shake & stir theatre co and QPAC present
WUTHERING HEIGHTS
by Emily Brontë
created & adapted by shake & stir theatre co

Brontë’s gothic masterpiece storms the country, returning to QPAC in a new adaptation from the company behind the critically acclaimed productions of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, 1984 and Dracula.

When Heathcliff, a mysterious boy is rescued from the street and brought to Wuthering Heights, he develops a passionate bond with Cathy Earnshaw and a repulsive distrust of her brother Hindley. As time passes, Heathcliff and Cathy’s relationship deepens to the point of dangerous obsession, until one day, Cathy marries another man. Overcome with jealousy, Heathcliff flees the Heights only to return, years later, ready to exact revenge on those he believed ruined his one chance at happiness.

Featuring a breathtaking design and a stellar cast, shake & stir invites you to drop by the Heights and settle in for this classic story, retold.

shake & stir theatre co is undoubtedly Brisbane’s (nay Australia’s) best literary stage adaptors, and they continue to carry the mantle in their new adaptation of Emily Brontë’s gothic masterpiece, Wuthering Heights  Aussie Theatre

Featuring Ross Balbuziente, Tim Dashwood, Nelle Lee, Nick Skubij, Linden WilkinsonGemma Willing

Adaptor & Director Nick Skubij
Costume Designer Leigh Buchanan
Set Designer Josh McIntosh
Lighting Designer Jason Glenwright
Sound Designer Guy Webster
Projection Designers optikal bloc
Fight Director Nigel Poulton

Production Manager Clark Corby
Stage Manager Yanni Dubler
Assistant Stage Manager Tenneale Rogers
Head LX Nathan Da Cunha

“The show is a winner.” The Courier-Mail, 2016

“Literature fans and theatre fans would need no further encouragement to see this marvellous production. The six actors (three of whom played dual roles) demanded the audience’s full attention, each delivering a bravura performance, which was only enhanced by the technical aspects.” Togatus – Hobart, 2016

“This production has the all expected highlights of a shake & stir adaptation. It loses none on Brontë’s brooding pessimism nor the brutality and bitter suffering of her characters. Rather it brings them into sharp, convincing, contemporary focus.” Stage Whispers – Sydney, 2016

“An exceptional, brilliantly performed piece of theatre. The cast are splendid. Ross Balbuziente leads the cast as Heathcliff, appropriately apish and wildly sexual.Gemma Willing is nothing short of spectacular as Catherine.” Canberra Critics Circle

“An excellent adaptation of Wuthering Heights. Adaptor (also Director) Nick Skubij has a profound understanding of his medium and deserves a lot of credit for a Herculean task of not only successfully taking a classic to the stage, but in some ways finding it its true home.” Canberra Critics Circle, 2016

“Expertly directed by Nick Skubij.”

“The standout performance is the captivating Linden Wilkinson as Nelly Dean. Her pragmatic observations are witty, and her lines are enunciated with natural flair.”

“The set design by Josh McIntosh with lighting design by Jason Glenwright not only transforms locations and timelines but enhances the vibe. Every inch of the stage is used effectively and with sophistication – especially the spectacular projections by optikal bloc.”

“Kaboom! shake & stir theatre co bring the classic 19th century story of Wuthering Heights to a 21st century audience. Haven’t read the book? The production is an artistic work in its own right.”

Australian Stage Online – Canberra, 2016

“Will blow your mind.”

“The task of capturing and recreating Cathy and Heathcliff’s intensity and turmoil is a big ask for any thespian. However, through some astonishingly brutal physicality and fervent cursing between the cast members, they have it assuredly in the bag. An indication of success for a performer playing Heathcliff is whether they make your blood boil, and Ross Balbuziente does just that and then some – he is unspeakably savage and merciless, exactly as the role dictates.”

“Nelle Lee and Nick Skubij are masterful chameleons in their multi-generational roles.”

The Barefoot Reviewer, Canberra, 2016

“Ross Balbuziente shows Heathcliff as a violent sociopath, cruel and unrelenting. He is mesmerizing.” Her Canberra, 2016

“shake & stir theatre co is undoubtedly Brisbane’s (nay Australia’s) best literary stage adaptors, and they continue to carry the mantle in their new adaptation of Emily Brontë’s gothic masterpiece, Wuthering Heights.”  Aussie Theatre

“Thrilling” Aussie Theatre

“Stunning” The Courier-Mail

“A production that has success stamped all over it.” Stage Whispers

“This show is compelling.” Blue Curtains Brisbane

Ross Balbuziente was born to play Heathcliff.” Stage Whispers

“Grab a ticket. Inspirational talent like this is hard to come by.” Stage Whispers

“This is Wuthering Heights in a nutshell – a story you love of people you know you should hate. And shake & stir have captured the predicament perfectly.” Blue Curtains Brisbane

“shake & stir continues to come up with some of the most challenging and engaging original live theatre in Brisbane. Their adaptations of classic literature are all superb (1984, Animal Farm, Tequila Mockingbird), and their latest production, a new version of Emily Bronte’s classic gothic masterpiece, Wuthering Heights, is no exception.”  XS Entertainment

“It’s a spectacular looking production and the drama follows suit.” XS Entertainment

 “We have come to expect extraordinary beauty from this brilliant creative team: shake & stir, optikal bloc and – I’m sure I’ve said it before – Brisbane’s hottest design team comprising Josh McIntosh (Set Design), Jason Glenwright (Lighting Design) and Guy Webster (Sound Design). These guys seem to split up and flit about a bit, but every time they come together with shake & stir, theatre magic happens. It’s as if they come home to play at shake & stir, and out of pure joy and surrender comes their best work. Adding to the mix this time, Leigh Buchanan’s delicate-dramatic touch (Costume Design), makes Wuthering Heights a dark and stormy (yes, you can taste it), sexy and sumptuous production.” XS Entertainment

shake & stir theatre co captured the audience of Wuthering Heights with an intense and spectacular performance. The company, who previously showcased George Orwell 1984 and Animal Farm, illustrated great talent in acting, sound, lighting, set and projection design.” The Creative Issue

Wuthering Heights Teacher’s Resource Kit

Suitability: Grade 10 – 12 audience. Coarse language, sexual themes
Duration: 2 hours 20mins (including interval)
+ 10 min Q&A with cast directly following 10am and 6.30pm performances

Curriculum Connections:

  • Australian Gothic Theatre
  • Transformation of a classic text
  • Heightened/Magical Realism
  • Ensemble Theatre
  • Convergent Forms
  • Gender Representations

Themes/Issues:

  • Discrimination
  • Power/Corruption
  • Love/Passion
  • Injustice/Prejudice
  • Social Class
  • Gender roles
  • Nature VS Nurture

Subject Connections:

ENGLISH
shake & stir’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS, a brand new stage adaptation, will deepen students’ understanding of the novel and offer them new insight into the text. Students can compare and contrast the text and play, exploring how the themes and issues presented in the original are still highly relevant for a 21st Century audience. Alternatively, the production can be used an example of Australian Gothic Theatre where no prior understanding of WUTHERING HEIGHTS is necessary.

Possible Assessment:

Expository: analytical exposition based on prevalent themes; critical review for a magazine/newspaper; panel discussion regarding characters’ guilt/innocence.
Persuasive: argumentative essay; persuasive speech; pitch for another classic to be adapted for the stage; discursive forum.
Reflective: personal narrative based on a theme presented on stage; writing in role; character testimonial, memoir.
Imaginative: thematic poetry; monologue; dramatic recreation of a chapter/theme/issue.

DRAMA
For drama students this play offers many possibilities: showing students how a text can be transformed for the stage; performance styles of Australian Gothic Theatre and Ensemble acting; set design; use of integrated A/V, lighting and sound design; use of space; manipulation of the elements of performance/drama.

Possible Assessment:

Forming: Scriptwriting stimulus; directing styles; character development for improvisation; dramatic treatment. Presenting: Scripted polished performance; student devised drama using themes from the play as a pre-text.
Responding: Responding to live theatre; critical review for a magazine/newspaper; analytical essay exploring the purpose of adapting text to stage; performance analysis oral.

This production comes with a comprehensive Teachers’ Resource Kit & Dramatic Elements compiled by shake & stir’s Education Manager, Naomi Russell. The kit includes curriculum connections, pre and post show class discussions and activities and extra insight into the production specifically for teachers and students.

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CREMORNE THEATRE QPAC
DATES 12 – 19 June 2016

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