When Mitchell Butel was tapped to be Artistic Director of State Theatre Company South Australia he brought with him a reputation as one of the country’s finest performers and a strong list of director credits. But he hadn’t run a company before and the fates weren’t about to make it the easiest of transitions. In his first year, 2020, five shows had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. Last year was better – just two shows were unable to be staged, only one of which was a COVID casualty – but it has nevertheless been “a baptism of fire”, Butel tells Limelight.

Mitchell Butel and Julian Hobba

Why, then, does he say that “my overwhelming feeling is one of incredible gratitude”? Along with his delight in having the opportunity to lead State Theatre, it’s because the crisis has brought...