Kip Williams, Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett talked to Mark Shenton, from The Stage, about The Present and the future of the Sydney Theatre Company. You can read some passages from Cate Blanchett below. Enjoy!
It is 10am on the morning after the Broadway premiere of the 2016 Sydney Theatre Company production of The Present, a modern adaptation of Chekhov’s Platonov, written by Andrew Upton and starring his wife Cate Blanchett, when they sweep into a bookshop-cum-coffee shop in midtown Manhattan to meet me. Blanchett has already taken her son to school; and after we meet, a car collects her to take her off for a day’s filming on Ocean’s Eight, a spin-off of the Ocean’s trilogy due for release this summer.
So why has it taken until now to get to Broadway?
Upton answers: “You can’t run the company and make such a long-term commitment as Broadway needs outside of the country; you can’t even make a long-term commitment out of the state [New South Wales]. The company does 16 shows a year in four houses. So there’s a lot going on, and as artistic director, you have to be on top of that. But now that we’re free agents again, we can do it.”
Blanchett adds: “I think a lot of people underestimate the complexity of the role from afar – there’s the physical scale of the company, but also the breadth of the work.”
She was a big part of the company’s own international reach. “International touring became a big thing for us. We were so proud of what was happening at Sydney Theatre Company that we wanted to get it out, and one of the most obvious ways was for me to be a part of that. So I ended up touring quite a lot.”
But she bowed out of the running of the company in 2013, leaving Upton solely in charge. “There were things that Andrew still wanted to motor through and the company wanted him to motor through,” she explains, before he picks up the theme.
When Williams returns to Sydney, he will direct Upton’s new version of Three Sisters next. “I only just realised you’ll be gone,” says Blanchett to her husband. “I went to plan the family calendar the other day, and our assistant said Andrew’s going back to Sydney to do it – I’m the last person to find out what is going on.” […]
To read full interview visit The Stage in this link. It’s free to register.