Monthly Archives: September 2011

Oranges and Sunshine US Poster; Another Glasgow Cloud Atlas pic

Note: This is an archived entry that’s several years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material. Some entries may not be up to my current standards as far as photo source and other credits are concerned; if you are a photographer or writer of a piece that lacks appropriate acknowledgement, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add source info.

Just a couple of things today… but good ones. Most interesting is the new US poster for Oranges and Sunshine, which finally adds Hugo Weaving and David Wenham. Cinema Blend debuted the image earlier today, and they also provide an HD version here.

The film, starring Emily Watson along with Hugo and David, opens 21 October in North America, so far only New York and LA have been confirmed for US screenings, and no specific venues have been announced. I’ll update when more info becomes available– given the online interest, surely a wide arthouse release is merited. (Also, those of you interested in seeing the film locally should ask your local arthouse to book it, and save it to your Netflix queue if you have one. The more interest people show, the more likely the film could be widely distributed.) Cohen Media owns the US rights, so keep an eye on their website too.  The full slate of Canadian dates and venues can be read here.

Cloud Atlas is filming in both Mallorca and Scotland this week, with Hugo being sighted in the latter, but not photographed at work. I still think he’ll have at least a cameo in each of the six stories, given that he’s not playing any of the lead roles. But here’s another great pic (from Reuters) of Hugo filming the Luisa Rey segment in Glasgow last week. He plays contract killer Bill Smoke in that story.

Finally, there are stories on STC’s 2012 season (which will feature Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe in Les Liaisons Dangereuses) at Variety and SameSame .

More STC 2012 Season Announcement Articles

Note: This is an archived entry that’s several years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material. Some entries may not be up to my current standards as far as photo source and other credits are concerned; if you are a photographer or writer of a piece that lacks appropriate acknowledgement, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add source info.

The Sydney Theatre Company’s newly- announced 2012 season continues to make waves in the Aussie press, with Hugo Weaving’s next starring theatre role– as the Vicompte de Vamont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses–  drawing particular attention. 😉 Read yesterday’s Hugonuts entry for the first batch of articles, including links STC’s description of the production and their 2012 Season brochure. (Well, technically, here are those links again.) 😉 So far the online press has been stingy in sharing publicity photos of Hugo and costar Pamela Rabe; ideally more will appear as the production’s opening approaches. But I have found a couple of images in print newspapers, which I’ll add here, with apologies for their less that optimal image quality.

Here’s the AAP image again, the one online image available:


Daily Telegraph
STC shifting focus to local delights

  • Chris Hook ARTS WRITER hookc@dailytele, twitter: @Epicchook

STELLAR LINE-UP AWAITS AS THE CURTAIN RISES ON 2012 THEY don’t believe in themes down at the Sydney Theatre Company, but themes believe in them — as became very apparent when the 2012 season was unveiled.


John Fotiadis Up in lights: Cate Blanchett
and Andrew Upton (above) and (bottom) Hugo Weaving

‘‘ We don’t like to work thematically, because that sounds dogmatic,’’coartistic director Andrew Upton says.

But notions of desire, loss and language loom large next year, as the program
shifts from its overseas influences and visitors into a very antipodean milieu
with four new Australian works, two local adaptations and a heap of local stars.

The year starts with Pygmalion from January 31, with Jessica Marais, and the

tough Scottish romantic comedy Midsummer from February 1. From March 31-June 9
Hugo Weaving struts the boards as the manipulative Vicomte de Valmont opposite
Pamela Rabe in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, with a cast that also includes Justine Clarke.

‘‘ They’re actors with a great style and status, and they understand the
stakes,’’ co-artistic director Cate Blanchett explains. ‘‘( Director) Sam Strong
wanted to it to be up close and personal in the Wharf.’’

Jack Thompson returns to the stage opposite Sandy Gore in the dialogue-heavy
Dylan Thomas play Under Milk Wood from May 22, directed by Upton.

Packed To The Rafters star Erik Thomson costars in new work The Splinter —
about a girl who disappears then returns — from August 10 then, from September
24, filmmaker Jocelyn Moorhouse ( Proof) makes her stage directorial debut with
Sex With Strangers, starring Jacqueline McKenzie, which deals with intergenerational romance.

New plays from Tim Winton and Jonathan Biggins round out the
year, while an all-male production of The Pirates Of Penzance heralds the summer. And that’s just a taste. Check out the website for more details. Sydney Theatre Company 2012 season now on sale, single play tickets on sale from December 1.

STC’s Blog:

“Season 2012: Director Sam Strong on Les Liaisons


Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving. STC’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses. © Photos by James Green)

What interests me first and foremost about Les Liaisons Dangereuses are the characters, and my point of entry into this work is the people, particularly the two main characters who are kind of forces of nature. I’m excited by the idea of being able to unleash them on an audience.

They are people who are dangerously seductively evil and engaged in an amazingly manipulative game, characters who perform the same seduction on the audience that they do on each other. You end up, despite yourself, finding these people wicked but likeable.

The timeless nature of this play lies in the fact that it is an exploration of trust, betrayal, desire, manipulation, and power. This is one of the most fascinating examinations of sexual politics in the canon. We have one rule for the creation of this production and that’s to make it as sexy and erotically charged as we can. Staging it in Wharf 1 is perfect because there’s something quite intense about seeing people manipulate and seduce each other at such close range; it makes it an even more intoxicating experience.

We want to create a production that is incredibly detailed and nuanced, which is the kind of theatre that excites me as a director. It is a conventionally well-made text but the meatiness of the characterization presents a significant acting challenge.

What is interesting about the Christopher Hampton adaptation (which will be used in this production) is what it does stylistically: it treats intensely serious material in what is in some ways a comic fashion. There is a real comedy in this play and the form of the work matches the world it depicts, in that there is a glittering surface beneath which is a dirty, visceral underbelly of desire.

Restaging Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a challenge because this play’s been done countless times before, including a production starring Hugo at the Seymour. So the challenge is about asking how can we blow the cobwebs away and stretch people’s expectations of the romantic view of the 18th century and drag this play into the now? How do you cut through to what it’s ultimately about? It’s like acid washing it, taking it back to the essentials, removing layers and asking ourselves what it’s actually about.

It’s like the restoration of a great painting: stripping away layers of sediment and grime, cutting through that to the heart of what is a very contemporary story and a great vehicle for great actors.

It’s a chance to be in the same room as great characters, which is one of the reasons we go to live theatre, it’s like spending 120 minutes with Hamlet or Miss Julie, but these ones are fun. It will create an uneasy smile because you’re charmed but also disturbed by it.

This piece is a transcribed extract of a spoken interview.

Sam Strong will direct a new production of Christopher Hampton’s version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses opens in Wharf 1 on 31 March, 2012″

Cloud Atlas continues filming this week in Edinburgh, Scotland, but all of the press articles of filming so far suggest they’re now filming a different segment, the 1930s set Letters From Zedelghem, starring Ben Whishaw as Frobisher. Hugo might also have a role in this sequence, but if so, it hasn’t yet been announced, nor have any actors other than Whishaw been photographed. (There is a decent set of behind the scenes images featuring Whishaw here.) Meanwhile Jim Sturgess Online has sniffed out press details suggesting Sturgess and Jim Broadbent are filming the first section of the novel (The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing) in Mallorca, with Sturgess as Ewing. Tom Tykwer is directing the Frobisher story, while the Wachowskis are likely directing Ewing’s story, as well as the sequence forming the novel’s futuristic midsection (which will star Halle Berry as Meronym).

Author David Mitchell is still very enthusiastic about the project; speaking at the Hay  Festival in Segovia, he described taking part in a rehearsal with co-stars Hanks and Grant, in which he read one of the parts, while they read their own parts. “It was like one of those strange dreams where the wrong people appear in the right place,” he said. . (Read his full remarks in The Daily Telegraph UK)

Since Hugo missed STC’s lavish 2012 Season Announcement gala, it has to be assumed he’s still hard at work on Cloud Atlas…. somewhere.

Press Coverage of the STC 2012 Season Announcement

Note: This is an archived entry that’s several years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material. Some entries may not be up to my current standards as far as photo source and other credits are concerned; if you are a photographer or writer of a piece that lacks appropriate acknowledgement, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add source info.

I thought I’d post some highlights of the excitement in the Australian press after the announcement of Sydney Theatre Company’s 2012 schedule, which includes a new production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, starring Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe:

Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe, from the Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald:


STC’S new season will show some classicswith a modern twist, writes Wendy Frew. ;There is a lot in the season about
identity, who we are, who we think we are, and how we act.’ Cate Blanchett

Photo: Kate Geraghty

The decision makers . . .
Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton launch the 2012 Sydney Theatre Company season

The final scene in Stephen Frears’s 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons is hard to forget.

n 18th-century France, the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn
Close) and her former lover Vicomte de Valmont ( John Malkovich) ease their
boredom by playing sexual games at other people’s expense. By the film’s end,
Valmont and one of the women he has cynically seduced are dead and the
manipulative Marquise’s fac¸ ade of moral righteousness is exposed. As she
enters her box at the opera house, a hush falls on the theatre and all eyes turn
to her. Someone starts to boo; soon, everyone is cat-calling and stamping in

Back in her rooms, crushed, she sits facing her mirror, slowly removing the

last vestiges of her power and status – jewels, wig, powder – her face a mess of
tears and smudged make-up. She has lost everything.

The film was based on Christopher Hampton’s play Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Sydney Theatre Company’s artistic directors, Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett,
have chosen this powerful story of lust, seduction and wickedness as the anchor
for next season.

The wigs and powder have been ditched and Pamela Rabe and Hugo Weaving are

exciting choices for the lead roles. But with the film likely to be front of
mind for many, the STC’s task will be to deliver a production so good – or so
different from what the audience expects – that it is judged on its own merits
rather than in comparison with the film.

Staging works people know and love is always a challenge. Audiences can be
stubbornly loyal to the first version of a film or stage production they see. In
their fourth program at the STC, Upton and Blanchett are facing that challenge
several times, also staging George Bernard Shaw’s
Pygmalion (perhaps best remembered as the 1964 screen version of the musical
My Fair Lady ) and Under Milk Wood. An early recording and a film version of
Dylan Thomas’s radio play are indelibly stamped with the dulcet tones of Richard Burton.

But each work has a special allure for the duo. In the case of Les Liaisons

Dangereuses, it is what Blanchett describes as the deliciously wicked wit and

repartee of the two leads, and the sexual politics at the heart of the story,

which she says is as relevant now as when the original novel was written by
Choderlos de Laclos in 1782.

‘‘It won’t be totally in period setting but there will be references to the
time it is set,’’ Blanchett says. ‘‘It is a very witty, sharp, biting play.’’

Pygmalion also plays with gender and power and the power of words. Upton and

Blanchett decided to ‘‘shake the dust’’ off the Bernard Shaw work and focus less
on the British class aspects and more on the power relations, especially that of
an older man and a younger woman.

‘‘It’s funny, it’s sexually charged . . . language is power and that is at

the heart of this play,’’ Blanchett says. ‘‘There is a lot in the season about
identity, who we are, who we think we are, and how we act.’’

It also provided a vehicle to showcase the talent of Jessica Marais, a young
actress whose ‘‘fragility and strength’’ caught their attention in 2008 in a
Melbourne production of Patrick White’s A Season at Sarsaparilla, before Marais
became a household name in the TV series

Perhaps the riskiest choice in the season, Under Milk Wood, which will be
directed by Upton, has long been on his and Blanchett’s list of ‘‘must-do’’
plays. When Upton spoke to the Herald, the production was still a work in progress.

‘‘It is a radio play so we won’t be trying to stage everything, and we won’t
necessarily aim for Welsh accents, but rather we want to let the rhythm of the
poetry set the pace and dictate the voices,’’ Upton says, adding that he wants
to retain the dream-like quality of Under Milk
Wood, in which an all-seeing narrator ( Jack Thompson) invites the audience
to listen to the dreams and thoughts of the townspeople in an imaginary Welsh
fishing village.

Thompson was one of several actors Blanchett and Upton thought were vital to
the success of some of their program choices. Bille Brown, as Bruscon, ‘‘a
theatrical actor playing a theatrical monster’’ in Austrian playwright Thomas
Bernhard’s The Histrionic, was another, along with Rabe and Weaving in Les
Liaisons Dangereuses. The season includes works the STC directors had been
thinking of doing for some time, as well as some almost last-minute inclusions.

The program lacks the star line-ups of last year’s Uncle
Vanya and the thematic pull of classic American drama that anchored last
year’s season. But the mix of old and new (there are four new Australian works
and two new Australian adaptations), collaborations and crossover works such as
physical theatre company Force Majeure’s Never Did Me Any Harm and the romantic comedy with songs,
Midsummer, should ensure the 2012 season will be one to talk about.

Daily Telegraph:

‘… The STC’s Oscar winning artistic director Cate Blanchett made the
announcement yesterday, along with husband and STC co-artistic director Andrew
Upton, heralding a new season line-up which will focus more on local talent than
on big-name, visiting international stars.

And it seems Jessica Marais is not the only TV favourite set to walk the boards, with
her former Rafters co-star Erik Thomson to appear as a grieving dad in The Splinter.

Meanwhile Blanchett joked there will be plenty of ‘‘ shagging’’ in their new
season line-up which is dominated by saucy, sexfilled productions including Les
Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) starring Hugo Weaving and Sex With
Strangers (with Jacqueline McKenzie).

‘‘ Maybe shagging is the theme, or a lot of missed shagging,’’ Upton joked,

while Blanchett added: ‘‘ It’s been on our minds.’’ ‘

The Wall

‘… Throughout all 11 plays, also including Never Did Me Any Harm by Force Majeure
and The Histrionic (Der Theatermacher) by Thomas Bernhard, runs the theme of
relationships and how they transform.

“It became a point of departure for us in talking about choosing the plays,” says Upton.

“That idea of relationships and people changing through a relationship, they
became conversations we had in the program and I think that echoes throughout
(the season).”

Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe will play the lead roles in Les Liaisons
Dangereuses, their characters the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de
Marteuil indulging in an elaborate game of revenge, seduction and cruelty from
the pen of French novelist Pierre Choderlos De Laclos.

“Les Liaisons was the first big rock which fell in the pond,” says Upton.

“It sent ripples flowing through the rest.”

More details at Wentworth Courier, The Australian

Groooooowwwwr! ;P
AAP (in case you missed the watermarks)

You can browse through STC’s 2012 brochure online here.

And here are the highlights:


Hugo Weaving to Star In Les Liaisons Dangereuses for the STC

Note: This is an archived entry that’s several years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material. Some entries may not be up to my current standards as far as photo source and other credits are concerned; if you are a photographer or writer of a piece that lacks appropriate acknowledgement, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add source info.

The Sydney Theatre company announced its 2012 schedule today, and it turns out that Hugo Weaving, who just completed a US engagement of Uncle Vanya for the STC, will star in another of their productions much sooner than expected: he’ll team up with frequent theatrical costar Pamela Rabe in the notorious Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Christopher Hampton’s play based on the novel by Choderlos de Laclos. Rabe has previously costarred with Weaving in Much Ado About Nothing and God of Carnage; Hugo portrayed the Vicompte de Valmont once before, back in 1987. I think that he’s much closer to the right age for the character now. Performances begin on 31 March and continue through early June, meaning this is likely Hugo’s next project once Cloud Atals wraps. No word yet on whether or not it will be reprised in america (or Europe)… certainly a lot ofpeople would love to see that happen. 😉

Here’s the STC’s description of the production, from their website:

“Unaware of the impending revolution that breathlessly waits to devour the French
aristocracy in all its decadence, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de
Valmont plot an elaborate game of revenge, seduction, humiliation and cruelty.
It is a salon amusement that soon escalates into a brutal battle between former
lovers. Sex and love are the weapons of choice and these combatants will stoop
to the lowest levels of deviousness in order to win. Their crossfire is
indiscriminate, making casualties of friends and foes alike.

Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe will play the charismatic duo who manipulate with the precision and discipline of master puppeteers, deriving a pleasure from their spite that
can only be surpassed by the pleasure of watching the deliciously wicked pair in

The sexual politics at work in this gripping drama are as
relevant now as when Laclos wrote the novel in 1782 and when Christopher Hampton
adapted it for the stage in 1985. Avoiding the lavish clichés often associated
with the period, this new production directed by Griffin Theatre Company’s
Artistic Director, Sam Strong, will acid-wash a familiar story, stripping it
back to its essential layers in the intimacy of the Wharf 1 Theatre.”

Tickets are already on sale to STC season subscribers.

Meanwhile, Hugo continues work on Cloud Atlas, presumably in Edinburgh. No word yet on precisely how Halle Berry’s recent injury will alter the shooting schedule, but those who’ve read the novel (and those who’ve studied the Glasgow photos of the filming) will note that Berry’s character suffers a near miss involving a speeding car (which is being driven by a nefarious individual played by… well… you know). 😉 Her injury could eaily be written into the script, at least for this segment, and there are enough other plots and characters in play that certainly filming can move forward without a need for recasting or risking Berry’s recovery.

Meanwhile, here are two photos of Hugo on the Babelsburg Studios set of Cloud Atlas in Berlin; these were taken on 30 August, before the Scotland shoot began. Thanks to for the notification. 🙂

These came from the German website Troy Magazin.  The bulk of Cloud Atlas will be filmed at Babelsberg through December, with location filming in Scotland (Glasgow and Edinburgh) and Mallorca, Spain.

More Cloud Atlas Set Pics; Some Dubious Journalism

Note: This is an archived entry that’s several years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material. Some entries may not be up to my current standards as far as photo source and other credits are concerned; if you are a photographer or writer of a piece that lacks appropriate acknowledgement, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add source info.

This will be a duplicate post on hugonuts and RS because I have miniscule free time today, but great pics keep coming in:

Here are the latest Glasgow photos, this time from Caught On Set; I think Glasgow filming has wrapped as of yesterday, and that these were taken sometime this past week, but the site of origin has no documentation whatsoever. The most recent photos document Hugo and Keith David’s characters hashing out some differences, shall we say.

Filming will continue in Edinburgh on the 22-27th according to multiple sources, with Tom Hanks joining Halle Berry and possibly Hugo. If they’re still filming the Luisa Rey segment, and Tom Hanks has a prominent role in it, there’s only one left that I can think of… which would be…. interesting. 😉  But I’ll reveal no spoilers.

I have found a few news reports on filming, some with footage from the set, but it’s only of Halle Berry and contains no new info. There was a story in the Evening Times demonstrating that not all locals have been friendly to the film crews (though I suspect someone is about to get a severe talking to over this incident).

Then I found a spate of misleading articles, including a tabloid item saying Halle Berry was in Mallorca and had broken her foot Berry was in Mallorca a few weeks ago, but all the recent photos of her show she’s still quite nimble on her feet… and still in Scotland.

UPDATE: A number of celebrity gossip sites are running with the story that Halle Berry has broken her foot, apparently while in Mallorca. Since the BBC and other British news sources reported that Berry would be working in Edinburgh this week, I thought someone had their facts wrong (especially since the items on Berry are littered with other personal gossip and stalkery asides about her family). I suppose it’s possible that the actress took a few days off in Mallorca (where she’s rented a house for filming) between days on the set in the UK, and if she has been injured, obviously we all hope it wasn’t serious and that she recovers quickly. I’m still waiting for a legitimate news source to give us some facts on this… no, TMZ, you don’t count. As for the naysayers who suggest this accident might spell doom for the film, or that Berry might be recast– please. Pretty much every actor working on The Matrix suffered a serious injury in the process, including Hugo. The directors worked around this and didn’t recast anyone. Cloud Atlas has a much larger cast and multiple storylines to film in multiple locations, so Berry’s sequences could be rescheduled if needed. Berry has already filmed her character’s big near-death action sequence, so I think everything will work out.

Most disappointing is the Australian paper the Daily Telegraph, which posted one of the images of Hugo emerging from the wrecked car (I’ve posted the same image plus multiple variations) with the following text:
[Warning, minor plot, character spoilers]

Hugo in Halle of a tough role

FILMING has begun on Hugo Weaving’s new movie, which has transformed a street in Glasgow into 1970s California. Weaving and co-star Halle Berry have been in full period costume in the complex thriller, Cloud Atlas, based on an award-winning 2004 novel by British author David Mitchell.

Weaving plays a baddie – he’s always been good at that, just witness The Matrix films – called Bill Smoker, a contract killer in stories spanning multiple time periods.

It has six stories within a big one which eventually interconnect, beginning in the 1850s South Pacific before leaping forward through various periods, ending in 1970s California. “

All fine and good, except that the novel Cloud Atlas was published in 2003 (and isn’t really a ‘thriller’), that Hugo’s character is named Bill Smoke (not Smoker), that this character only appears in one segment (this might be a punctuation error by the Telegraph; adding a second dash after “contract killer” clarifies things), and that the novel doesn’t “end” in the 1970s… there’s a sequence set in the distant future, but it more or less ends where it began. (I’m trying to avoid giving too much away here).

Anyhow a miniscule amount of fact-checking and research by reporters would be deeply appreciated. I expect gossip sites and tabloids to lie or exaggerate, but mainstream Aussie papers should go the extra mile for their best exports– and should notice they had extensive, illustrious careers at home before The Matrix while they’re at it. Also– enough with the puns on Hugo and Halle Berry’s names. Are you people all seven years old?