UHT Premiere of ‘Third Person’

May 13 / 110

The Union House Theatre's new production 'Third Person'.
The Union House Theatre's new production 'Third Person'.

The University’s Union House Theatre will stage the world premiere of ‘Third Person’, by award winning Australian playwright, Noelle Janaczewska.

Tom Gutteridge, Artistic Director of Union House Theatre (UHT), said the play was an exciting prospect for the theatre.

“It’s a kind of dream-sequel to Shakespeare’s the Merchant of Venice that takes place in Berlin in the aftermath of the Second World War, when anti-Semitism has been ‘defeated’ but has left strange and disturbing residues,” Mr Gutteridge said.

He said the playwright’s characters were unique and interesting.

“In addition to the seven main roles, Ms Janaczewska wrote a series of dialogue lines for a ‘chorus’ without assigning them to anyone, so we have been able to ‘tailor’ our cast and develop characters which were then given lines that were appropriate for their personalities,” he said.

“The play also has a remarkable design world including original music and a kind of ruined theatre, standing in for the wreckage of Berlin.”

Since starting at UHT in 2009, Mr Gutteridge has directed eight main shows.

“At UHT I have had the privilege of working with young, clever, courageous student artists for the last five years on a really broad range of projects,” he said.

 “I find the creative atmosphere at University invigorating, because most people who get involved in extra-curricular theatre are motivated by a fascination with the ideas rather than a desire to ‘be a star’.”

Mr Gutteridge said significant artists emerged from the UHT, including Lally Katz, Declan Greene, and Angus Cerini.

“The really unique thing about the University of Melbourne’s theatre culture is how well resourced it is in comparison to other universities. We have two professional theatres in Union House and there’s also the Open Stage on the corner of Swanston and Grattan streets,” he said.

“There are more than 25 student theatre groups who put on more than 30 plays a year ranging from mainstream musicals to devised pieces.

 “I’d like to encourage anyone who’s interested in writing, performing, designing, making, promoting or simply watching theatre, music and dance to come and say hello to us. You don’t need to have any experience, just desire.”

Students interested in participating can visit the UHT office on the first floor of the Union Building or check out the website: http://union.unimelb.edu.au/theatre/. ‘Third Person’ will run from 23–25 May, 29 May–1 June.

For more information go to http://union.unimelb.edu.au/theatre/third-person.

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