One of Brisbane's most iconic theatre companies, La Bôite, celebrates a successful 2013 and announces a bold and diverse season of works for 2014 categorised by great writing, joyous comedy, high adventure and twists on the familiar.
Add into the mix a landmark new production of Louis Nowra's 'Cosi' starring Jessica Marais, a world premiere of a play about alien abduction by Kathryn Marquet, and an adaptation by Lally Katz of Henrik Ibsen's 'A Doll's House'. Artistic Director David Berthold also added that “2014 is the tenth anniversary of the company's move to the Roundhouse Theatre at Kelvin Grove, which is a great reason for us to splash out and celebrate”.
Describe the 2014 season in 5 words?
Close encounters, La Bôite style!
How did you select the final line-up of shows?
As always, it comes down to a lot of different factors all falling into place at the right time. 'Pale Blue Dot', a new comedy by Kathryn Marquet about alien abduction, was developed through our 2013 Playwrights-in-Residence program. Steven Mitchell Wright, who directed 'The Wizard of Oz' this year will direct 'A Doll’s House' for a co-production with Brisbane Festival in September. And 'Cosi' - a big, boisterous comedy - is the perfect way for us to splash out and celebrate ten years in the Roundhouse Theatre.
What are your non-negotiables in a production? What does each show have to possess to make the La Bôite cut?
They all have to be right for our space and, in some way, be alive to the present. Each production in the 2014 season embraces these things in some way.
What is your personal highlight or show you are most looking forward to?
I can’t wait to get stuck into 'Cosi'. I think audiences will respond to the story and the stellar cast. But I’m also looking forward to 'Pale Blue Dot' … in my research, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with aliens!
Tell us how the Jessica and James collaboration with La Bôite happened?
I had been speaking to Jessica Marais and James Stewart about the two of them working together for a show at La Bôite for a while. All the cards fell in the right order pretty quickly. In 'Cosi', Jessica plays the dual roles of Julie and Lucy, and James plays the stuttering Vietnam War veteran Henry.
What is the arts scene like in Brisbane compared to Sydney and Melbourne or internationally?
Brisbane has a very alive arts scene, and constantly shifting. And I find the audiences much more free and democratic here. Not afraid to laugh or cry or be very much part of the experience.
How was the launch party? Any crazy/ weird/ funny stories from behind-the-scenes in the preparation? Or any memorable moments from the night?
Lally Katz, who is adapting 'A Doll’s House', helped us launch the 2014 Season on her birthday, so we surprised her with a cake and an impromptu 500-strong Happy Birthday sing-a-long! And we were even visited by an alien on the night.