Having recently earned raves in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Jean Genet's "The Maids" that came to New York this summer, Cate Blanchett will be reuniting with the company next year to tackle a play by Anton Chekhov.
Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush will both appear in the 2015 season, leaders of the Australian company announced Thursday. Its new season is to feature an adaptation of Chekhov's early work "Platanov," which is being retitled "The Present," starring Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh, and a staging of Shakespeare's "King Lear," with Rush in the title role.
The Sydney Theatre Company is led by artistic director Andrew Upton, who made the season announcement at the organization's headquarters at The Wharf. The new season is also to include a production of Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" with Hugo Weaving, and Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly Last Summer" with stage veteran Robyn Nevin.
Upton, who is married to Blanchett, will direct "Endgame" and is also adapting Chekhov's "Platanov." A few years ago, the company produced Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" with an ensemble cast that included Blanchett and Roxburgh.
"The Present" is scheduled to be performed in Sydney Aug. 9 to Sept. 19, 2015. "King Lear" is slated for Nov. 24, 2015 to Jan. 9 2016.
The new season is also to include productions of Sarah Ruhl's "Orlando," Caryl Churchill's "Love and Information" and Ariel Dorfman's "Death and the Maiden." The company is also slated to present works by Australian writers including Andrew Bovell and Melissa Bubnic.
Blanchett, who is a former co-artistic director of the company, has appeared in a number of its productions, including "Hedda Gabler," "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Gross und Klein," which have all toured internationally.
Sydney Theatre Company is teaming up with the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles to produce the new play "Switzerland," by Joanna Murray-Smith. The play, inspired by the life of author Patricia Highsmith, is scheduled to open at the Geffen in March.