October 01, 1987

The State of Play

John Gaden, Artistic Director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, reflects in midseason.

I first met John Gaden in October last year when the State Theatre Company was announcing his appointment as its new AD. 1985 had been a troubled year for State with a number of productions in succession hitting the wall as the local press grew more toxic and audiences more disheartened .

So Gaden’s appointment was greeted warmly from all sides. As a popular actor …

Continue Reading Back to top

August 01, 1987

Telling Works

The Winter’s Tale
State Theatre Company

A Touchy Subject

There have been a number of productions of The Winters Tale lately. But the State Theatre Company has made glorious summer with a version that represents some of its finest work to date. The Winter‘s Tale forms part of a cluster of plays in Artistic Director, John Gaden’s 1987 programme. It began with his and Gale Edward’s Much Ado About Nothing back in February and links with …

Continue Reading Back to top


Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Christopher Hampton
State Theatre Company

By now everyone and their chien has heard about Les Liaisons Dangereuses. It has been cleaning up awards and bouquets ever since it first appeared in London in 1985 and umpteen productions have been performed world wide. Now, with the State Theatre Company’s production we at last have a chance to see what all the fuss has been about.

Playwright Christopher Hampton has taken bold liberties with Choderlos de Ladas’s …

Continue Reading Back to top

July 01, 1987

Moving but difficult targets

Metamorphosis and Bawky Play, Red Shed Company
ABC, Patch Theatre Company
Soft Targets, Troupe

The Red Shed Company continues to provide distinctive and committed theatre as indicated by their most recent double bill – Bawky Play by David Carlin and an adaptation of an adaptation of Berkoff’s Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

The story of Gregor Samsa, bureaucratic functionary, who wakes up to find he has become a giant insect is more than seventy years old. But …

Continue Reading Back to top

June 01, 1987

Patrick White and the Whited Sepulchres

Shepherd on the Rocks
By Patrick White
Playhouse, Festival Centre

In wanting to honour Patrick White on the occasion of his 75th birthday, the State Theatre Company did him little service by staging the world premiere of his recent play, Shepherd on the Rocks.

The story is based on the bizarre case from the Thirties of the Rector of Stifikey (pron. ‘Stookey ‘), the Rev Harold Davidson, an Anglican sky pilot with earthy ideas about his ministry. A former …

Continue Reading Back to top

April 01, 1987

Shakespeare, Fo and Fun

Much Ado About Nothing
State Theatre Company

Turning the Tables
The Red Shed Company

Ra Ra Zoo
The Space Cabaret

The State Theatre Company opened their 1987 season with a rousing production of Much Ado About Nothing. Much Ado is not much done. It is probably ten years since it was last performed in Australia but it is a favourite of director John Gaden and he has long wanted to stage it.

Much Ado poses both difficulties and delights …

Continue Reading Back to top

January 01, 1987

Playing About

Wild Honey, State Theatre Company
Those Dear Departed, Stage Company
Stitch in Time, Vitalstatistix
Bazaar and Rummage, Red Shed Company

The State Theatre Company’s final production for 1987 is Michael Frayn’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Wild Honey, directed by Aubrey Mellor. The ur-manuscript of Wild Honey aka Platonov aka A Country Scandal languished in a bank deposit box in Moscow until 1920 before being dusted off and whipped into various shapes by various translators.

Frayn has taken bold …

Continue Reading Back to top