Melbourne Theatre Company has released their vision for 2023. Prepare yourselves for a season that showcases the best in Australian and international writing, with world premieres of new Australian work, international stories and more. 2023 is a special year for Melbourne Theatre Company, as it is both their 70th anniversary, and their first season under new Melbourne Theatre Company Artistic Director and Co-CEO, Anne-Louise Sarks.
“The 2023 season offers new perspectives – through stories that haven’t been heard before and familiar stories told in new ways,” Sarks said. “We are boldly engaging in new conversations about theatre, and who we are, like never before.”
Melbourne Theatre Company 2023
There’s twelve wonderful shows to look forward to next year. Over 160 Australian artists are involved across the productions, with a mixture of emerging talents and returning favourites.
“Creating rich and compelling theatre only comes when you have different voices challenging each other in a creative process,” said Sarks. “This new season marks so much more than a program of twelve exciting productions, we’re also taking a look at how we make theatre and who we have in the room.”
Without further ado, here are the shows for 2023:
When: Jan 16 to Feb 18
What: This fantasy is inspired by the stories that surround Sunday Reed, founder of Heide Museum of Modern Art. Reed was the muse and the mentor to a circle of artists, including Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker. A commission by Melbourne Theatre Company, this story follows this bold woman, and the price she paid for living and loving on her own terms.
When: Feb 8 to Mar 25
What: After a sold-out season in the West End, Sydney and Brisbane, this searing indictment of a legal system that fails women is something you won’t forget anytime soon. Written by a former lawyer, this tale follows the story of a defence lawyer who finds herself on the other side of the bench.
When: Mar 4 to April 15
What: This comedy takes us back to Paris in 1899, when renowned stage idol Sarah Bernhardt decides to take on the role of Hamlet. This play is all about making and loving theatre, and explores issues of gender and equality.
When: May 1 to June 10
What: Actor and comedian Judith Lucy makes her Melbourne Theatre Company debut in this 20th century classic. Happy Days is an absurdist tale in which a woman, Winnie, starts her day buried up to her waist without questioning why. Written over 60 years ago, this story still resonates today.
I Wanna Be Yours
When: May 11 to May 27
What: The debut play from London Laureate and poetry slam champion, Zia Ahmed, makes its Australian premiere. This modern-day romance featuring a British-Pakistani and a white girl from Yorkshire asks whether love is all you need, and if its enough to surpass cultural and physical boundaries.
When: May 22 to June 24
What: This MTC Next Stage Commission by Declan Furber Gillick is a quick-witted play about family, community, work and culture that examines the personal cost of navigating it all in contemporary Australia.
Is God Is
When: June 17 to July 15
What: This co-production with Sydney Theatre Company makes its Australian premiere. This bold tale draws on the ancient, the Spaghetti Western and Afropunk to present a level of vengeance that would make Greek tragedians proud. Twin sisters bear the scars of an attack long ago from their father, an attack that they thought killed their mother. But, years later, they are beckoned to their mother’s bedside, who is now actually dying. Her final wish? They need to kill their father.
When: Jul 18 to Aug 19
What: Developed through MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program, this musical reminds us that there is always something to learn, no matter our age. It turns Australia’s failure in aged care into a vision of hope and possibility.
Escaped Alone and What If Only
When: Aug 7 to Sep 9
What: Experience two short plays in one surreal evening. Both Escaped Alone and What If Only were written by Caryl Churchill, and although they share thematic parallels, they are separate works. Escaped Alone features afternoon tea and the apocalypse, while What If Only is a micro-meditation on grief.
My Sister Jill
When: Sep 23 to Oct 28
What: This MTC NEXT STAGE commission is a family drama, set in 50s and 60s suburban Melbourne after World War II. This coming-of-age tale unpacks the shadow of war and the trauma that it leaves behind.
Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill
When: Oct 29 to Dec 2
What: Co-produced with the State Theatre Company of South Australia, and Belvoir St Theatre, this performance takes us to back in time to see the great Billie Holiday. Listen to her beloved songs, set against a backdrop of revealing anecdotes about her life.
A Very Jewish Christmas Carol
When: Nov 14 to Dec 16
What: End the year with this twist on Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story. Set in Caufield, this playful retelling is a journey in remembering who we are and the things that unite us.
Click here to discover more details about each show for 2023 at the Melbourne Theatre Company.