Riverside in the spotlight

INTENSE JOURNEY: Swallow explored questions of identity, heartbreak and hope with a vivid and poetic intensity. Pictures: Amanda James
Nanjing Night Net

Directors, actors and producers were put in the spotlight last week when they gathered at Sydney’sSeymour Centre for the 2016 Sydney Theatre Awards.

The National Theatre of Parramatta was nominated in the ‘Best Ensemble’ category for their productionSwallow.

Nominations in the award’s 35 categories have been spread across 45 productions which played on Sydney stages during 2016.

Also nominated in the ‘Best Ensemble’ category was Darlinghurst Theatre Company for their productionsBrokenandSavages,andEdgeware Forum and Rue de la Rocket’s Slut.

In April 2016, Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta opened its inaugural season with the potent and powerful production, written by Olivier award winning playwright Stef Smith.

The Australian premiere featured a stellar cast of just three – Valerie Berry, Megan Drury and Luisa Hastings Edge – and was directed by founder and former artistic director of Force Majeure and Helpmann Award winner, Kate Champion.

A story about survival,Swallowexplored questions of identity, heartbreak and hope with a vivid and poetic intensity.

ISOLATED: The National Theatre of Parramatta was nominated in the ‘Best Ensemble’ category in the 2016 Sydney Theatre Awards for their production Swallow.

Darlinghurst Theatre Company snatched the top place and were awarded‘Best Ensemble’ for their productionBroken.

National Theatre of Parramatta’s executive producer, Joanne Kee said even though they didn’t win the category,Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta was “thrilled” to be nominated in this year’s prestigious Sydney Theatre Awards.

“Swallowfearlessly launched the company and it’s a fantastic achievement to receive a nomination for our very first show,” directorKate Champion said.

“Swallow was a wonderful challenge for any director who relishes the opportunity to expand a play’s possibilities beyond the words on the page.

“For all the play’s poetic, emotional clarity it didn’t shy away from the real mess of life – a mess that sees three characters pushed to the precipice of their existence through self-doubt, damage and wavering identity.”

Even though theNational Theatre of Parramatta didn’t take out the top spot, Riverside Theatres director Robert Love said:“Riverside has always wanted and needed a resident theatre company to be truly a lively and distinctive performance venue”.

“We need artists in situ interpreting local issues of the day, working with the local community and giving the place a creative heart, an enquiring mind and a soul that can take flight,” he said.

“The National Theatre of Parramatta aims to put the nation on stage. And where better to find the nation than in Australia’s next great city, Parramatta.”

THOUGHT: “How do we reach out for genuine human engagement in such an increasingly isolating society?” director Kate Champion said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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