The 2010 MTC season was launched last night. Here’s the skinny:
Some predictable programming – a light realist comedy by David Williamson (the grammatically-interestingly titled Let the Sunshine); a nostalgic Circle of Friends-style drama by Hannie Rayson; a one-hander by Joanna Murray-Smith with an ok-sounding premise (“five anonymous women whose brushes with fame had a profound effect on their lives”); Simon Phillips directing another (just as nostalgic) technicolour Broadway hit called The Drowsy Chaperone.
More intriguing – a new work by Daniel Keene finally getting some mainstage action; an adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother; David Mamet’s Boston Marriage, which Hoy Polloy produced a while back and of which I have fond memories, and a Marius Von Mayenburg number in the Lawler.
The jury (me) is out on the light but pleasant-sounding Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Shakespeare’s Richard III (surely unnecessary?) and the haunting mystery Madagascar, which I remember as a very entertaining animated comedy about zoo animals trying to return to their African homeland. Maybe they’ll do it with puppets or something. Madagascar will be Sam Strong’s MTC directorial debut which is a position well earned by the guy. I know nothing about The Grenade starring Garry McDonald.
Casting is no surprise, either: can’t see anyone I don’t recognise or anyone, you know, non-Anglo, which is a surprise compared to 2009’s fascinatingly broad casting selections. But then again, season launches rarely promote the lesser-known players so unless there are no shows with more than a tiny handful of performers there will probably be a few newcomers given some shrift throughout the year.
Verdict? Not as diverse a calendar as this year’s, but with a few potential gems on the boil. I’m a bit bewildered that only one Lawler show has been announced.