Civic Theatre launches its 2018 line-up

MAIN EVENT: Brothers Gideon Mzembe and Pacharo Mzembe feature in the Prize Fighter, part of the Civic Theatre's 2018 line-up. Picture: Simone De Peak
MAIN EVENT: Brothers Gideon Mzembe and Pacharo Mzembe feature in the Prize Fighter, part of the Civic Theatre's 2018 line-up. Picture: Simone De Peak

NEWCASTLE Civic Theatre’s 2018 season shows will be staged in an interesting mix of venues, with Prize Fighter, a story about an African refugee who becomes a boxer in Australia, performed in Tuff’N Up Boxing Gym in Newcastle West.

Blanc de Blanc, a lively cabaret-style musical with vintage glamour and amazing circus acts, which was staged in London after an Australian capital city tour, will be presented in a large spiegeltent in Civic Park.

Audience members at Quiet Faith, which writer-director David Williams developed from conversations he had with churchgoers about their views on politics and religion, will sit in a circle around the actors on the Civic stage.

The subscription series includes 15 shows between February and November, with subscribers also invited to attend a reading in the Civic Playhouse in July of a new work by indigenous Hunter playwright Ray Kelly and give him feedback.

The season includes several works by writers, directors and performers who grew up in Newcastle or are based here.

Who Am I ...?, written and performed by Russell Cheek, one of the founding members of the Castanet Club in the 1980s, and directed by another former Castanet, Stephen Abbott, looks amusingly at his experiences as an out-of- work actor in the early 1990s who tried to become the winner of television quiz show Sale of the Century.

The show had its first trial run in Newcastle more than a year ago, and has since played at events including the Adelaide Festival.

The Civic stage will also see the premiere run of local award-winning choreographer Cadi McCarthy’s dance-theatre work The Place In Between, which shows the ways people try to hide their insecurities and real identities. The Catapult Flipside production will then tour.

The performers at the launch included brothers Gideon and Pacharo Mzembe, who play a skilled boxer and an eager trainee in Prize Fighter, a production by Brisbane’s La Boite Theatre, which will tour Australia after winning acclaim at capital city festivals. Like their characters, the two came to Australia as the children of refugees from Africa. 

Go to civictheatrenewcastle.com.au for more information.