Sport For Jove have announced their 2017 and seventh season of programs. It is the biggest, most international and most inclusive yet; featuring the premiere of a brilliant and passionate new Australian work, an untouched American classic, a modern British work of pure provocation, a return of one of their most acclaimed productions, and two of Shakespeare’s Roman tragedies played outdoors over summer.

Summer Shakespeare Season
summer-spjSport for Jove’s acclaimed Summer Shakespeare Season goes Roman with the epic tale of Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, told together in the frenzy and accessibility of the Festival atmosphere, outdoors and full of feasting and invention.

Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra are two of his greatest plays – famed for their clarity, political modernity, poetry and their extraordinary pantheon of characters, real men and women who defined the very pulse of their age and who are rekindled in the possibilities of every political leader and every political machination of the 21st Century. Their rise and thunderous fall threw down to us a set of challenges we may never master. How do we lead a nation? How do we follow a leader? What sparks revolution? What suppresses it? What price freedom…?

And as the merry-go-round of the Australian Prime Ministership has shown in recent years, politics is as personal as life itself. Love, hate, betrayal, sacrifice, lust, confusion, tyranny – power is a fragile house of cards and every nation stands in its trembling shadow.

Featuring : Camilla Ah Kin, Oliver Burton, Megan Drury, Giles Gartrell-Mills, Teresa Jakovich, Amy Kersey, Felicity McKay, Suzanne Pereira, Rupert Reid, Damien Ryan, Berynn Schwerdt, Georgia Scott, Christopher Stollery, Tony Taylor and Bryce Youngman.

Directors : Michael Pigott and Damien Ryan
Designer : Georgia Hopkins
Design Assistant : Angelika Nieweglowski
Lighting Designer : Martin Kinanne
Sound Designer : Bryce Halliday
Stage Manager : Paisley Williams
Fight and Movement : Scott Witt
Technical Manager : Jem Page

Where: Bella Vista Farm Park, Baulkham Hills and Everglades Garden, Leura
Dates: December 17th – January 29th

By Seanna van Helten

fallen-spjAs announced last night at the Seymour Centre launch, in April, SFJ is co-producing with the Melbourne based She Said Theatre, on a new Australian work inspired by the history of Urania Cottage, a home for “fallen” women founded by Charles Dickens.

Set in London 1848, six women have been given a second chance. Their pasts behind them, they have been promised a clean slate on the other side of the world, in the new colonies of Australia.

“All locked away, you said, no one can hold it against you once it’s all locked away.”

Sealed off from the outside world, they cook, they clean, they sing, they sew – they practice the art of being female while they wait for their new lives to begin. But as the date of departure draws near, the women begin to wonder what reinvention will cost them. What will such promises make them do? And what about the fall yet to come, the tumble down the edge of the world to a far-away continent… What is waiting for them? Are they prepared for it? Are they ready? Are they ready?

Developed with the support of Playwriting Australia at the National Script Workshop 2016, and following on from its successful first public reading at the WITS Festival Fatale, Sport For Jove and She Said are excited to bring this imaginative new Australian work to the stage at the Reginald Theatre, Seymour.

Director : Penny Harpham
Playwright : Seanna van Helten

Where: Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre
Dates: April 6th – April 22nd

By Edmond Rostand – adaptation by Damien Ryan

cyrano-spjIts back. For those of us who missed the acclaimed production in 2013, we have a second chance. Winner of the 2013 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Independent Production. One of the world’s most original and finely crafted romantic comedies; the tale of the beautiful Roxane and the man who would love her, but for his outrageous nose – the play that brought the word ‘panache’ into the English language! Cyrano is a complete theatrical masterpiece.

Canberra Theatre Centre and Illawarra Performing Arts Centre have bought Cyrano for their 2017 seasons so SFJ are sneaking in a short Sydney season, a 2 week run on the York Theatre stage at the Seymour Centre in June before going on tour.

Cyrano’s ideas and concerns are simply and profoundly human – what does individualism mean and how do we remain faithful to what we believe in? What is love and how do we get past its clichés and false ideals? How does self-esteem define us all our lives? What is beauty? What drives male aggression? What is courage? And for Rostand, it was a passionate condemnation and plea for a France that he felt was losing its soul, its romance and its creativity to return to a more enlightened, brave and individual sense of its identity – its panache.

Adaptation & Direction : Damien Ryan
Designers : Anna Gardiner and Barry French
Sound Designer : David Stalley

Where: York Theatre, Seymour Centre. Playhouse Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre. IMB Theatre, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.
Dates: June 15th – September 16th

By Horace McCoy – adapted by Kim Hardwick

shoot-horses-spjThe great American 1930s novel They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, turned into an Academy Award winning film in the 1960s, comes to the stage in a new adaptation, created and directed by the brilliant Kim Hardwick.

Horace McCoy’s astonishing and ground breaking novel of 1935, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, depicts a depression-era dance marathon with an unrelenting human toll on its participants, and the echoes of those dancing feet can still be heard in our voyeuristic obsession with reality television, morbid competition and spectacle a century later.

One of the greatest novels of the 20th Century, the story plunges us with hypnotic energy into a dark and violent world where people are readily exploited for the pennies that they might bring in from a viewing audience. Marathon dances lasted for days, even weeks, draining their participants of self-respect and gradually turning them into the walking dead.

McCoy dealt with the collapse of humanity in the 20th Century with brutal intensity and originality, pulling no punches and providing a story so rich in its theatricality that it wildly leaps from the page to the stage. Sport for Jove is thrilled to present its new stage adaptation of the seminal novel at the Seymour Centre in 2017, directed by the brilliant Kim Hardwick.

Adaptation : Kim Hardwick
Director : Kim Hardwick
Designer : Isabel Hudson
Lighting Designer : Martin Kinanne

Where: Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre
Dates: August 3rd – August 19th

By Howard Barker

blame-spjLovers of history, art, politics and the study of culture will be enthralled by this neglected 20th Century masterpiece, now so profoundly topical, about censorship of the world’s most innocent satirical device – the political cartoon.

Directed by Damien Ryan, Howard Barker’s No End of Blame is a sublimely playful, dangerous and pertinent political story. Set over 6 decades of the 20th Century across Europe, the play pits a passionate, provocative pair of artists, one a painter, the other a cartoonist, against the forces of censorship and insidious state control that corrupt and stifle the human right to freedom of thought and freedom of speech. This brutal and savagely funny play could not be more relevant to our modern world and its new brand of war, journalism and self-expression. A visual and aural feast for the senses.

Featuring : Yalin Ozucelik, James Lugton, Danielle King, Lizzie Schebesta, Bryce Youngman, Amy Usherwood

Director : Damien Ryan

Where: Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre
Dates: October 12th – October 28th