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Published December 10, 2019

Sydney’s New Theatre has released their program for the first half of 2020, choosing for the first time to keep their August – December shows under wraps.

Artistic Director Louise Fischer says that delaying the announcement of the latter part of the
program until the second half of the year, will give their fans “two bites of the cherry.”
It’s also a smart move, assuming that the company wants each performance to receive
ample press coverage. By splitting the release into two parts, New Theatre is thinning out
the competition for column inches between its own shows – and from what I can see, each
of these pieces deserves as much publicity as possible.

The 2020 season opens with the Australian Premiere of Topher Payne’s Angry Fags, directed
by New Theatre veteran Mark G. Nagle. Billed as a revenge tale about good gays gone bad,
Angry Fags is presented as part of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. The story follows
Bennett, a speechwriter for an openly gay Senator in the state of Georgia. The lead
character turns down a dark path after his boyfriend is beaten into a coma. Although
American critics seem to have enjoyed the play, many found the tonal shift too abrupt. This
lays down an interesting challenge for Nagle and the show is sure to spark great
conversations.

“In Pride’s engaging, well-acted production, Angry Fags is easily the most conversation-
driving show of this year’s Garage Rep.”- Time Out Chicago

Trudy Ritchie returns to New Theatre in a directing role following her success at the helm of
Genesian Theatre’s production of Persuasion. She’s taking on the March/April production of
Neighbourhood Watch by Lally Katz. Neighbourhood Watch portrays a friendship
blossoming between neighbours: a young woman, and an elderly Hungarian immigrant. Set
in 2008, between the election of Kevin Rudd as Australian Prime Minister and Barack
Obama as the American President, this is a comedy about hope, death and pets.

“Lally Katz has one of the oddest and most original voices in contemporary Australian
drama… Neighbourhood Watch, however, delivers the triumph of which she was always
capable.” – Sydney Morning Herald

April brings Saro Lusti- Cavallari’s adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This is
Cavallari’s first production with New Theatre, but the emerging director’s adaptation the
twentieth century’s most famous political allegory is sure to draw strong crowds. Lusty-
Cavallari himself has proven his abilities in both Sydney and Melbourne, with a string of
successful performances at the Bordello Room, PACT Theatre and Melbourne’s Butterfly
club.

New Theatre rounds out the first half of the year with David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross,
directed by Louise Fischer. Mamet famously based this work on the time he spent working
in real estate and it condemns the “high stakes – hard sell” culture which thrives across
industries under capitalism. Although this Pulitzer winning piece is approaching the fortieth
anniversary of its world premiere, its core themes remain as relevant today as they were in
1983.

“How well does David Mamet’s play, 34 years after its world premiere at the National’s
Cottesloe, stand up? The short answer is with great vigour.” – The Guardian

With such a provocative and compelling line up, New Theatre promises to entertain, inform and spark discussion in the first half of the new year. Fischer and her team are to be commended for combining such a diverse range of ideas into one program. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in August and beyond.

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