The Joan's 2020 program stretches across all specialties of the performing arts. It will feature comedy, dance, music and, of course, the great Australian theatre that charms us, compels us and keeps us coming back for more.
It starts on February 29 with Spiegelesque - part cabaret, part dance, part circus and all decadent world-class entertainment. Leave your real life at the door and immerse themselves in a world of dynamic dance, aerial artistry, sultry singers, sequins, feathers and poles. Two shows, at 2pm and 7.30pm.
On March 28, peek behind the scenes of the fascinating medical industry in Grace Under Pressure,a compelling and confronting work by acclaimed verbatim theatre makers David Williams and Paul Dwyer in collaboration with the Sydney Arts and Health Collective. Grace Under Pressure weaves together the experiences of the health professionals that look after us.
Leading in to Easter, it's Bach Akadamie Australia on April 4 at 7.30pm for one spellbinding night with the lush sounds of the Easter Oratorio with internationally renowned American counter-tenor Reginald Mobley.
In May, it's the return of funny man and long term Sydney comedy legend Jonathan Biggins in TheGospel According to Paulon May 2. Showcasing eviscerating wit, rich rhetoric and ego the size of Everest, Gospel distills Paul Keating's essence into 85 minutes, focusing on key biographical milestones, landmark political achievements and personal obsessions of the man who grew up in the tribe of the Labor Party.
On May 8 and 9, the bonkers rendition of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel, Jekyll and Hyde, is retold by a team of charmingly 'French' performers with the help of the audience.
On May 27, enter a world of dance, theatre and pure femme power. Playlist is Beyoncé meets the women's marches meets Australian Idol. Five incredible young women talk about their favourite female pop stars and how these narratives inspire and shape their personal worlds.
On the following weekend, join award-winning maestro of mischief Phil Scott and powerhouse canary Catherine Alcorn for a thrilling joyride back to a very dramatic era where you'll soon see she's 30 Something and he's ... not. Politics, the great depression, booze ... and that's just in the dressing room.
On June 13, The Sentimental Bloke, an icon of Australian early silent film set in the Sydney working class suburb of Woolloomooloo. Raymond Longford's film humorously tells the heart-warming story of larrikin Bill - the Sentimental Bloke - his sweetheart Doreen, and his ruffian mate Ginger Mick.
On June 16 comedy is front and centre with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow.
The laughs continue, albeit on a more melodic note, on July 3 and 4 with the Spooky Men's Chorale - sometimes silly and humorous, sometimes blissfully tender-hearted, and always striking a deeply human chord..
On July 25, Sydney's finest jazz and swing musicians come together to perform a sparkling repertoire of classics from the swing-era with The Mell-o-Tones..
From August 13-15, the comedy institution we all know and love - The Wharf Revue - bids farewell. Don't miss out on this one last hurrah when after 20 years of bringing the institution to life, the indefatigable trio of Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott reunite with dazzling accomplice Mandy Bishop for one final victory lap of The Wharf Revue.
Returning to The Allan Mullins Studio for another knock-out season, the crew from Australian Theatre For Young People join forces with our very own Q Theatre team to bring you a brand new production exploring the intertwined lives of strangers in Lights in the Park, showingfrom August 5-15.
Shortly after, things heat up as Carmen faces her fate in Bizet's most popular opera showing on Friday, August 28, at 7.30pm. Presented by Opera Australia, this new production of Carmen features gorgeous sets and vintage-inspired costumes, highlighting the colour and vibrancy of the opera's Spanish setting.
Celebrating the finest in theatre, September brings us productions that engage, intrigue and make us smile. On September 4 and 5, we meet three strangers in a small regional town, intricately entwined by the events of one fateful night in Kangaroo; a truly inspired new Australian work by a playwright based in Bathurst. Kangaroo follows three people as they share the funny yet tragic stories that cause their lives to converge head on.
Then enter a secret underworld of Dad dancing, inspired by the experts - the Dads. Produced by Dance Makers Collective, the team behind Dads have taken inspiration from their family histories, memories of dance, and their own experience of being professional dancers. It's not all daggy dance moves (although there's a few), but a beautiful foray into the layman's perspective on art.
In a beautiful celebration of the iconic music on which our centre was founded, Tamara-Anna Cislowska returns to The Joan as musical director and pianist for our much anticipated 30th Anniversary Concert on September 26. Stephanie McCallum, Kathy Selby, Clemens Leske, Neal Peres da Costa and many more will come together for one special concert that features the stunning spectacle of six grand pianos and two percussionists on stage.
The season closes in October with a touchingly beautiful play featuring original music by Mark Seymour (Hunters & Collectors) and written by multi-award-winning playwright Jane Bodie. LAMB follows two generations of family set on an Australian sheep farm spanning over 40 years. Told with subtlety and humour, LAMB tells an intimate story of family and rural life.
At The Joan, we are all about being inclusive and ensuring that we have great programs accessible for everyone. We love all our audiences, young and old(er). We've set a special $30 seniors matinee price across 11 of our 2pm Saturday performances and continue with our $30 under 30 ticket offer across all season shows.
Why subscribe? Some of the many great reasons to sign up to the shows in our season include extra discounts on tickets, dibs on the best seats in the house with an exclusive pre-sale purchase window and the flexibility to change up your season shows with free exchange. There is also the beauty of planning ahead with no last minute scrambling for the hottest ticket in town.
A four pack subscriber will receive a 10 per cent discount on any further tickets purchased. A six pack subscriber will receive 12 per cent and an eight pack subscriber will receive 15 per cent and will also receive complimentary Penrith Arts Lover membership in 2020.
Following the performances, where possible, we'll be offering Q & A sessions and chances to meet the artists. The bar will be staying open, the mood lighting will be set and we'll have a variety of non-alcoholic options for the drivers. We're offering you somewhere to relax and share reflections on your night, grab a drink of your preference, something light to eat and somewhere comfortable to sit.
To book individual shows and subscriptions, and to check out the full 2020 season please visit: https://www.thejoan.com.au/whats-on/.