by | Mar 31, 2023

Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre has this week revealed the remaining three plays for its 2023 season, marking a noteworthy year ahead for the ensemble-led theatre. The final three plays include an Australian premiere, a world premiere INK production, and a stage classic to round out the season.

Premiering in ­June, Shhhh is a challenging new work from acclaimed writer Clare Barron (Dance Nation, You Got Older), directed by Emma Valente, that cleverly explores the impacts of physical trauma and sexual assault in a dark and disturbing tale of two sisters.

In this visceral new play, Shareen is struggling in a complicated relationship, worrying about her mother, and battling a range of health issues. Her older sister, Sally, a part-time witch and ASMR therapist, offers advice, and seems to possess a higher knowledge, but is herself dealing with trauma.

Shhhh is a fiercely provocative new work on empowerment, bodies and the grey areas of consent.

Set in the vibrant nightlife of Hanoi, directed by Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell, comes Dan Lee’s Flake, co-created by Chi Nguyen.

A little flutter, a dizzy spell, an imperceptible narrowing of the arteries and then the rest of your life is a series of doctors advising you against things.

In this stunning INK World premiere, Lee and Nguyen draw deep into the mess and chaos of old friendships, fragmented families and the inevitable blur of aging. Meanwhile, the ancient city of Hanoi howls and crashes around outside, through the walls of the tiny basement kitchen. Flake opens in October and features Robert Menzies and Joe Petruzzi.

Come November, Red Stitch will once again welcome the brilliant Sarah Goodes who will direct Edward Albee’s timeless classic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, featuring Kat Stewart in an all-ensemble cast.

When it burst on to the stage in 1962, it tapped into a growing unease about notions of decency and respectability, in a vicious dissection of a marriage over years of disappointments. Yet Albee’s characters also tell a love story: a story of shared acceptance of an inescapable fate.

Real-life married couple, Kat Stewart and David Whiteley, will portray Martha and George, whose romance is served up to their unwitting guests, played by Emily Goddard and Harvey Zielinski, as a taste of the humiliations and the inevitable compromises to come.

The above exciting works round out a powerful annual season of work, including Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul that takes the stage in April, starring Afghan ensemble member Khisraw Jones-Shukoor alongside Claudia Greenstone, Nicole Nabout and Farhad Zaiwala, opening on 26 April and running to 21 May.

Set in Kabul in 2013, when the first tranche of US troops are about to withdraw, the play tells the story of an Afghan interpreter for the US military. Selling Kabul ultimately asks: what would you do to save another person’s life?

Red Stitch Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell, said “Shhhh and Flake round out six powerful contemporary premieres on offer from Australian and international playwrights in our 2023 season, alongside the rare staging of a classic at Red Stitch to conclude the year. Each production features exceptional theatre practitioners making work that they believe in. We invite Melbournians to subscribe to our final five shows, in order to secure seats to these incomparable and intimate theatre experiences.”


Selling Kabul:

22nd April – 21st May


20th June – 16th July


9th August – 3rd September


11th October – 5th November

 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf:

15th November – 17th December

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