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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:
STC shifting focus to local delights
- Chris Hook ARTS WRITER hookc@dailytele graph.com.au, 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.
“Season 2012: Director Sam Strong on Les Liaisons
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.