Children’s book character Tashi will feature in Merrigong Theatre’s 2009 season.The world of Shakespeare and children’s book character Tashi are far removed. But they will both take to the stage in Wollongong as part of the Merrigong Theatre’s 2009 season.Launched last night, the program also brings three international productions to the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (IPAC), as well as one pure-bred, locally born show, 4 Plays About Wollongong.Merrigong CEO and artistic director Simon Hinton said many of the shows were worlds apart in scale and location.But he said they shared an intimate connection with their audience.Mr Hinton spent 18 months scouring the world to bring the shows home. Merrigong will also take United States performer Kahlil Ashanti’s one-man show, Basic Training, to Darwin, North Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne. Ashanti’s show was honed during his time in the US Air Force’s entertainment troupe.From the other side of the world comes the Icelandic production Metamorphosis, which features the music of Nick Cave, and next wave French Canadian circus troupe, The Seven Fingers. “Cirque du Soleil with their big hype was the first sort of resurgence in circus,” Mr Hinton said. “But The Seven Fingers are the young rebels of that – they are kind of a reaction to that overblown stuff. “It is amazing contemporary circus with a bit of melancholy about it. “But, at the same time, it is very funny and has an incredibly high skill level. It is breathtaking.”To celebrate IPAC’s 20th birthday this year, Merrigong commissioned four playwrights to write a short play about Wollongong. They will appear on the stage in a year’s time.”They are four short plays,” Mr Hinton said. “All are totally different and covering things like miners’ strikes in World War II to the Dapto dogs to drug dealing and dodgy development – very topical.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.