Illuminating the Arts Scene

I have a confession. I have never really been into plays. Despite absolutely loving the few that I have seen, given the choice between a play and a musical I would always choose a musical. But I think that Melbourne Theatre Company’s 2014 program ‘Illuminate’ has converted me . . . And I don’t think I will be the only one!


It is that time of year again when every theatre, music and performance company begins announcing what they have in store for 2014. This week it was MTC’s turn to announce next year’s phenomenal line up. And I’m not using the word phenomenal lightly.

The series features a number of notable performers including Lucy Durack, Miriam Margolyes, Sigrid Thornton, Robyn Nevin, Philip Quast and even Offspring’s Jane Harber; a number of notable directors such as John Tiffany, Gale Edwards and Sam Strong; and even a production featuring completely original music by Missy Higgins.

In addition to this wonderful array of talent which is contributing to next year’s program, MTC is teaming up with John Frost to bring out Broadway’s smash-hit, Once. It is a pretty big deal over on Broadway and it won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2012.

And you know why it is such an amazing program? Two reasons.

Reason #1: Because MTC is looking at what brings their current audiences to the theatre and what could bring new audiences to the theatre. And then MTC is actually providing a program which caters to their audience!

Alright, it isn’t a mind-blowing idea, but guess what – it works!

There are shows for the traditional play crowd; Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts and David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. There are plays for people who want boundaries pushed when they visit the theatre; Mike Bartlett’s Cock and Working Dog’s The Speechmaker. There are offerings for hard core musical theatre fans who probably don’t go to see plays very often; Lucy Durack in Private Lives and the Broadway sensation Once. And there are even options for people purely driven by star power; Miriam Margolyes in I’ll Eat You Last and Sigrid Thornton in The Effect.

And you know what, that isn’t even close to the number of people that this program satisfies.

Reason #2: To find that out, you will have to check back tomorrow. It is so big that I have to devote an ENTIRE article to it!

But in the meantime, if there are any shows that you want to see I would get to the box office quickly as there is little doubt that tickets this season will be hotly contested!

You can see the whole program below and to find out more information and to book your tickets visit the MTC website: