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THEATRE: 29 JANUARY 2016

Blanchett and Roxburgh to take STC's The Present to Broadway

Following a sold-out, critically acclaimed engagement in Sydney last August, The Present, Andrew Upton’s new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play, Platonov, will be presented on New York’s Broadway for a limited engagement later this year.

With the Sydney Theatre Company all-Australian cast including Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh, The Present will be directed by John Crowley. Set and costume design is by Alice Babidge with lighting design by Nick Schlieper. Stefan Gregory is sound designer and composer.

The Present will be produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson and Sydney Theatre Company.

Theatre, complete casting and an opening date for the production will be announced soon.

Variously known as Platonov, Wild Honey, Fatherlessness and The Disinherited, Anton Chekhov’s untitled first play was not discovered until 1920, some 16 years after the playwright’s death.

Andrew Upton’s adaptation is set post-Perestroika in the mid-1990s at an old country house where friends gather to celebrate the birthday of the independent but compromised widow Anna Petrovna (Blanchett). At the centre is the acerbic and witty Platonov (Roxburgh) with his wife, his former students and friends and their partners. They may appear comfortable, but boiling away inside is a mess of unfinished, unresolved relationships, fuelled by twenty years of denial, regret and thwarted desire.

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh are making their Broadway debuts in The Present. They previously appeared together on the New York stage in Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Andrew Upton’s adaptation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Additionally, Cate Blanchett appeared in New York in Sydney Theatre Company’s productions of Hedda Gabler, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Maids.

Andrew Upton has been at the creative helm of Sydney Theatre Company for the past eight years, the first five as co-Artistic Director alongside Cate Blanchett. He left the Company at the end of 2015, succeeded by Jonathan Church.

During the Upton/Blanchett years, STC’s international touring profile increased with tours of Waiting for Godot to the UK, Gross und Klein (Big and Small) to the UK, France, Austria and Germany, both A Streetcar Named Desire and Uncle Vanya to Washington and New York and The Maids to New York. A History of Everything, commissioned by STC as a co-production with Belgian theatre company Onteroend Goed, has also had seasons in Chicago and in Belgium, Holland and the UK while Long Day’s Journey into Night played in Portland, Oregon.

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh in The Present. Image: Lisa Tomasetti.