247 episodes

In-depth conversations with the world's top directors, performers and writers for the stage.

The Stage Show ABC Radio

    • Arts

In-depth conversations with the world's top directors, performers and writers for the stage.

    'Sharing a mad moment together' — Chaplin's grandson's ode to theatre

    'Sharing a mad moment together' — Chaplin's grandson's ode to theatre

    Performer James Thiérrée takes audiences into surreal worlds that leave us pondering some big questions about life on Earth. As the son of two pioneers of contemporary circus and the grandson of Charlie Chaplin, it's no wonder James sees the world differently. His latest mind-bending work of physical theatre is called Room.

    Also, Richard Jordan drops by to share the story of an actor who once starred in two productions simultaneously at London's National Theatre and we're joined by the author of Verdi, Opera, Women, Susan Rutherford, to discuss what women in the 19th century might have thought of La Traviata's ill-fated courtesan protagonist, Violetta.

    • 54 min
    The forgotten ballets of Australia

    The forgotten ballets of Australia

    Classical repertoire dominates Australian ballet seasons, but in the mid-20th century, new work was a key priority for Australian ballet companies. What has become of these works? Our Top 5 Arts resident Yvette Grant introduces us to the prolific choreographer Laurel Martyn (1916-2013) and we learn about Yvette's own mission to resurrect forgotten Australian ballets.

    Also, to mark Barbra Streisand's 80th birthday, some of our favourite musical theatre performers are joined by symphony orchestras around the country for a celebration of Barbra's most memorable songs and we look at how Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker — now 130 years old — came to become a fixture of the Christmas calendar after having little impact in its native Russia.

    • 54 min
    Andrew Lloyd Webber's go-to director

    Andrew Lloyd Webber's go-to director

    British director Laurence Connor has a knack for knowing what audiences want. He has directed or revived some of the most successful musicals ever produced, including a hit new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's first musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

    Also, the Australian comic opera Love Burns by Graeme Koehne and Louis Nowra is revived by the State Opera of South Australia, and we meet Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Johnston, writer of First Casualty at Queensland Theatre, to find out what compelled the veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan to bring the brutality and complexity of war to the stage. 

    • 54 min
    Sandi Toksvig has reasons to be cheerful

    Sandi Toksvig has reasons to be cheerful

    Danish-British writer and comedian Sandi Toksvig has written books, plays, musicals, and she's the host of the ever-popular British quiz show QI. She is now touring Australia with her show Sandi Toksvig Live — an evening of comedy and stories from her extraordinary life. 

    Also, we hear a scene from The Mentor, a new Australian play about an ageing star who begins tutoring a young actor, but personal and generational tensions soon boil over, and we learn about Takatāpui — a blistering one-person show from Māori artist Daley Rangi about the routine violence so many gender-nonconforming people face.

    • 54 min
    'We are here, we belong' — Uniting communities through the arts

    'We are here, we belong' — Uniting communities through the arts

    S. Shakthidharan's new play for Belvoir St Theatre, The Jungle and Sea, adds dimension to his award-winning epic, Counting and Cracking. The Jungle and the Sea also builds on Shakthidharan's deeply held belief that the arts, and theatre in particular, can unite communities. 

    Also, Emilia Bassano pursued a career as a poet during William Shakespeare's time and a new play commissioned by Shakespeare's Globe Theatre argues that The Bard may have plagiarised Emilia's own work, and to mark the 100th anniversary of The Waste Land by TS Eliot, Identity Theatre will bring Eliot's multi-layered lament to the stage.

    • 54 min
    Matilda and A Christmas Carol director keeps The Old Vic young

    Matilda and A Christmas Carol director keeps The Old Vic young

    To ring in the holiday season, an award-winning production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is in Australia from London's famous Old Vic Theatre. It's directed by Matthew Warchus, who is also the director of Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda. 

    Also, we gather the cast of Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical in our music studio to perform the big act one finale and we meet Alon Nashman, a Canadian theatre-maker who has just returned from treading the boards at a theatre festival in Ukraine.

    • 54 min

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