Theatre company’s unorthodox trilogy to be its most ambitious program yet.

Malthouse Theatre is preparing to turn over a new leaf with its 2015 season, An Open Book, which will kick off next February. It has already been called the company’s most ambitious program yet, and features a raft of new works and some of the nation’s most celebrated artists.

In a novel move, the company has replaced the customary linear artistic program with thematic chapters. The result of this unorthodox curation is a trilogy of acts within which each production, panel discussion and event is categorised.

“We’ve noticed that our artists have some specific concerns to express. There are pressing interests in the zeitgeist, subjects that need to be articulated and creatively aired,” said Marion Potts, Artistic Director. “So we have designed a new structure for artists to explore these over-arching concerns together.”

The prologue to the 2015 season is Blak Cabaret, a celebration that encompasses a throng of art forms as performed by Australia’s best indigenous artists. This revue was a huge success at the 2014 Melbourne Indigenous Arts festival, and will return with Kamahi Djordan King as MC (in the guise of female alter-ego Constantina Bush).

Kamahi Djordan King as his female alter-ego Constantina Bush (photo: Andrew Gough)

Chapter 1 – Body // Language

The first chapter unfolds with the world premiere of Nothing to Lose, by Kate Champion and her dance company Force Majeure. With its intense investigation of body image and self-identity, Nothing to Lose sets the tone for the subsequent works, including the one-man performance Wot? No Fish!! and Victoria Chiu’s Do You Speak Chinese?

Victoria Chu’s Do You Speak Chinese? (photo: Andrew Gough)

Anouk van Dijk, celebrated choreographer and dancer, also contributes to 2015’s first chapter with Depth of Field. It’s Dijk’s fourth show at the helm of Chunky Move, and expands on years of collaboration between her dance company and Malthouse Theatre. In Depth of Field, a small troupe of dancers will interact with the cityscape over the course of an hour, highlighting the seemingly ordinary experiences that make up daily life.

Chapter 2 – Post // Love

English dramatist Caryl Churchill will make a return to the Australian stage with her latest hit, Love and Information. The production premiered in 2012 in London, and will be the centerpiece of Malthouse’s second chapter. Churchill’s tale of romance in a digital age will be brought to life by Kip Williams, straight off the back of the success of Sydney Theatre Company’s Macbeth, and a cast including Anita Hegh and Zahra Newman.

Renowned theatre-makers Ash Flanders and Lally Katz also weigh in on the conversation with their respective productions Meme Girls and Timeshare. Flanders puts the spotlight on post-gender in a YouTube age, while Katz challenges post-culture with a comedic musical fable.

Ash Flanders’ Meme Girls (photo: Andrew Gough)

Chapter 3 – Ritual // Extinction

The closing chapter explores the elements that unite a society – from ancient rites of passage to contemporary rituals. It all begins with a woman’s fight for the right to mourn and bury her dead (Jane Montgomery Griffiths’ adaptation of Antigone), then a convict on death row (Declan Greene’s I am Miracle). Rounding out the season is A Social Service by Nicola Gunn and David Woods, and They Saw A Thylacine by Matthew Luton.

But that’s not all – The Listies perform an irreverent epilogue with their unadulterated, festive The Listies Ruin Xmas. Of the comedic duo, The Age once wrote: “nobody else does comedy for kids this brilliantly, but what’s more astounding is that adults have just as much fun.”

The Listies Ruin Xmas (photo: Andrew Gough)

In addition to the main stage productions, Malthouse Theatre will also utilise the more unassuming parts of its iconic building, including the external spaces. It will also stage a number of extra events, including panel discussions, interactive gaming events, and cabaret-style dinner events. With so much to see and do, Malthouse’s 2015 season is truly like a book you cant put down.

For full program details head to the Malthouse Theatre website.

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