Brisbane’s La Boite has whipped up an exciting program for its 2019 season, which sees the return of Law’s celebrated debut play as well as a new work from Steven Oliver and a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.
“For 94 years, La Boite has been at the forefront of new Australian theatre,” said Artistic Director Todd MacDonald. “We take risks, we work with emerging artists, we make relevant, exciting theatre that is distinctly out of the box.”
The season begins with the return of Michelle Law’s debut play Single Asian Female, a deftly comic look at the tensions between migrant mothers and second-generation daughters. It had its world premiere with La Boite in 2017 before enjoying a sold-out season at Belvoir St Theatre early this year. Original cast members Emily Burton, Patrick Jhanur, Courtney Stewart and Hsiao-Ling Tang reprise their roles for this return season.
Hsiao-Ling Tang in Single Asian Female. Photo © Dylan Evans
Then in May, La Boite presents a contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet from director Todd MacDonald, featuring guest star Lucas Stibbard. The company teams up again with an ensemble of emerging actors from the Queensland University of Technology after this year’s acclaimed Lysa and the Freeborn Dames for this retelling of thwarted love.
In September, La Boite and Brisbane Festival give the world premiere of From Darkness, a darkly funny story by comedian and slam poet Steven Oliver. To be directed by Isaac Drandic in his La Boite debut, it tells the story of a troubled family that have become disconnected from each other and the world. Roxanne MacDonald heads an Indigenous cast.
Romeo and Juliet. Photo © Dylan Evans
Bringing the mainstage season to a close, The Little Red Company’s comedy cabaret Christmas Actually has its La Boite premiere this December. Naomi Price stars in this concert show featuring the soundtrack of the 2003 film Love Actually, with favourites from Mariah Carey, Joni Mitchell and The Beatles all on the menu.
Complementing the mainstage season, La Boite offers three boutique shows in 2019. The first, shake & stir’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts, returns in July as part of a national tour. Nominated for multiple Helpmann Awards, it’s an all-ages deconstruction of popular fairytales.
La Boite’s yearly festival of new work, HWY, is back in March, allowing audiences a glimpse of the theatre-making process. It includes participation in readings, workshops, conversations and pitches, all aimed to encourage a meaning dialogue about the future of theatre in Brisbane.
Those who appreciate this insider’s perspective will also enjoy Open Homes, a unique theatre experience from Jeffrey Tan which sees audience members enter the private homes of Brisbane residents. They’ll be treated to personal stories, messy histories and charming anecdotes in this immersive theatrical event.