Blue Mountains News
Announcing: The 2020 Season at The Joan
Spiegelesque | Grace Under Pressure | Easter Oratorio | Gospel According to Paul | Jekyll & Hyde | 30 Something | Playlist | The Sentimental Bloke | Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow | Spooky Men’s Chorale | The Lights In The Park | Mell-O-Tones | The Wharf Revue | Carmen | Kangaroo | DADS | 30th Anniversary Concert | Lamb
We love each and every show at The Joan. We love the big ones, the small ones and those that refuse to be defined. We know each show has its own voice and song and story and we want to help you connect with the right show for you. This year, our 2020 program will stretch across all specialties of the performing arts. In 2020, we want to celebrate all the love and stories that know no bounds. Our season will feature comedy, dance, cabaret, fine and contemporary music and of course, the great Australian theatre that charms us, compels us and keeps us coming back for more.
We begin on 29 February with Spiegelesque - part cabaret, part dance, part circus and all decadent world-class entertainment, Spiegelesque is immersive and eclectic. We ask audiences to leave their real life at the door and immerse themselves in a world of dynamic dance, aerial artistry, sultry singers, sequins, feathers and poles. Showing on 29 February at 2pm & 7.30pm.
On 28 March, audiences are invited to peek behind the scenes of the fascinating medical industry in Grace Under Pressure; a compelling, confronting, hopeful and deeply moving work of theatre by acclaimed verbatim theatre makers David Williams and Paul Dwyer in collaboration with the Sydney Arts and Health Collective. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking but always compelling, Grace Under Pressure weaves together the experiences of the health professionals that look after us. Don’t miss it on 28 March at 2pm & 7.30pm.
For a beautiful lead-in to Easter, we welcome Bach Akadamie Australia to our Concert Hall on 4 April at 7.30pm for one spellbinding night with the lush sounds of Johann Sebastian Bach in the Easter Oratorio. We welcome internationally renowned American countertenor Reginald Mobley to Australia for this musical celebration of Easter that continues to inspire and comfort us these many hundreds of years later.
In May, we boast a big month of theatre for all kinds of tastes… We see the return of funny man and long term Sydney comedy legend Jonathan Biggins in The Gospel According to Paul on 2 May. Showcasing eviscerating wit, rich rhetoric and ego the size of Everest, Gospel distils Paul Keating’s essence into 85 minutes, focussing on key biographical milestones, landmark political achievements and personal obsessions of the man who grew up in the tribe of the Labor Party. Showing across two huge shows on Saturday 2 May at 2pm & 7.30pm.
Comedy, thrills, chaos, delight. On May 8 & 9, the bonkers rendition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, Jekyll and Hyde is retold by a team of charmingly ‘French’ performers with the help of the audience. Gather up your friends, lovers, and distant cousins, and prepare to unleash your inner monster! Revel in all the gloriously silly fun over three shows on Friday 8 May at 7.30pm & Saturday 9 May at 2pm & 7.30pm.
On Saturday 27 May we enter a world of dance, theatre and pure femme power. Playlist is Beyoncé meets the women’s marches meets Australian Idol. Five incredible young women talk about their favourite female pop stars and how these narratives inspire and shape their personal worlds in this genre-defying dance theatre work by celebrated theatre-makers Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT) Fairfield, showing on 27 May at 7.30pm.
Then, on the following weekend, we travel to New Year’s Eve 1939, somewhere between Casablanca and The Cotton Club. Join award-winning Maestro of mischief Phil Scott and powerhouse canary Catherine Alcorn for a thrilling joyride back to a very dramatic era where you’ll soon see she’s 30 Something and he’s... not. Politics, the great depression, booze... and that’s just in the dressing room! Showing on Saturday 30 May at 2pm & 7.30pm.
Through the second half of the year, we combat the chill of Winter with some of the most heart-warming productions across film, drama, comedy, fine music and the biggest of Big Bands. On 13 June it’s a comedy, a romance, a ripping good yarn; The Sentimental Bloke is an icon of Australian early silent film set in the Sydney working class suburb of Woolloomooloo. Raymond Longford’s film humorously tells the heart-warming story of larrikin Bill – the Sentimental Bloke – his sweetheart Doreen, and his ruffian mate Ginger Mick. Don’t miss this iconic Australian film when it shows at The Joan, accompanied by a specially commissioned live musical score by Ian Munro and Calvin Bowman on Saturday 13 June at 2pm & 7.30pm.
Western Sydney audiences have a great sense of humour and The Joan knows it. On 16 June at 7.30pm we put comedy front and centre with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow. Buckle up for a night of stand-up, sketch, satire, silliness and song! We continue the laughs, albeit on a more melodic note, on 3 & 4 July when we are joined by the Spooky Men’s Chorale - sometimes silly and humorous, sometimes blissfully tender-hearted, and always striking a deeply human chord. Armed only with their voices, a sly collection of hats and facial hair and a twinkle in the eye, the Spooky Men commentate on the absurdity and grandeur of the modern male over two shows on 3 July at 7.30pm & 4 July at 2pm.
It’s the ultimate big band! On 25 July Sydney’s finest jazz and swing musicians come together to perform a sparkling repertoire of classics from the swing-era with The Mell-o-Tones. For one day only, the 15-piece big band brings us music from the golden age of Broadway and Hollywood, Latin-American cha-cha, rumba and mambo evergreens; and big band versions of the great songs associated with legends like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire. A sparkling delight of music and performance not to be missed! Catch The Mell-o-Tones at 2pm & 7.30pm on Saturday 25 July.
From 13 – 15 August, the comedy institution we all know and love - The Wharf Revue - bids farewell. Don’t miss out on this one last hurrah when after 20 years of bringing the institution to life, the indefatigable trio of Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott reunite with dazzling accomplice Mandy Bishop for one final victory lap of The Wharf Revue, showing at 7.30pm on 13 & 14 August and at 2pm & 7.30pm on Saturday 15 August.
Returning to The Allan Mullins Studio for another knock-out season, the crew from Australian Theatre For Young People (ATYP) join forces with our very own Q Theatre team to bring you a brand new production exploring the intertwined lives of strangers in Lights in the Park, showing from 5 – 15 August. Shortly after, things heat up as Carmen faces her fate in Bizet’s most popular opera showing on Friday 28 August at 7.30pm. Presented by Opera Australia, this new production of Carmen features gorgeous sets and vintage-inspired costumes, highlighting the colour and vibrancy of the opera’s Spanish setting.
Celebrating the finest in theatre, September brings us productions that engage, intrigue and make us smile. On 4 & 5 September, we meet three strangers in a small regional town, intricately entwined by the events of one fateful night in Kangaroo; a truly inspired new Australian work by a playwright based in Bathurst. Kangaroo follows three people as they share the funny yet tragic stories that cause their lives to converge head on - don’t miss this unique drama on Friday 4 September at 7.30pm, with sessions at 2pm & 7.30pm on Saturday 5 September.
On 18 & 19 September enter a secret underworld of Dad dancing, inspired by the experts – the Dads. Produced by Dance Makers Collective, the team behind Dads have taken inspiration from their family histories, memories of dance, and their own experience of being professional dancers. It’s not all daggy dance moves (although there’s a few), but a beautiful foray into the layman’s perspective on art. Showing at 7.30pm on Friday 18 September and at 2pm & 7.30pm on Saturday 19 September.
In a beautiful celebration of the iconic music on which our centre was founded, Tamara-Anna Cislowska returns to The Joan as Musical Director and pianist for our much anticipated 30th Anniversary Concert on 26 September at 7.30pm. Stephanie McCallum, Kathy Selby, Clemens Leske, Neal Peres da Costa and many more will come together for one special concert that features the stunning spectacle of six grand pianos and two percussionists on stage.
We close the season in October with a touchingly beautiful play featuring original music by Mark Seymour (Hunters & Collectors) and written by multi-award-winning playwright Jane Bodie. LAMB follows two generations of family set on an Australian sheep farm spanning over 40 years. Told with subtlety and humour, LAMB tells an intimate story of family and rural life. See it when it heads to The Joan on Friday 9 October at 7.30pm and Saturday 10 October at 2pm & 7.30pm.
Here at The Joan, we are all about being inclusive and ensuring that we have great programmes accessible for everyone. We love all our audiences, young and old(er). We’ve set a special $30 Seniors Matinee price across eleven of our 2pm Saturday performances and continue with our $30 Under 30 ticket offer across all season shows.
Why subscribe? Some of the many great reasons to sign up to the shows in our season include extra discounts on tickets, dibs on the best seats in the house with an exclusive presale purchase window and the flexibility to change up your season shows with free exchange. There is also the beauty of planning ahead with no last minute scrambling for the hottest ticket in town. A four pack subscriber will receive a 10% discount on any further tickets purchased. A six pack subscriber will receive 12% and an eight pack subscriber will receive 15% and will also receive complimentary Penrith Arts Lover membership in 2020.
Following the performances, where possible, we’ll be offering Q & A sessions and chances to meet the artists. The bar will be staying open, the mood lighting will be set and we’ll have a variety of non-alcoholic options for the drivers. We’re offering you somewhere to relax and share reflections on your night, grab a drink of your preference, something light to eat and somewhere comfortable to sit.
And finally, from all of us at The Joan – thank you. Come along and be moved by our 2020 Season. We hope you’ll love it as much as we do.
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