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Theatre, Medium Stage
Best: Persona, Theatre Works. Fraught Outfit’s adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s landmark film was a surprise highlight. Without any obvious violence to Bergman’s screenplay, director Adena Jacobs and her collaborators produced something extraordinarily original.
Runner up: Orlando, Malthouse Theatre. This fleeting stream of images and sketches based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, sometimes bewildering, sometimes bewitching, was a clear standout in the Malthouse’s Helium Season.
Honourables: From the MTC’s Lawlor Studio, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Golden Dragon lingers hauntingly in the memory. The ever-reliable Red Stitch had success with The Pride, a return season of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later and Midsummer. Other strong productions included Black Lung’s Doku Rai at Arts House and Michael James Manaia at fortyfive downstairs. Finally, MKA’s sex.violence.blood.gore by Singaporean playwright Alfian Bin Sa’at highlighted yet another year of high-quality theatre from this ambitious young company who also produced a Fringe Festival hit with Zoey Dawson’s The Unspoken Word Is Joe.
Theatre, Small Stage
Honourables: Zoey Dawson’s all-female production of Romeo and Juliet was amazingly beautiful, thoughtful theatre. The McNeil Project was a punchy tribute to playwright Jim McNeil from Wattle We Do Next Productions.