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Malthouse Theatre unveils season 2024

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Brendan Rees

Malthouse Theatre has announced its highly anticipated 2024 season, with eight compelling performances “celebrating how theatrical theatre can be”.

The coming season launches in February and its eclectic mix includes the opening and stage premiere of an award-winning memoir, The Hate Race, by Australian writer Maxine Beneba Clarke, which explores the complexities of race in Australia.

“I think there’s a lot of love for The Hate Race as a really amazing local novel by a local writer, and I think there’s a lot of celebration for Maxine’s writing. This is the first time her writing has been put on stage,” Malthouse co-CEO and artistic director Matthew Lutton said.

Speaking of this season’s line-up, Mr Lutton expressed his excitement, saying there were many “extraordinary artists” with a “big focus on a very theatrical theatre” that promised to deliver unforgettable experiences for theatre enthusiasts.

 

There isn’t a moment of domesticity or realism in sight, as every work celebrates theatre that transports you into fantasies, heightened realities, folklore, or ecstasy. It is very deliberately a season of productions celebrating how theatrical theatre can be.

 

Among the enthralling shows include Macbeth (An Undoing) in which playwright Zinnie Harris reimagines Shakespeare’s Scottish Play from Lady Macbeth’s perspective, while Kadimah Yiddish Theatre’s Yentl, based on the original Yiddish short story by Isaac Bashevis Singe, is about a journey of a young woman who defies the Jewish orthodox tradition that forbids females from studying religious scripture.

 

 

There is also the world premiere of MULTIPLE BAD THINGS by Back to Back Theatre, which follows three employees grappling with questions of inclusion, identity and intersectionality.

In May, audiences are invited to “join an odyssey of self-discovery and liberation” with Homo Pentecostus, which sees actor, dancer, and writer Joel Bray unveil an intimate exploration of his secret queer identity within the confines of a 1990s Pentecostal Church.

The season also features The Interpreters (Apologia), which unpacks Nicola Gunn’s personal fantasy of being a French actress as she quarrels with a Japanese film director and their interpreter about how to translate a script of a complex mother-daughter relationship to the screen.

There’s also the world premiere of Under The Skin, based on Michel Faber’s sci-fi novel, and a collaboration between Mr Lutton and acclaimed writer Pamela Carter. The story follows Isserley who embarks on a mysterious mission to hunt hitchhiking men for sustenance, “but her perspective begins to shift as she learns more about why she’s been sent to hunt”.

Keeping in line with diverse storytelling, the Malthouse Theatre will also present a Christmas fantasy and a “perverse, apocalyptic nightmare” in Fuck Christmas.

Mr Lutton told Southbank News that all productions were “very stylised, and there’s a sense of nothing you see on television being duplicated on stage – that’s a really big celebration of what it means to perform live”.

For those who haven’t visited the heritage-listed theatre before, Mr Lutton said the venue had a great bar and café in a welcoming space ensuring everyone had a memorable night out.

Tickets to The Hate Race, Yentl, Homo Pentecostus, and Macbeth (An Undoing) are now available. Tickets to Multiple Bad Things, The Interpreters (Apologia), Under the Skin, and Fuck Christmas are on presale from February 8 to Malthouse Supporter Community and on sale to the general public on February 15. •

For more information: malthousetheatre.com.au

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