Riverside Theatres’ resident theatre company, National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) has announced their 2017 season.
NTofP was launched in 2016 and has had a goal to reflect the diversity of Australian culture, champion artistic and professional development, and be a contributor to the fastest growing region in Australia.
In 2017, NTofP will present four brand-new productions, Hakawati, Smurf in Wanderland, The Incredible Here and Now, and The Red Tree.
HAKAWATI – 11th to 21st January 2017 Inspired by the Arabic ancient tradition of storytelling and breaking bread, Hakawati will celebrate food, music and the telling of tales in an intimate setting at Parramatta’s El-Phoenician restaurant. In this world-premiere, audiences will be immersed in tales of heroism, tragedy and comedy, in the classic tradition with contemporary twists. These Western Sydney stories will be presented alongside a delicious Lebanese feast accompanied by traditional Arabic music.
Hakawati has been devised by Wayne Harrison AM, and will be presented as part of the Sydney Festival 2017.
SMURF IN WANDERLAND – 20th to 29th April 2017
Smurf in Wanderland is one man’s insightful and hilarious examination of football, tribalism, belonging and identity. David Williams – acclaimed documentary theatre maker, writer and football fanatic – is the ‘Smurf’.
For the uninitiated, ‘Smurf’ is the nickname given to a Sydney Football Club Fan and ‘Wanderland’ is the home ground of the Western Sydney Wanderers. Williams is a long-suffering Sydney FC fan, who frequented Western Sydney Wanderers’ games on their home turf in Parramatta. Wearing his Sydney FC sky-blue jersey, Williams-the-Smurf stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the sea of red and black. Instead of fearing for his life,
Williams found a beautiful and profound unity amongst the ritual and fierce loyalty of the Wanderers fans.
Directed by award winning Artistic Director Lee Lewis, Smurf in Wanderland breaks down the barriers of geography and debunks the myths of hooliganism at the football. It tells a tale of loyalty and unity integral and familiar to all football fans. The work is co-produced with Griffin Theatre Company.
THE INCREDIBLE HERE AND NOW – 9th to 22nd July 2017
Charcoal chicken, a white Pontiac Trans Am, the Council pool. Michael is living in the shadow of his older brother Dom. The biggest guy in the school. Best car in the West. The guy who just can’t help but grab everyone’s attention. The guy with the girlfriend with the huge-arse hair. When he is gone Michael skates the streets, navigating life, friendship, love and family.
Commissioned from Parramatta author and Prime Minister’s Literature Award winner, Felicity Castagna, The Incredible Here and Now is based on her multi-award winning novel of the same.
“That’s what West is: shiny cars and loud things, people coming, people going-movement. Those who don’t know any better, they come in to the neighbourhood and lock their windows and drive on through, never stopping before they get somewhere else. But we know better.”
As the title suggests, this is a tale of wonder, not tragedy. It tells of Michael coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where ‘those who don’t know any better, drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors – and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures.’
THE RED TREE – 19th to 28th October 2017 Directed by Neil Gooding, The Red Tree is based on Shaun Tan’s award-winning picture book and has been adapted by renowned Australian playwright, Hilary Bell.
This production is inspired by the impulse of children and adults alike to describe feelings using metaphor and explores landscapes, buildings, monsters, storms, sunshine and rainbows. These can be strange and familiar, our imaginations or our realities.
The Red Tree won the Patricia Wrightson prize in the NSW Premier’s Book Awards and was awarded the ‘le Prix Octogones 2003’ prize by the Centre International d’études en littérature de jeunesse, following its translation into French.