extravaganza…energetic, sassy and slick’
MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘PURE ENTERTAINMENT! Blows out the amps with its pop-historical hysteria.’
NEW YORK TIMES
‘Queens are wild and wonderful in a masterful SIX! A powerhouse score that offers everyone on stage a shot at mastering her own story.’
MELBOURNE – COMEDY THEATRE FROM APRIL 23 2020
TICKETS ON SALE NOVEMBER 29