18 July – 9 August
I Am a Miracle is not for the timid. After 18 years on death row, Marvin Lee Wilson was executed by lethal injection. But after a 2002 Supreme Court ruling, his sub-normal IQ should have disqualified him from the death sentence. Strapped to a gurney, his final statement was a plea for recognition: ‘I am a miracle’.
Taking these words as a point of departure, playwright Declan Greene meets Wilson’s story with a work of monumental scope, spanning three continents and two hundred and forty years. In an 18th Century slave colony, a soldier is sent upriver on a suicide mission. In present-day Melbourne, a man finds himself entrapped by his carer. In Huntsville, Texas, a prisoner awaits his death. And somewhere beyond time and history, a sublime force lays a plan to rewrite the future.
Set to a transcendent choral score, I Am a Miracle depicts a world bound to the injustices of the past – crying out for intervention. Wildly careening between the epic and the intimate, this is a mind-expanding theatrical experience determined to change the course of history.
12 June – 4 July
Love and Information are profoundly human needs. But do we know too much?
In her latest hit, Caryl Churchill – arguably the world’s foremost living playwright – has created an ingeniously recognisable portrait of the modern era. With the inventiveness and currency of her signature works Top Girls and Cloud Nine, this unique new play offers glimpses into the lives of over a hundred characters.
Through a series of tantalising vignettes, eight chameleonic actors will embody more than 100 characters – a child who cannot feel pain, a man in love with a computer voice, a woman with a secret. Like a single beam of light refracted, each scene exposes a different facet of human nature.
A quick-fire play, Churchill’s Love and Information is an exhilarating experience, creating a theatrical kaleidoscope that shrewdly questions how connected we truly are in this ever-connected age
21 – 23 May
Renowned for their enthralling, grand-scale events, Aphids invite you to experience one of their genuine performance spectacles. This epic game of 20 questions will celebrate one of Melbourne’s most loved and loathed cultural icons.
Unravelling through a series of unexpected clues and interactions, A Singular Phenomenon irreverently investigates our fascination with pop culture and the cult of personality.
The Malthouse Theatre
23 April – 17 May
Timeshare takes Fast Forward’s comic icon Marg Downey on a trip to Paradise; a things-are-not-what-they-seem resort from the hilarious mind of writer Lally Katz (Stories I Want to Tell You in Person).
At this curious resort straddling the International Dateline, guests can claim a bonus day for free – just step back in time to the other side of the island. Directed by Oliver Butler of New York’s theatre powerhouse The Debate Society, Timeshare is loaded with Katz’s signature quirky humour, as she creates a place full of exotic temples, late night scuba diving lessons, empty infinity pools and tardy turtles.
A place where time and memory effortlessly slip away. Come on a captivating and hilarious holiday that leaves reality behind.
The Malthouse Theatre
11 – 21 March
Nothing to Lose but your assumptions as Force Majeure continues its decade-long artistic study of the modern psyche.
‘Fat’ is a powerful little word, full of baggage and judgement. This undaunted dance production makes use of real-life experiences and stories to challenge aesthetic norms and reclaim a performative space for people with large bodies.
In her final work as Force Majeure's Artistic Director, Kate Champion collaborates with artist and fat activist Kelli Jean Drinkwater and choreographer Ghenoa Gela to celebrate the sculptural splendour of the fat dancing body. Unseen, unexpected and unapologetic, this new work abandons stereotypes and reshapes expectations.
Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre
13 – 30 November
Calpurnia Descending sees one of the country’s most fabulous divas, Paul Capsis, in the role of a lifetime. Enter Beverly Dumont. Once a major star alongside Bette Davis and Elizabeth Taylor – this dame could dazzle. But those days are through. This has-been is now a recluse, hooked on hooch and limping toward obscurity as the curtain falls for good. When from the wings comes a not-so-naive ingénue by the name of Violet St Clair, with cheekbones that could cut glass and a body made for sin.
Together they collude on a Broadway hit to resurrect Dumont’s career, but both women are soon caught in a world of paranoia, scandal and remorseless ambition.
Fresh from a sell-out Sydney season, this uproarious and utterly unmissable spectacle from Sisters Grimm ignites a backstage Battle Royale.
Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre
23 September – 4 October 2014
The Riders is a brand new Australian opera based on Tim Winton’s Booker-nominated classic. Composed by the acclaimed Iain Grandage with the libretto by Alison Croggon, this anticipated collaboration between Malthouse Theatre and Victorian Opera also unites respective artistic directors Marion Potts and Richard Mills.
Scully’s wife, the mother of his child, has disappeared. Her absence looms large as those left behind look for answers, desperate to recover their lost sense of belonging. Follow Scully and his daughter as they pursue people, places and pasts that have escaped beyond reach. Stirring and strange, Winton’s prose is translated into a modern opera that could be taken as a warning not to give chase to elusive hopes and transient identities.