Season 2016 Launch: Artistic Director's welcome

Welcome everyone to wit’s first official Season Launch!

We’ve had a huge 18 month start and I’m absolutely thrilled to be standing in front of you as Artistic Director, launching 2016. We also introduce our new look and name: wit incorporated. Make sure you check out our amazing new website:

Our theme, if we have one for this season, is ‘no frills’.

It’s what we as an ensemble are all about. Spectacular sets with revolves and trap doors, high-tech perfectly lit stages and fabulous costumes (while not to be ignored for their artistic spectacle) are not the most important things to us.

The most important thing to us is telling the story, the best way we can, through the work we do as actors. The spark between two people, a deception, relationships failing and resurrecting, the need for love, the search for understanding, that connection to another human being that we try for everyday. Bringing these exciting happenings to the stage is why theatre is important in our society. Not for us to look and say, "How does that set piece move on it’s own?” but to look and say, “Oh, that’s me.”

“That’s my father.”

“That could be us.”

“This could happen to me.”

Without further ado, let’s introduce the shows.

First up we have Couch Potato

Robert comes home to find a strange girl asleep on his couch. How did she get there? Why is she there? Why is she cooking and cleaning and answering the phone as his wife? All questions that are difficult to answer when he’s afraid to wake her up. Confronting their grief, navigating relationships and love: Could it be that this stranger will bring this family back to life?

This is a new play by Hayley Lawson-Smith. I look forward to directing this sweet story in February.

Next up, we welcome all ages to Fairy Tale News

It's six o'clock and time for tonight's edition of Fairy Tale News. Current affairs and news program: by Fairy Tales, for Fairy Tales (and children). Join Hansel and Gretel, our FTN anchors, and a cast of family favourites, as they follow the story of the missing basket and keep you up to date with all the latest magical news.

This is a play I’ve written, with songs by Kate Allnutt and will be directed by our fellow wit Matt Dorning, as part of Melbourne Comedy Festival.

In June we’ll hear a play reading of the new work A Scandal in the Weimar

It's London, 1939. Tensions are building as war seems imminent. Lady Sherlock Holmes and her companion Dr Jean Watson are engaged by Lady Diana Mosley to track down Irene Adler in Berlin and retrieve sensitive information. Jessica and Unity Mitford are working in Berlin on assignment for MI6, as part of Operation Adler. Their work, to infiltrate and subvert the Reich’s latest attempt to gather information via Britain’s aristocracy, has put them at odd with their elder sister. Working with them is Wurundjeri woman and Kabarett star, Sally Barak (codename: Irene Adler).

Created by Jennifer Piper and Claire Bowen, written by Claire and contributions from Jennifer and Helena Worth, don’t miss this exciting new take on the Sherlock Holmes story.

Our third main stage performance, in August in 2016, is Macbeth

A prophecy from a trio of witches foretells Macbeth will one day be King. Consumed by ambition and goaded by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne. The tyrannical reign that follows, filled with guilt and paranoia, results in a bloodbath and civil war. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth falling deeper into the realms of madness and death.

By William Shakespeare. Great guy. Couldn’t be with us this evening. But we do have here the remarkable Jennifer Innes who will be directing. A talented actor and voice coach, Jen directed our play reading of Foreign Bodies earlier this year. We’re looking forward to working with her again.

Finally, a play reading of, The Doll Hospital, in November

Everybody has secrets. It’s 1947 in North Kensington and Rose and Archie, haunted by their past, are making some changes. They’re selling up their big house and they’ll open a shop to repair dolls. John promises to be the escape from their house and the past that they’ve been hoping for.  Wonderfully dark and very surprising this brilliant new play by Nathaniel Moncrieff will be directed by Jennifer Piper.

This year we are proud to introduce two subscription packages. "Take Five" gives you tickets to all five productions at a reduced price. "Three Please!" gives you tickets to our three main stage productions. We can help you purchase these this evening or you can go to our brand new website and purchase from there:

(L-R) Matthew Dorning, Hayley Lawson-Smith, Nathaniel Moncreiff, Belinda Campbell (Artistic Director), Jennifer Piper (Company Manager) and Jennifer Innes are among the writers and directors of Season 2016

(L-R) Matthew Dorning, Hayley Lawson-Smith, Nathaniel Moncreiff, Belinda Campbell (Artistic Director), Jennifer Piper (Company Manager) and Jennifer Innes are among the writers and directors of Season 2016

Before I go, a big huge thank you to our sponsors:

  • Naked Wines Winemaker Jen Pfieffer and Naked Wines for providing the delicious Jen Pfeiffer Rock it Like a Redhead wines this evening, and supporting our 2016 season
  • City of Maribyrnong and Katrina Gubbins for their continued support and beautiful venue
  • The Brentwood Duo for the excellent entertainment this evening
  • Piper Designs for the smashing new website
  • Minuteman press for their terrific printing skills

Lastly, if you have any questions about the season, subscriptions or any shows, find a wit and have a chat.

Thank you all for coming this evening!