Blue Mountains News
The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre’s 2018 Season
Expect the Unexpected at The Joan
January: Isaiah Firebrace | February: Tapestry: Songs of Carole King – Vika Bull & Debra Byrne | March: Q Theatre Back to Back - Everything You Ever Wanted & How I Saved The Western Black Rhino | April: Bosom Buddies – Nancye Hayes & Todd McKenney | May: The Orchid & The Crow | June: Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow | June: Letters to Lindy | August: Days Like These | September: B2M: Mamanta & The Wharf Revue 2018 – Sydney Theatre Company | October: Julius Caesar – Bell Shakespeare | November: Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue – Q Theatre
From Julius Caesar to Lindy Chamberlain, The Joan presents stories with global and national resonance. From Tiwi R’n’B to Carole King’s Tapestry, it’s bringing music that reflects and uplifts generations. And with fresh work, young guns and artistic icons, there’s diversity in abundance across a season of contemporary and classical music, brand new and centuries old theatre; comedy, dance and storytelling at The Joan next year.
Full of treats and treasures, The Joan’s 2018 High Street Subscription Season features some of Australia’s greatest artists. Turning up the star power is new talent Isaiah Firebrace, while showbiz legends Nancye Hayes and Todd McKenney will sparkle in Bosom Buddies. In 2018 the stories traverse legends, rumours, treachery and justice; they’re global, local and personal. And some of them are funny! Western Sydney audiences are known to have a great sense of humour so The Joan puts comedy front and centre with The Wharf Revue, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow, and an unexpectedly hilarious take on a journey through cancer survival in The Orchid & The Crow.
Once again, The Joan’s High Street Season is a creative treasure trove and the centrepiece of its annual program. From here, laneways lead off to other destinations full of enriching experiences to explore and enjoy, from breath-taking Fine Music at The Summit to maximum fun in The Playground, where Kids & Families can experience some of the best theatre available to Australian audiences, right here on your front doorstep.
High Street Subscribers will have the special benefit of receiving a 20% discount on all tickets purchased to shows in The Summit – Fine Music, and Playground – Kids & Families series. What a great incentive to max out your entertainment calendar in 2018.
The year gets off to an electrifying start when Isaiah Firebrace lights up the stage, opening the season on Sunday 21 January. Firebrace’s blazing success story from small-town NSW to Eurovision – picking up a coveted X Factor win along the way - has captured the hearts of many. When he launches into Don’t Come Easy you’ll be glad you bought the hottest ticket in town.
February is a great month for reflection, and The Joan offers plenty of opportunity for that when the formidable talents of Vika Bull and Debra Byrne come together in celebration of Carole King’s chartbusting masterpiece, Tapestry, on Saturday 9 February. This album sold 25 million copies world-wide and now two powerhouse artists bring you its mega-hits including (You Make Me) Feel Like a Natural Woman, You’ve Got a Friend, It’s Too Late and Will You Love Me Tomorrow.
From 15-24 March the spotlight shines on new work with Back to Back: Q Theatre, two plays developed through The Joan’s Q Lab Artist-in-Residence program. The works - Everything You Ever Wanted and How I Saved The Western Black Rhino - are sure to intrigue anyone who’s ever thought about food, diet or extinction – not necessarily together as cause and effect – in two separate, double-billed short works by young Australian Theatre makers, Rachel Roberts and Nathan Harrison.
Australia’s leading lady of musical theatre Nancye Hayes and number one song-and-dance man Todd McKenney come together in Bosom Buddies on 17 & 18 April. In this new show, they reflect on their stage careers and their lives off stage as well as on! They sing, they dance, they reminisce - about the lows as well as the highs. They tell backstage stories never before told and they show video footage never before seen.
On Friday 18 May Daniel Tobias effortlessly draws us into the inspiring tale of his near-death experience in The Orchid & The Crow, a comedy about an atheist surviving cancer by finding God in Lance Armstrong - with songs! Part story-telling, part-theatre, with original songs, this brilliantly clever and ultimately moving story has been described by audiences as 'life-changing'.
Winter will get underway with some big laughs as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow rolls into town on Tuesday 19 June. Always a sell-out, this brings some of the world’s best comedians to Penrith for the best comedy fix around!
Everybody remembers the story of Lindy Chamberlain. Accused of murdering her child, her claim – that the baby was taken by a dingo – was denied and discredited by zealous police and a flawed legal system. Filled with humour and heartbreak, Letters to Lindy (26 & 27 June) is a stunning work by award-winning playwright Alana Valentine (Parramatta Girls, Head Full of Love) that explores the public’s relationship with one of 20th Century Australia’s most iconic figures.
On 10 & 11 August Murmuration, Australia’s pioneering integrated performance company, will explore the varied ways we, as humans, express our emotions from one day to the next in Days Like These. Through a series of emotive snapshots, the audience is invited to reflect on and revisit the best and worst days of your life. Drawing on the idea that our universal differences make us also the same, a creative team of very different people bravely peel back their layers to share stories of joy, loss, frustration and change.
Australia’s answer to the Backstreet Boys, B2M, will transport you to their Tiwi Island homeland on Saturday 1 September with Mamanta, a pumping R’n’B performance, Tiwi style! Incorporating footage and imagery of the Tiwi Islands, Mamanta blends dance, chants and song. In an historic show of support from the Tiwi Elders, B2M have gained permission to use traditional Tiwi chants and blend them with modern musical elements.
The Sydney Theatre Company kings of comedy, Johnathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe, keep the punchlines rolling as they bring The Wharf Revue into High Street territory once again. Those masters of mockery are back in the saddle and gearing up for another glorious year of political satire. The Wharf Revue continues to sell out houses at The Joan with the team’s razor-sharp political wit knocking our politicians down a peg or two. Shows are 20 – 22 September so get in early!
Julius Caesar - Shakespeare’s political thriller - is a masterpiece of intrigue and treachery. In 2018 The Joan’s audiences will be treated to Bell Shakespeare’s masterful interpretation in a production that will leave them breathless. Experience the tension between aspiration and ambition, the triumphal entrances and brutal exits, as all is laid on the line for Rome, in Bell Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar on 5 & 6 October.
The year finishes up with art, intrigue and some spectacular canapés. Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue (15 – 24 Nov), another brand-new play by Q Theatre, was written by Noëlle Janaczewska, whose 2016 work, Teacup in a Storm, also for Q Theatre, was recently awarded an AWGIE. Mixing stories, politics and drinks for a raucous party of modernist mischief, Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue is inspired by the history of Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, and invites audiences to peer through the eyes of ‘the help,’ for a fresh take on Emu Plains in the 1950s.
Subscriptions to the High Street Season are available again in 2018 in three sizes:
- four pack ($196 Standard / $176 Concession),
- six pack ($264 Standard / $234 Concession) and
- eight pack ($336 Standard / $296 Concession).
- High Street subscribers receive 20% off single ticket purchases for Summit Fine Music and Playground Kids & Families shows.
Fine Music Comes Alive in 2018 at The Summit
In 2018 The Joan continues to offer a deep and enriching experience of fine music, with The Summit Fine Music Series. Secrets through a Soundglass heralds the season on Saturday 24 February with its cues from 20th & 21st century experimental sounds, presenting music that dares to be different, performed exquisitely by the Sydney Art Quartet.
The Australian Haydn Ensemble will delight audiences with a vivacious performance of pieces faithful to the sound-worlds familiar to Haydn and his contemporaries on Friday 20 April.
Australia’s angel, soprano Mirusia and her own Chamber Orchestra will wow the audience with her command of opera, musical theatre, pop and jazz styles in an exquisite winter evening performance on Saturday 30 June.
On Saturday 18 August The Joan’s Concert Hall stage will be filled with not one, not two, not three… but eight grand pianos – an orchestra of pianos – with some of Australia’s most brilliant musicians at the helm. With Tamara-Anna Cislowska on board as Music Director, Eight Grands is not to be missed.
Four-Colour-Season on Friday 28 September takes a journey from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons to new Australian music in a selection of song and indigenous dance to match the patterns and movement of the Earth and the Aboriginal experience of the seasons. A powerful synthesis of two artforms performed by The Song Company and a duo of dancers from The Thomas ES Kelly Project.
Subscriptions to the Summit Season are available again in 2018 in three sizes:
- four pack ($180 Standard / $160 Concession),
- three pack ($140 Standard / $120 Concession) and
- two pack ($100 Standard / $90 Concession).
- Subscribers receive a ticket to Secrets Through a Soundglass as a free add-on.
The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre is located at 597 High Street, Penrith. Nearby parking and public transport is available.
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