Queensland Performing Arts Centre
shake & stir theatre co and QPAC presentWUTHERING HEIGHTSby Emily Brontë created & adapted by shake & stir theatre coLove is a dirty word.
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Wuthering Heights

Venue Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane
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Dates 1 to 18 Oct 2014

Overview
Reviews
Cast
Learning Resources

shake & stir theatre co and QPAC present
WUTHERING HEIGHTS
by Emily Brontë
created & adapted by shake & stir theatre co

Love is a dirty word.

Brontë's gothic masterpiece storms into QPAC in a new adaptation from the company behind the critically acclaimed productions of George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984.

When Heathcliff, a mysterious boy is rescued from the street and brought to Wuthering Heights, he develops a passionate bond with Cathy Earnshaw and a repulsive distrust of her brother Hindley. As time passes, Heathcliff and Cathy's relationship deepens to the point of dangerous obsession, until one day, Cathy marries another man. Overcome with jealousy, Heathcliff flees the Heights only to return, years later, ready to exact revenge on those he believed ruined his one chance at happiness.

Featuring a breathtaking design and a stellar cast including Australian star of stage and screen Gerry Connolly, shake & stir invites you to drop by the Heights and settle in for this classic story, retold.

Adaptor & Director Nick Skubij
Costume Designer Leigh Buchanan
Set Designer Josh McIntosh
Lighting Designer Jason Glenwright
Sound Designer Guy Webster
Projection Designers optikal bloc

Cast Includes Ross Balbuziente, Julian Curtis, Nelle Lee, Melanie Zanetti and Gerry Connolly



1984
1984 by George Orwell
created & adapted by shake & stir theatre co
shake & stir theatre co's sold-out production that stunned audiences in 2012 returns in July following a five-month national tour.

Reviews from shake & stir theatre co's National Tour of 1984

"Shake & stir theatre co cement themselves as masters of adaption. 1984 is a hard-hitting piece of theatre that brings everything to the table and delivers. shake & stir theatre co should be commended on another fantastic adaption." Australian Stage Online

"It's polished to brilliance. The ensemble of actors are stunning. A must see." Greenroom

"I recommend it wholeheartedly, if you can get seats for this final season." Stage Whispers

"You shouldn't miss it! This is a powerful production. It will stay with me just as did the book when I read it so many years ago."
NSW Stage Whispers

"This production is superb and I can't recommend it highly enough." ACT Stage Whispers

"The detail and commitment of the performances, as well as the meticulous mounting of the production is nothing less than astonishing." Canberra Critics Circle

"An impressive adaptation… shake & stir sets the bar high."
The Canberra Times

"shake & stir's ability to bring classic, world changing literature to the main stage is double-plus awesome. It's rare to see a book adaptation that feels whole and complete in its own right." Aussie Theatre

"Their adaptations of classic texts are done with innovation, soul and meticulous care."
The Courier-Mail

"Wonderful, wonderful production... Everyone gives 110% - I just loved it!"
612ABC Radio, Doug Kennedy

"This is a flawless production, with flawless performances from the cast of five. In fact, I couldn't fault anything about it."
A Little Gossip, Allison Coates

"shake & stir have done a stunning job realizing this work for the stage... This show gets into your head... This is Brisbane's theatre at its finest." Theatre People

Gerry ConnollyGerry Connolly

Gerry Connolly is an accomplished Australian comedian, actor, impressionist and pianist best known for his satirical caricatures of public figures: Royalty, politicians and the like.

Over the years, Gerry has turned his talent for mimicry into hit one-man stage shows including Men and Women of Australia, I CONnolly, Gerrymader Joh and the Last Crusade, Different Things, and Pianomaniac. He is widely acclaimed across Australia and has had great success at the Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide Comedy Festivals, as well as at the Edinburgh Festival in the UK.

His shows also earned him The Wallace Comedian of the Year Award in 1986. The popularity of his theatre shows landed Gerry his own 6-part show on the ABC, The Gerry Connolly Show in 1988. From there he became a semi-regular cast member and writer on the popular sketch comedy show Fast Forward during the early 90s, where he once again got to show case his versatility and comedic wit.

In 1993, Connolly featured in a dramatic role portraying former Queensland premier Joh Bjelke Peterson in the ABC telemovie Joh’s Jury. Some of Gerry’s other TV appearances include the Spicks and Specks 100th Episode, a guest role as ‘Merill Streep’ on Kath & Kim and the ongoing role of Headmaster Griffin in ABC1’s Dead Gorgeous.

Most recently Gerry filmed the role of Reginald Valpy in the ABC telemovie Mystery of a Hansom Cab. Gerry has also made a few film appearances including cameos in The Wog Boy, The Magic Pudding and Over the Hill as well as the role of Lou Rickets in the Australian family film The Real Macaw. On Stage, Connolly has forged a successful career, often working with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir St Theatre. Highlights include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the national tour of Pirates of Penzance from 2001-2003, the Sydney and Melbourne seasons of Urinetown, Tomfoolery and the Melbourne Theatre Company’s 1999 production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, which earned him a nomination for a Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actor. Gerry also won the 2005 Mo Award for Best Comedy Performer.

In 2012, Gerry performed as The Queen in La Soiree at the Sydney Opera House, La Clique Royal at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and then in September he was the Associate Artiste in Richard Tognetti’s Everything with the Australian Chamber Orchestra at Festival Maribor in Slovenia. Gerry has a Bachelor or Music from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and has performed with the Melbourne, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.
Suitability: Grade 9 - 12 audience. Low level coarse language, sexual themes
Duration: 85 mins + 10 min Q&A with cast.

Curriculum Connections: Transformation of a classic text
  • Novel Study / Text Analysis
  • Contemporary Australian Theatre
  • Heightened Realism
  • Ensemble Theatre
  • Convergent Forms
  • Gender Representations

Themes/Issues:

  • Discrimination
  • Power/Corruption
  • Love/Passion
  • Injustice/Prejudice
  • Social Class
  • Gender role
  • Nature VS Nurture
Subject Connections:

ENGLISH
shake & stir's WUTHERING HEIGHTS, a brand new stage adaptation, will no doubt deepen students' understanding of the novel, or offer them new insight into the text. Students can compare and contrast the text and play, exploring how the themes and issues presented in the original are still highly relevant for a 21st Century audience. Alternatively, the production can be used an example of Contemporary Australian Theatre where no prior understanding of WUTHERING HEIGHTS is necessary.

Possible Assessment:

Expository: analytical exposition based on prevalent themes; critical review for a magazine/newspaper; panel discussion regarding characters' guilt/innocence. 
Persuasive: argumentative essay; persuasive speech; pitch for another classic to be adapted for the stage; discursive forum. 
Reflective: personal narrative based on a theme presented on stage; writing in role; character testimonial, memoir. 
Imaginative: thematic poetry; monologue; dramatic recreation of a chapter/theme/issue. DRAMA

For drama students this play offers many possibilities: showing students how a text can be transformed for the stage; performance styles such as elements of Realism & Ensemble Theatre; set design; use of integrated A/V, lighting and sound design; use of space; manipulation of the elements of performance/drama.

Possible Assessment:

Forming: Scriptwriting stimulus; directing styles; character development for improvisation; adaptation of text for performance. 
Presenting: Scripted polished performance; student devised drama using themes from the play as a pre-text.
Responding: Responding to live theatre; critical review for a magazine/newspaper; analytical essay exploring the purpose of adapting text to stage; performance analysis oral.

This production comes with a comprehensive Teachers' Resource Kit & Dramatic Elements compiled by shake & stir's Education Manager, Naomi Russell. The kit includes curriculum connections, pre and post show class discussions and activities and extra insight into the production specifically for teachers and students.
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Presented By shake & stir theatre co and Queensland Performing Arts Centre
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Oct 2014
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