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THEATRE SEASON...............................................................................................................................4 ADD-ON SHOWS...............................................................................................................................29 KIDS & FAMILIES................................................................................................................................ 32 MAKE IT @MERRIGONG................................................................................................................36 MERRIGONG IN OUR COMMUNITY.......................................................................................38 CHOOSE & BOOK A PACKAGE..................................................................................................40 ACCESS SERVICES........................................................................................................................... 43 YEAR AT A GLANCE.......................................................................................................................... 44

The name Merrigong is thought to be a derivation of the indigenous word for the Illawarra region’s distinctive escarpment. The company’s name acts as a constant reminder that our venues sit on the ancestral land of the Dharawal people. Merrigong Theatre Company acknowledges the Dharawal people as the traditional custodians of this land. For thousands of years prior to white settlement the Dharawal people resided along the coast from Sydney to the Illawarra – dancing, hunting, sharing stories, music and family. They continue into the future as the custodians of this land, amongst the now internationally diverse community that is Wollongong.

Putting it all together…


rogramming an annual season of theatre is like doing a big jigsaw puzzle – there’s lots of pieces we have to try and fit together, and we never get to see the whole picture until it’s finished! So, here’s the brochure, sitting in front of me, and the picture is finally whole. This year, the one thing I see staring back at me is a collection of incredible characters. In our 2017 Season, some great literary characters come to life. From two famous characters of classic French literature, the romantic Cyrano de Bergerac and the tragic Thérèse Raquin, to two Aussie teenagers searching for answers in a charming version of the classic Australian novel Jasper Jones, and a re-imagined version of Shakespeare’s ragtag troupe of amateur thespians in the silly romp The Popular Mechanicals. There are characters that give us a window into the current issues of our society. The real-life (or is it urban legend?) Kurdish woman soldier ‘The Angel of Kobane’, is brought to the stage in the Edinburgh Festival hit, Angel. And a cavalcade of extraordinary characters shed light on everything from the centuries-long suffering of our First Nations people (The 7 Stages of Grieving), to how we think about the value of art (Bakersfield Mist), and how individuals deal with the changing face of a once-industrial community like Wollongong (Diving for Pearls). A motley crew of characters will expose some fundamental human emotions. As one might expect, love gets quite an airing - a couple struggle with it in Shaun Parker’s hilariously physical Blue Love, and a surprising group of fantasy characters sing to us of love’s sweetness and heartbreak in our incredible new musical theatre work The Outside Man. Expectation, regret and joy are revealed through a series of significant birthday parties in the stunning ‘headphone verbatim’ piece Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday. Oh, and then there’s also a big party in a tent! The inaugural Spiegeltent Wollongong season kicks off with the disco-fuelled VELVET, starring Australia’s much-loved diva Marcia Hines. Theatre is very much a shared experience, so it isn’t only on the stage that you’ll find extraordinary characters. As you take your seat, look around you. Our community is filled with great characters, and a lot of them are Season Ticket Holders here at Merrigong!

So join us this year in celebrating the characters of the theatre – all of them, including you! Simon Hinton Artistic Director / CEO 1

The best seats in the house are reserved for you... There are dozens of great reas ons to b ec ome a Seas on Ticket Holder… here’s just a few!

Brilliant Theatre Wollongong has become both a powerhouse of producing new theatre, and an essential destination on the national touring circuit. A Merrigong Season Ticket is your passport to experience a curated year of shows, including work from Australia’s best-known performing arts companies, international shows, Merrigong’s own creations, and innovative new work from up-and-coming independents.

B ig Savings Season Tickets are great value. Every Season Ticket offers a significant discount, and the more shows you see, the more you save! You can save up to 44% on single ticket prices. Plus, there are no transaction fees on Season Tickets. Ever.

The Best Seats The earlier you book, the better your seats! Returning 2016 Season Ticket Holders get priority access to the best seats in the house until Friday 9 December 2016. Seats for most shows are then exclusively available for Season Ticket Holders (returning and new) until Monday 16 January 2017.


Cheap Tickets For Your Friends and Family Is there a show you know your friend will just love? What about the kids? You can get unlimited single tickets, many at discounted prices, at the same time as you book your Season Ticket. And of course you’ll be seated together. Just enter the number of tickets in the ‘Additional Tickets’ section of your booking form.

Flexibility Free Tickets Introduce a friend and you’ll get a free ticket to the Theatre Season show of your choice. To be eligible, your friend must list you on their Season Ticket booking form. (Only valid when introducing a first-time Season Ticket Holder at a different residential address to yours). Purchase a Season Ticket to ten or more shows, and you’ll get an additional ticket free to any of the Theatre Season shows in your package – ideal to share with a friend or loved one. This must be booked at the same time as your Season Ticket and match one of your performance selections.

Pay Half Now, Half Later You can choose to pay for half of your Season Ticket when booking, and the remainder in April 2017 – well after Christmas! (A handling fee of $9 applies).

Plans changed? Swap each ticket in your Season Ticket package once for free into any other Season 2017 performance. Unlimited additional exchanges can be made for a small fee of $4.75 per ticket, per exchange. (Where ticket prices vary, the difference will be charged).

Help Make Great Theatre Purchase a Season Ticket to ten or more shows and receive an offer for a free ticket to our RUFF – New Works in Progress showings, so you can be a vital part of the theatre-making process.

Merrigong Loyalty C ard Enjoy 10% off at The Social @ IPAC with your exclusive Merrigong Loyalty Card, every day of the year. Bon Appétit!


Original cast. Photo by Rosalind Furlong

“Outstanding new writing… a magnificent, challenging show… delivers with an intensity and wit that breaks the heart.” - THE SCOTSMAN


Angel By Henry Naylor

The ‘Angel of Kobane’ c omes to life in this riveting, sp ellbinding p erformanc e. ngel created a sensation at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe: selling out its entire four week run, winning several awards, including the coveted Fringe First, and garnering numerous five star reviews. Now, Merrigong is bringing this powerful, vivid new drama to Wollongong for its Australian debut. In 2014, the Northern Syrian town of Kobane is under siege by ISIS. The Jihadis are armed with modern tanks, howitzers and thousands of machine guns; the desperate people of Kobane, only with determination and ageing Russian rifles. Defeat seems inevitable. But after a brutal siege, which many commentators have since compared to Stalingrad, the attackers are surprisingly driven back. Instrumental in turning the tide are a group of female soldiers called the YPJ. At the centre of the fighting is a pistachio farmer’s daughter turned crack-shot sniper called Rehana – destined to be known as the ‘Angel of Kobane’, and the target of an ISIS manhunt. Inspired by true events, Angel is passionate but never preachy. This compelling and beautifully-scripted show from the UK, features a commanding performance that’s intense, witty and heartbreaking. DIRECTOR Michael Cabot PRODUCERS Karen Koren & Henry Naylor


RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr (no interval)

8 – 11 February

TICKETS $29 - $59 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online


RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 14+. Contains adult themes. bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 11 February, 30 mins after the matinee ends



Guy Simon. Photo by Brett Boardman.

“This much-loved novel is given a beautiful stage treatment… a warm and lively production… brilliantly cast.” - THE AUSTRALIAN


Jasper Jones Based on the novel by Craig Silvey | Adapted by Kate Mulvany

A c oming of age story for a generation, and a nation.


elvoir makes a welcome return to our stage with their smash-hit production of Craig Silvey’s award-winning novel.

The backblocks of Western Australia. It’s summer, 1965. Charlie Bucktin is 13 and smart. Overseas there’s war in Indochina, Civil Rights marches, the stirrings of women’s liberation – but at home Charlie Bucktin dreams of writing the Great Australian Novel. When blamed-for-everything Jasper Jones appears at his window one night, Charlie’s out of his depth. Jasper has stumbled on the body of a local girl in the scrub, and he knows he’s the first suspect – that goes with the colour of his skin. He needs every ounce of Charlie’s brains if the truth is to emerge. As the boys negotiate the secrets of a small town, the winds of change blow – but how do teenage Australians solve the riddles of a grown-up world? Delighting Sydney audiences in 2016, this production returns to Belvoir St Theatre due to popular demand before heading to Wollongong. Jasper Jones is enthralling storytelling – whimsical, funny, tragic and wise. DIRECTOR Anne-Louise Sarks SET DESIGNER Michael Hankin COSTUME DESIGNER Mel Page LIGHTING DESIGNER Matt Scott COMPOSER & SOUND DESIGNER Steve Toulmin FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHER Scott Witt CHOREOGRAPHER Sara Black INDIGENOUS ADVISOR Jada Alberts CAST Kate Box, Tom Conroy, Steve Le Marquand, Matilda Ridgway, Guy Simon, Hoa Xuande RUNNING TIME Approx. 2 hrs 20 mins (incl. interval)

22 – 25 February

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 13+. Contains simulated violence.


bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

TICKETS $49 - $84 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 23 Feb (both performances)

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 25 Feb, 30 mins after the matinee ends

AUDIO DESCRIPTION Saturday 25 Feb, 2pm

TACTILE TOUR Saturday 25 Feb, 12.30pm

LIVE CAPTIONING Saturday 25 Feb, 2pm


Ethan Green, Christian Tagliaferro, Malcolm Allison. Photo by Zakarij Kaczmarek

“A truly unique show… funny and intelligent… a tribute to the success that strong and inclusive collaborations deliver.” - SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE (for The Man Who Dreamt The Stars) A MERRIGONG THEATRE COMPANY PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE DISABILITY TRUST

The Outside Man Conceived by Anne-Louise Rentell, Daryl Wallis and the ensemble

LOVE. We all want it. We all need it. We all like to sing about it.


enture down a dark, rain-drenched alley, through an unmarked doorway to the depths of your subconscious, and step into cabaret night at The Sweet Wrapper Club.

Here, love doesn’t promise a happy ending. There’s no walking hand-in-hand on a beach in the glow of a glorious sunset. This is a world of dream vampires, lonely catbirds, bearded clowns, and hibernating bears. It is a song sung with a mouthful of fairy floss. Featuring an ensemble of performers, some of whom are perceived to have intellectual disabilities, The Outside Man is a new Merrigong work with a unique artistic vision resulting from our longterm partnership with The Disability Trust An anarchic performance in which our learnt experience of romantic love is hijacked and reimagined, The Outside Man is a brave, new and outrageously original musical theatre work, from the team that brought you The Man Who Dreamt the Stars in 2014. Featuring live musicians including Daryl Wallis (Dead Man Brake, Landscape with Monsters), The Outside Man is an entertaining, imaginative and touching exploration of our ability to love. DIRECTOR Anne-Louise Rentell COMPOSER/MUSICAL DIRECTOR Daryl Wallis SET DESIGNER Katja Handt DRAMATURG Caleb Lewis CAST Malcolm Allison, Elsie Croker, Ricky Gamble, Ethan Green, Rachel Head, Phillip Prentice, Christian Tagliaferro

15 - 25 March

RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr 30 mins (no interval)


RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 13+. Contains adult themes.


TICKETS $29 - $59 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday March 23

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 25 March, 30 mins after the matinee ends

AUDIO DESCRIPTION Saturday March 25, 2.30pm

TACTILE TOUR Saturday 25 March, 1pm

LIVE CAPTIONING Saturday March 25, 2.30pm



“A show that’s big, brash, noisy and buckets of fun. The audience is whipped into a frenzy of disco glitterball nostalgia.” - THE GUARDIAN (UK)


VELVET A divine dis c othe que circus.


elcome to Wonderland…Boogie Wonderland! Slip behind the red velvet rope to visit a glitter ball world of fantastic sensory overload!

VELVET is a seductive fusion of disco, dance and circus that will take you on an electrifying journey to a world of glamour and abandon. Loosely inspired by Studio 54, and staring an international ensemble including legendary diva Marcia Hines, this is a raucous party with an exhilarating disco soundtrack that never lets up. Having dazzled audiences around the globe, VELVET arrives to headline the greatly anticipated inaugural Spiegeltent Wollongong season in the stunning 1920s Aurora Spiegeltent. Travelling from its home in Belgium to adorn the Arts Precinct, the ‘mirror tent’ will house not only VELVET but dozens of other events. The full Spiegeltent Wollongong program, jam packed with the very best in comedy, cabaret, burlesque and music will be announced in early 2017. With the best seats for VELVET available first to Merrigong Season Ticket Holders, don’t miss the disco inferno that is VELVET, where every second entices you into a world of fun, funk and glamour! DIRECTOR Craig Ilott CHOREOGRAPHER Lucas Newland LIGHTING DESIGNER Matthew Marshall SET & COSTUMER DESIGNER James Browne CAST Joe Accaria, Kaylah Attard, Emma Goh, Marcia Hines, Mirko Kockenberger, Rechelle Mansour, Tom Oliver, Craig Reid, Stephen Williams

8 – 30 April

RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr 20 mins (no interval)

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 10+. SPIEGELTENT WOLLONGONG TICKETS $49 - $79 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online ARTS PRECINCT bookings (excluding Season Tickets).



Chenoa Deemal. Photo by Aaron Tait.

“Ten seconds into Jason Klarwein’s magnificent new production and you’re hooked by the sense of history.” – THE AUSTRALIAN A QUEENSLAND THEATRE AND GRIN AND TONIC TROUPE PRODUCTION

The 7 Stages of Grieving By Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman

Wise, p oignant and p owerful storytelling. emaining a vital Australian masterwork 20 years after it was penned, The 7 Stages of Grieving is a wise and powerful play about the grief of Aboriginal people and the hope of reconciliation. In this stunning new adaptation, the immensely talented Chenoa Deemal (last seen at Merrigong in Rainbow’s End) spins poignant stories of different people from different mobs – tear-streaked tales of tragedy go hand-in-hand with jubilant celebrations of survival. Funny, devastating, politically relevant and culturally profound, The 7 Stages of Grieving is an invitation for all of us to face hard truths, and to join hands and grieve. Written by two of Australia’s most respected artists, Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman, The 7 Stages of Grieving has been skillfully updated to reflect our contemporary climate. The show shares true and personal stories that need to keep being told. And most importantly, it opens a dialogue about the issues that both separate and unite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. DIRECTOR Jason Klarwein DESIGNER Jessica Ross LIGHTING DESIGNER Daniel Anderson SOUND AND PROJECTION DESIGNER Justin Harrison CAST Chenoa Deemal

RUNNING TIME Approx. 55 mins (no interval)

23 – 27 May

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 14+. Contains adult themes.


bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

TICKETS $29 - $59 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 25 May (both performances)

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 27 May, 30 mins after the matinee ends

AUDIO DESCRIPTION Saturday 27 May, 2.30pm

TACTILE TOUR Saturday 27 May, 1pm


Original cast. Photo by Lachlan Woods

“Beautifully paced and engaging theatre… Directed with skill and style, compressing the terrific density of Zola’s novel into a stark but subtle drama.” - THE AGE


Thérèse Raquin Adapted from the Emile Zola novel by Gary Abrahams

An exquisite adaptation of a masterpiece of French literature.


ausing great controversy when the novel was first published over 150 years ago, Thérèse Raquin is Emile Zola’s superb examination of corrupted morals. Set in the notoriously dingy backstreets of late 19th Century Paris, this carnal and corset-filled thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. Thérèse lives a life of servitude, married to her sickly cousin in a loveless, arranged marriage. But her melancholy is marred by the arrival of Laurent, her husband’s friend, with whom she begins a passionate, feverish affair. This stunning and critically acclaimed production was nominated for six Green Room Awards across categories of design, direction and performance. Director Gary Abrahams has crafted an original and unique adaptation of this renowned classic work of French literature, bringing to the production a heightened sense of drama and a raw and immediate passion. Thérèse Raquin is an affecting, visually splendid, emotional rollercoaster ride. DIRECTOR Gary Abrahams SET DESIGNER Jacob Battista COSTUME DESIGNER Chloe Greaves LIGHTING DESIGNER Katie Sfetkidis ORIGINAL MUSIC Christopher De Groot CAST INCLUDES Marta Kaczmarek, Rhys McConnochie RUNNING TIME Approx. 2 hrs 15 mins (incl. interval)

7 – 10 June

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 16+. Contains strong language & adult themes.


(excluding Season Tickets).

TICKETS $49 - $79 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 8 June

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 10 June, 30 mins after the matinee ends

AUDIO DESCRIPTION Saturday 10 June, 2pm

TACTILE TOUR Saturday 10 June, 12.30pm

LIVE CAPTIONING Saturday 10 June, 2pm


Lucia Mastrantone and Shaun Parker. Photo by Simon Wachter

“Blue Love is so much fun it can’t possibly be good for you.” - THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD


Blue Love By Shaun Parker

Very c o ol, very clever and very, very funny.


rom award-winning choreographer and dancer Shaun Parker (So You Think You Can Dance, Moulin Rouge) comes Blue Love, a quirky, character-based infusion of film, physical theatre, music, dance and comedy. Glenn and Rhonda Flune live in a fantasy world where TV soap meets art-house film. They invite you to join them on a quirky and surprising expedition in search of the perfect relationship! Inspired by famous works of art, theatre, music, and film, all of which deal with the concept of love, Blue Love is a poetic and satirical take on the clichés of pop culture, romance, ‘coupledom’ and suburbia. It’s a tight package of snappy acting, smooth dancing, superb singing and a fat dose of funny, that’s both accessible and enormously entertaining. WRITER/DESIGNER/CHOREOGRAPHER Shaun Parker ORIGINAL DIRECTION Shaun Parker & Jo Stone DRAMATURG Kate Champion PERFORMED BY Shaun Parker, Lucia Mastrantone & Jo Stone RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr 5 mins (no interval)

19 – 22 July

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 16+. Contains nudity and strong language.


(excluding Season Tickets).

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 20 July

TICKETS $29 - $59 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 22 July, 30 mins after the matinee ends


John Wood and Julie Nihill. Photo by Gina Milicia

“A wry two-hander that handles highbrow artistic issues while zinging in plenty of uproarious one-liners. A perfect marriage of emotion and ideas that is rare indeed.” - LOS ANGELES TIMES THE TASMANIAN THEATRE COMPANY AND STRAIGHTJACKET PRODUCTIONS IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE KARRALYKA CENTRE

Bakersfield Mist By Stephen Sachs

Is the value of art in the eye of the b eholder?


ased on a true story, Bakersfield Mist is a hilarious and thought-provoking comedy-drama that asks vital questions about what makes art, and people, truly authentic.

Maude (Julie Nihill), an unemployed bartender, bought a painting for a few bucks from an ‘op shop’. Despite almost trashing it, she now thinks it’s a Jackson Pollock worth millions. In fact, she’s certain it is. But when world-class art expert Lionel Percy (Gold Logie Award-winner John Wood) flies over from New York and arrives at her trailer park home in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting, he really has no idea what he’s about to discover. From the team that brought us 2015’s Sex with Strangers comes a clever and funny examination of the value of art, self-worth, expertise, and the nature of criticism. DIRECTOR Lucy Freeman SET DESIGNER Jill Munro LIGHTING DESIGNER Scott Allan SOUND DESIGNER Heath Brown CAST John Wood, Julie Nihill RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr 25 mins (no interval)

2 – 5 August

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 12+. Contains strong language.


(excluding Season Tickets).

TICKETS $49 - $79 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 3 August

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 5 August, 30 mins after the matinee ends

AUDIO DESCRIPTION Saturday 5 August, 2pm

TACTILE TOUR Saturday 5 August, 12.30pm

LIVE CAPTIONING Saturday 5 August, 2pm


Original cast. Photo by Jess Busby


Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday By Roslyn Oades & Collaborators

A c elebration of the b ookends of a life fully lived.


ello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday celebrates two epic birthdays – eighteen and eighty, the major transition points in adult life. One represents untold potential; the other, the accumulation of a lifetime of experiences. Filled with humour and heartache, this production employs Roslyn Oades’ ground-breaking ‘headphone verbatim’ technique. Rather than reciting memorised lines, the actors wear headphones and speak aloud carefully edited real-life audio interviews, including every inflection, cough, stumble and breath. This results in performances that are extraordinarily immediate and vivid. Winner of a Green Room Award for Outstanding Writing, Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday is one of the most charming shows you will ever see; a truly celebratory glimpse of the vitality and resistance of those grappling with how to say goodbye; and those unsure where to begin. It is playful and affecting in equal measure. DIRECTOR Roslyn Oades MOVEMENT DIRECTOR Nat Cursio SCRIPT DRAMATURG Raimondo Cortese SOUND DESIGN Bob Scott & Russell Goldsmith LIGHTING DESIGNER Paul Jackson SET & COSTUME DESIGNER Christina Hayes CAST Matthew Connell, Jim Daly, Evelyn Krape, HaiHa Le Tour produced by Performing Lines

30 August – 2 September

RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr 10 mins (no interval)


bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 14+. Contains strong language. TICKETS $29 - $59 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 31 August (both performances)

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 2 September, 30 mins after the matinee ends

AUDIO DESCRIPTION Saturday 2 September, 2.30pm

TACTILE TOUR Saturday 2 September, 1pm



Original cast. Photo by Seiya Taguchi

“...little short of magnificent. Highly recommended.” - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD


Cyrano de Bergerac By Edmond Rostand | Adapted by Damien Ryan

One of theatre’s great romantic c omedies.


ne of the world’s most original and finely crafted romantic comedies, this is the tale of the beautiful Roxane and the man who would love her. The play that brought the word ‘panache’ into the English language, Cyrano de Bergerac is a masterwork of French literature. Still as funny and captivating as when it was written in the late 1890s, Rostand’s story of the soldier-poet with the outsized nose and larger-than life personality is a brilliant blend of wordplay and swordplay, adventure and romance, humour and heartbreak. Dominating the 2013 Sydney Theatre Awards, this poetic, engaging and thoroughly entertaining production from independent Sydney company, Sport for Jove, brings the epic story to life. Full of passion, comedy and humanity, Cyrano de Bergerac is a complete theatrical masterpiece. DIRECTOR Damien Ryan DESIGNER Anna Gardiner & Barry French SOUND DESIGN AND VIDEOGRAPHY David Stalley FIGHT & MOVEMENT Scott Witt CAST Barry French, Bernadette Ryan, Christopher Stalley, Christopher Tomkinson, Damien Ryan, Drew Livingston, Francesca Savige, James Lugton, John Turnbull, Lizzie Schebesta, Madeleine Jones, Scott Sheridan RUNNING TIME Approx. 3 hrs 10 mins (incl. interval)

13 – 16 September IMB THEATRE POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 14 Sept (both performances)

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 10+. Contains simulated violence. TICKETS $49 - $79 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 16 Sept, 30 mins after the matinee ends

LIVE CAPTIONING Saturday 16 September, 1pm


Original cast. Photo by Shane Reid

“Monty Python eat your heart out... 5 rubber chooks out of 5.” - STAGE WHISPERS A STATE THEATRE COMPANY SOUTH AUSTRALIA PRODUCTION

The Popular Mechanicals By Keith Robinson, William Shakespeare and Tony Taylor Original direct ion by Geoffrey Rush

A perfect romp that delivers in the silliest ways imaginable.


irst directed by Geoffrey Rush in 1987, The Popular Mechanicals holds a special place in the Australian comedic canon, and this hysterically funny revival features a cast of fine theatrical pranksters including Helpmann Award-winner Julie Forsyth (The Dream). Shakespeare’s greatest clowns — the six endearingly amateur actors who give a daffy royal command performance for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream — take centre stage in this wild reimagining of what might have happened off-stage during the Bard’s most loved comedy. The troupe bumbles its way through rehearsals of Pyramus and Thisbe, somehow surviving the misadventures brought on by their own sheer idiocy. The result is a riotously funny mix of Shakespearean verse, song and dance that is lewd, rude and ingenious. Clowning, vaudeville, slapstick, farce, stand-up comedy and some hilarious puppetry come together to create an anarchic and bawdy carnival that revels in its own theatricality. DIRECTOR Sarah Giles DESIGNER Jonathon Oxlade LIGHTING DESIGNER Mark Pennington COMPOSER/SOUND DESIGNER/MUSICAL DIRECTOR David Heinrich CHOREOGRAPHER Gabrielle Nankivell CAST INCLUDES Lori Bell, Julie Forsyth, Charles Mayer, Tim Overton, Rory Walker RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr 30 mins (no interval)

18 – 21 October

RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 13+. Contains adult themes.


bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 19 Oct (both performances)

TICKETS $49 - $79 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 21 Oct, 30 mins after the matinee ends


Ursula Yovich. Photo by Brett Boardman

“Katherine Thomson’s potent play is a heroic... howl for justice in the workforce. Diving for Pearls gives hope to the Australian Theatre” - THE MAIL


Diving for Pearls By Katherine Thomson

A modern Australian classic inspired by our own backyard.


ward-winning writer, and one of the founders of Wollongong’s original professional theatre company, Theatre South, Katherine Thomson has written one of the great Australian plays. Set in Wollongong during the economic rationalism of the ‘80s, Diving for Pearls is both iconic and startlingly relevant. With the town she grew up in changing all around her, Barbara is determined to change with it. Dreaming of a way out, she sets her sights on a job at one of the new resorts popping up all over town. Meanwhile, Den is having change forced upon him. The steelworks he’s worked at his whole life has been sold and Den must reinvent himself to survive. The arrival of Barbara’s daughter, Verge, just might be the thing that tips Barbara and Den over the edge. Australia’s most acclaimed new-writing company, Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company continues its tradition of reviving the very best of Australian works, with a vibrant new production of Diving for Pearls. Directed by Darren Yap (Letters to Lindy) and starring Helpmann Award-winning actor Ursula Yovich, this is a vivid, dramatic and wryly hilarious testament to a significant period in the history of Australian industrial communities. DIRECTOR Darren Yap CAST INCLUDES Ursula Yovich RUNNING TIME Approx. 2 hrs 30 mins (incl. interval)

1 – 5 November



bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

TICKETS $49 - $79 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online

POST-SHOW Q&A Thursday 2 Nov (both performances)

MERRIGONG TALKING POINT Saturday 4 Nov, 30 mins after the matinee ends

AUDIO DESCRIPTION Saturday 4 November, 2.30pm

TACTILE TOUR Saturday 4 November, 1pm


Theatre Season Extras As part of our 2017 Season there are some great events that can help you learn more about the shows that you see, the art of theatre-making and how it relates to the community in which we live. So please take a peek behind-the-scenes with these great little extras.



For most Theatre Season shows we offer at least one performance with a post-show Q&A, which offers you the opportunity to ask questions of the members of the cast or creative team. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain deeper insights into a show and how it was made. Dates for performances with post-show Q&As are noted on the ‘Year at a Glance’ page at the back of the brochure.

Merrigong Talking Points are an eclectic series of talks that complement Theatre Season shows, offering an opportunity to learn more about theatre, the arts, and the world around us. Talking Points run for approximately one hour and are free. No bookings required. Talking Points are held for each Theatre Season show (except VELVET), starting 30 minutes after the end of Saturday matinee performances. Check show information for dates.


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The Social is the perfect choice for pre-show dining. Boasting an impressive al fresco space, the café provides a relaxed urban setting to meet colleagues, friends and family. The menu features delicious seasonal delicacies, fabulous desserts and a sophisticated drinks menu.



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For more information: or 02 4224 5932 *Valid on presentation of a Merrigong Loyalty Card. Conditions apply.

“Wispelwey’s playing is at once supremely lyrical and furiously intense” - THE GUARDIAN (UK)


Pieter Wispelwey & the SSO The Sydney Symphony Orchestra returns to Wollongong with a c onc ert to make you smile.


enowned Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey joins the musicians of the SSO for an uplifting evening of music by Haydn and Mozart. You can expect pure Classical delight, with music designed to entertain and surprise. Haydn’s Evening Symphony will show off the musicians at their very best. Mozart’s serenade for wind instruments brings an unexpected dramatic atmosphere. And the virtuosity of Haydn’s D major cello concerto makes for a rousing finale. Hear the SSO in the Wollongong Town Hall for one night only! PROGRAM INCLUDES HAYDN Symphony No.8, Evening MOZART Serenade for winds, K388 HAYDN Cello Concerto No.2 in D

Pieter Wispelwey. Photo by Bejamin Ealovega

CELLO-DIRECTOR Pieter Wispelwey


RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr 30 mins (incl. interval) RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 12+. TICKETS $15 - $59 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

Add-On Show


“Has no equivalent anywhere else in the country” - DAILY REVIEW


The Wharf Revue 2017 Written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsy the and Phillip Scott

Australians all let us rejoice for the return of The Wharf Revue! The unstoppable comedic minds of Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott have been keeping the nation’s political and cultural leaders on their metaphorical toes since before Sydney hosted the Olympics. In 2017, they return with an all-new, up-to-the-minute, fibre-to-the-node dose of side-splitting sketches and rib-tickling songs. (BYO hyphens). From the highs to the lows, expect a parade of the year’s most memorable characters - and the moments they’d prefer to forget. So, whether you want to calm your nerves or double your disillusion, we all need a fresh serve of laughter, dance and foolishness. And The Wharf Revue is here to deliver (in spades). MUSICAL DIRECTOR Phillip Scott LIGHTING DESIGNER Matthew Marshall CAST INCLUDES Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe, Phillip Scott

23 – 27 August IMB THEATRE

RUNNING TIME Approx. 1hr 30 mins (no interval) RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 15+. Contains strong language. TICKETS $49 - $79 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).


Add-On Show

Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott. Photo by James Green for Sydney Theatre Company.

Holding the balanc e of laughter.

“A rare work, as thought-provoking as it is heart-stopping...” - DAILY REVIEW


Landscape with Monsters Created by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa Ensemble

Our breathtakingly original circus-theatre creation returns for one night only! If you missed it the first time, or want to relive this magical experience, here’s your chance. In 2016, right here in Wollongong, Merrigong and Circa forged a new type of circus, and now it’s being seen around the world. In Landscape with Monsters there are no traditional circus acts, no trapezes and not a red nose in sight. Instead, from a world of simple wooden boxes, a hard floor and tall metal structures, the meeting between ourselves and our environment is thrillingly brought to life. In this telling of the story of the transforming of our industrial city, metal and wooden objects intersect with fast-paced acrobatics. This intensely physical show is at once humorous and brutal, savage and beautiful.

Circua Ensemble. Photo by Lisa Tomasetti

Set to a soundtrack of popular songs and electronic music, Landscape with Monsters is bursting with the thrills that are the hallmarks of Circa performances. Don’t miss it in its strictly limited return season as part of an extensive Australian tour. DIRECTOR Yaron Lifschitz ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR Alice Lee Holland SOUND DESIGNER Daryl Wallis LIGHTING AND AV DESIGN Toby Knyvett SET AND CIRCUS APPARATUS DESIGN Jason Organ COSTUME DESIGN Libby McDonnell


RUNNING TIME Approx. 1 hr 10 mins (no interval) RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 10+. TICKETS $49 - $79 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

Add-On Show 31


13 – 14 January IMB THEATRE CREATED BY Jonathan Rockefeller DIRECTOR Naomi Edwards PRODUCER Michael Sieders SET DESIGN James Browne PUPPETS CREATED BY Puppet Kitchen COSTUME DESIGN Andrea Espinoza


LIGHTING DESIGNER Nicholas Rayment COMPOSER/SOUND DESIGNER Nate Edmondson COMPOSER Steven Baker WITH Rory Kelly, Dannielle Jackson, Justine Warner and Drew Wilson RUNNING TIME 50 mins (no interval) RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 2+. ALL TICKETS $37

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the most popular children’s books of all time. Children young and old have followed the adventures of a very tiny and very hungry caterpillar as he ate his way through an amazing variety of foods on his journey of friendship and magical transformation into a beautiful butterfly.

A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

Now, this wonderful Australian production brings The Very Hungry Caterpillar to life on stage, combining with other classic Eric Carle tales - The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse, Mr. Seahorse and The Very Lonely Firefly to excite, educate and entertain readers and first-time theatre-goers. With 75 magical puppets created by New York’s Puppet Kitchen, this larger-than-life production will delight and excite the whole family.

Photo by Louis Dillon-Savage




11 – 12 April IMB THEATRE

Based on the book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley Millions of young people around the world have adored the multi award-winning picture book, Diary of a Wombat, and now this delightful tale from Australian Children’s Laureate (2014/15), Jackie French and Bruce Whatley comes to the stage. Meet Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. Bored with her daily routine, Mothball goes in search of shelter and food, creating chaos in the lives of the humans around her. Doormats, bins and washing lines are no match for this mischievous marsupial. Between a packed schedule of scratching, sleeping and eating, Mothball discovers that with a bit of persistence, humans are quite easily trained! Acclaimed children’s theatre company Monkey Baa (The Peasant Prince, Pete the Sheep) use the magic of puppetry and live music to bring Diary of a Wombat to life on stage.

DIRECTOR Eva Di Cesare PUPPETRY AND MOVEMENT DIRECTOR Alice Osborne SET AND COSTUME DESIGNER Imogen Ross COMPOSER Oonagh Sherrard LIGHTING DESIGNER Matt Cox SOUND DESIGNER Kingsley Reeve PUPPET DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION Bryony Anderson CONCEPTUALISED BY Sandra Eldridge, Tim McGarry and Eva Di Cesare RUNNING TIME Approx. 45 mins (no interval) POST SHOW Q&A After every performance RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 3+. ALL TICKETS $29 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).



“Boisterous fun…the young audience…thoroughly enjoy[ed] this quality production” - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

A play by Maryam Master, based on the book by David Walliams David Walliams’ (Little Britain) award-winning book comes to life on stage in this hilarious production directed by Jonathan Biggins (The Wharf Revue, Pete The Sheep). It all starts when Chloe, just about the loneliest girl in the world, makes friends with Mr Stink, the local tramp. Sure he smells a bit, but he’s the only person who’s ever been nice to her. So when Mr Stink needs a place to stay, Chloe decides to hide him in the garden shed, and discovers there just might be more to Mr Stink than meets the nose… The team behind the stage productions of The 13, 26 and 52-Storey Treehouses return with this very smelly tale…hold on to your nose! DIRECTOR Jonathan Biggins SET DESIGN James Browne COSTUME DESIGN Lucy Scott SOUND DESIGN Daryl Wallis LIGHTING DESIGN Nicolas Higgins CHOREOGRAPHER/PUPPETRY Shondelle Pratt


14 –15 JULY IMB THEATRE RUNNING TIME 60 mins (no interval) RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 6+. ALL TICKETS $29 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).



Written by Richard Higgins and Matt Kelly

6 - 7 October

They’re back! Australia’s fave kid’s comedians, The Listies, are bringing their best-smelling book ICKYPEDIA: A Dictionary of Disgusting New Words to the stage!


ICKYPEDIA LIVE is a seriously silly show that answers all of life’s important questions: How do you take a SMELLFIE? What does POOETRY sound like? Who is the world’s worst chef? What is a HOOTENGRANNY? And how does one avoid a FARTQUAKE? Anarchic, spontaneous and astoundingly funny, ICKYPEDIA LIVE will uneducate and delight audiences young and old.


RUNNING TIME Approx. 60 mins (no interval) RECOMMENDED FOR Ages 6+. ALL TICKETS $32 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

Merrigong Creativity Camps


During the 2017 April, July and October school holidays, Merrigong Theatre Company will again hold its renowned Creativity Camps. Open to any child 5 - 13 years of age, these camps build self-confidence, creative and social skills. The perfect school holiday activity. Under the guidance and supervision of professional performing artists and qualified educators, children will be taken on a journey of creative exploration culminating in a performance for family and friends at the conclusion of each camp. Creativity Camps aim to expand each Camper’s imaginative world. Children will develop their storytelling and acting skills through improvisation and other activities, and get the opportunity to learn about set, costume and prop design by working with a professional theatre designer who, in collaboration with them, creates the design elements for the end-of-week performance. Our camps are fun, educational and encourage Campers to develop ongoing friendships with other like-minded children, many of whom attend the camps on an ongoing basis.

10 – 13 April 10 – 14 July 3 – 6 October RUNNING TIME 6 hrs each day,

9am – 3pm (incl. lunch break) AGE Children 5 – 13 years are

placed into groups based on age and confidence. COST

4 day camps (April & October): $240 5 day camp (July): $290 20% discount for additional siblings or when booking all three camps. A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

Costs include a ticket to see the scheduled school holiday kids’ show at IPAC with the group (see page 33 - 34 for show details).


Make it @Merrigong Merrigong fosters professional theatre-making in our region through our Make it @Merrigong program commissioning, developing and producing new theatre works in-house, and supporting the development and presentation of work by independent artists. Throughout the year we present opportunities for you to engage with this work through various performance platforms.

RUFF - New Works in Progress Want to know what’s cooking in the minds of the Merrigong creatives? Wondering what’s hiding in Hinton’s head? RUFF is your chance to get inside the machine and be part of our theatre-making process. Join us in the Bruce Gordon Theatre on a Saturday morning (maybe with a fresh coffee from The Social) and enjoy ‘work-in-progress’ readings/showings of the works we have in the works, possibly destined for your stage in future seasons. Get the inside scoop, and join us afterwards for an informal post-show chat where you’ll have your chance to give us feedback and have some input into the development of the work.

Saturday 13 May / Saturday 14 October Bruce Gordon Theatre TICKETS $15

Letters to Lindy RUFF reading.

A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).


Re:group Performance Collective, Route Dash Niner

Merrigong Studio Sessions In 2017, our Merrigong Studio Sessions series picks up where we left off in 2016, diversifying and spreading through our different venues and spaces, presenting the hottest independent talent that the ‘Gong has to offer. See the first fully produced public outings of exciting, contemporary new independent works, developed on-site. In 2016, Merrigong Studio Sessions were super popular, so with limited seating available, make sure you keep an eye out for announcements of 2017 artists, dates and venues. TICKETS $19 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

RAW Comedy 2016 finalists. Photo by MICF / Jim Lee Photo

Money Killed Jonny. Photo by Caz Nowacyzk

Made from Scratch In 2017 we’ll be popping the champagne as our new Made from Scratch program sails into The Music Lounge at The Wollongong Town Hall! Made from Scratch is four fabulously fringy nights of fun featuring some of the freshest cuts from the Illawarra. Enjoy raw and rare talent showcasing everything from comedy, poetry, music, dance, cabaret, circus and script! And of course the bar! Got something you’d like to try? Call-outs for performers will happen early in 2017!

Saturday 25 March / 10 June / 2 September / 18 November The Music Lounge, Wollongong Town Hall TICKETS $19 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).

Raw Comedy 2017 Come and support the best up-and-coming comedians in the region as they take part in Australia’s biggest and most prestigious open mic comedy competition… or step up to the mic yourself!

Thursday 16 February Wollongong Town Hall TICKETS $29 A per transaction fee of $6.90 applies for phone and online bookings (excluding Season Tickets).


Merrigong in Our Community Our community is the principal inspiration for our creation and curation and provides the genesis of the creative conversations we seed. Merrigong delivers arts-based programs that support the cultural development and expression of targeted groups within our community, implementing program offerings that address specific, identified community needs or outcomes.

Sharing Stories Reconciliation Week 2017

This intergenerational project returns in 2017. Local Elders share their stories with the younger generation, who are encouraged to creatively express these stories through dance, song, theatre, visual art and puppetry. Sharing Stories is a heart-warming, spectacular, joyous celebration of reconciliation, produced in association with Wollongong City Council.

Friday 2 June Wollongong Town Hall TICKETS ‘Pay-as-you-feel’

Altogether Drama

Young Playwrights Project

Merrigong Theatre Company has a longterm partnership with The Disability Trust, providing adults with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a program of activities working with professional theatre artists.

Run in collaboration with The Drama Studio at IPAC, The Young Playwrights Project showcases the talents of Wollongong’s youngest playwrights and performers.

We offer weekly drama classes on Saturdays, and Weekend Workshop Intensives, all taught by theatre professionals. The fun and creative program provides opportunities for participants to learn skills such as clowning, music, costume, film-making, hula hooping, movement, improvising, story-telling and working with video and lighting technology. Enquiries: Michael Norris on 02 4255 3100 or email


All young playwrights with an exciting 10 – 15 minute play they would love to see on stage are invited to apply. Scripts are assessed by professional practitioners, and the playwrights selected will work with a mentor to develop their play over a four week period in July/August 2017. At the end of this process, young actors from The Drama Studio will perform the works and playwrights will be able to enjoy their scripts brought to life on stage in late August. Enquiries: Education Coordinator at

Sharing Stories 2016. Photo by Bernie Fraser.

Sharing Stories exploded onto the stage in 2016 when 60 young local Indigenous performers shared their talents, creativity, identity and stories on the stage.

Support Merrigong There are a number of ways you can support Merrigong, helping us continue to create new local theatre and provide access for all in our community to the finest theatre and creative experiences possible. We’re one of only a handful of regional theatre companies that is committed to commissioning, developing and producing new theatre – telling important stories about our region. We also support independent artists through our Make it @Merrigong program, and deliver a number of community-focused programs, such as our long-term creative partnership with The Disability Trust.

BECOME A DONOR As a not-for-profit organisation, the support of our donors plays an essential role in what we can achieve both on and off the stage. Your contribution, big or small, can make a huge difference. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.



Can subsidise the cost of live audio describing a play for our blind or visionimpaired patrons.


Can help subsidise 50 students from a socio-economically disadvantaged school through our Passport to Performance program.


Can help pay for a 2-day workshop connecting professional artists with 20 participants with a disability.


Can subsidise a two-week creative development of a new work by a local, independent artist through our Merrigong Studio Sessions program.

When you make a donation of $200 or more you become part of Merrigong’s Inner Circle. For 12 months, Inner Circle donors will:  Be recognised as a valued donor on IPAC foyer displays and website  Receive a VIP invitation and reserved seating at Merrigong’s Season Launch  Receive occasional invitations to exclusive events  Receive regular updates on how donations are being used to support our programs.

CONSIDER A BEQUEST If your love of the theatre inspires you to ensure future generations have exciting arts opportunities, contact us to find out how to go about setting up a bequest.

DONATE YOUR TIME Join our great team of people who volunteer their time on everything from ushering to assisting in office.

CORPORATE ENGAGEMENT Align your organisation and receive unique benefits when you sponsor Merrigong through financial and in-kind support.

HOW TO SUPPORT US Cash donations can be made via the attached booking form or online at support. For further information on how you can support Merrigong please contact Judi Douglas on 02 4224 5902 or email 39

Choose the package that’s right for you! From 5 Shows through to the Whole Shebang, there’s a package that’s right for your needs and budget.

The Whole Shebang: 17-Show Season Ticket OUR BEST VALUE PACKAGE. SAVE UP TO 44%. What’s included:  Every show in our Theatre Season (12 Shows) + Add-On Shows (3 Shows) + RUFF – New Works in Progress (2 Shows)  Premium seating at discounted standard seating prices  One free ticket exchange per show  A Merrigong Loyalty Card  An invitation to Merrigong’s Season 2018 Launch, with premium reserve seating  One extra free ticket for a friend to any Theatre Season show






12, 10, 7 or 5-Show Season Tickets THE MORE YOU BUY, THE MORE YOU SAVE. ENJOY SAVINGS OF UP TO 38%. What’s included:  Your choice of 12, 10, 7 or 5 Theatre Season shows  One free ticket exchange per show  A Merrigong Loyalty Card  An invitation to Merrigong’s Season 2018 Launch  One extra free ticket for a friend to any Theatre Season show (12 and 10 Show packages only)  An invitation to a RUFF – New Works in Progress showing (12 and 10 Show packages only)

PREMIUM SEATING Rows F to J in IMB Theatre. Rows C to H in Bruce Gordon Theatre. Premium seating section in Spiegeltent.





























The Flexi 10 Pack Theatre Pass The Flexi allows you to take advantage of great savings on ticket prices, without locking yourself into any performances, dates or times upfront. Get one ticket to ten shows, or use all ten tickets on one show. You choose how to use them! Valid for standard seating to any Merrigong Season 2017 show. The Flexi 10 Pack must be purchased by Sunday 15 January, 2017. You can lock in your seats any time from Monday 16 January 2017. What’s included:  Our most flexible package  A Merrigong Loyalty Card  An invitation to Merrigong’s Season 2018 Launch






Season Tickets go on sale immediately following the Season Launch on Tuesday 8 November 2016.

Tickets cannot be refunded after purchase except if an event is cancelled, rescheduled or significantly relocated as outlined in the Live Performance Australia Ticketing Code of Practice. For more details, visit

There is a priority processing period for return 2016 Season Ticket Holders until Friday 9 December 2016. Single tickets for The Hungry Caterpillar Show are available for purchase now. Single tickets for Angel and Jasper Jones go on sale Monday 12 December 2016. Single tickets for all remaining shows go on sale Monday 16 January 2017.

PRIORITY BOOKING PERIOD Season Ticket booking forms are numbered in order of receipt. Processing begins immediately after the Launch, so to secure your favourite seats we recommend early lodgement of your form. Booking forms can be lodged in person at the IPAC Box Office, online, or via post, fax or email. You can also book season tickets online at

PROOF OF CONCESSION Discounted ticket prices are available for Pensioner Concession Card, Seniors Card or MEAA card holders, as well as full-time students. Proof of concession (such as a signed photocopy of your concession card) must be included with your booking form, and may also be requested prior to admission to the theatre.

UNDER 30S TICKETS Under 30s prices apply to all 2017 Theatre Season shows, and you can book these at the same time as booking your Season Ticket (in the Additional Tickets section). Proof of age is required when purchasing tickets at the Under 30s price. Please note that under 30s tickets are not available online. While we provide age recommendations for shows, parental discretion is advised.

TRANSACTION FEES No transaction fees are payable for counter purchases, or for Season Tickets and additional tickets purchased as part of your Season Ticket booking. A transaction fee of $6.90 applies to phone and internet bookings of single tickets.

PREMIUM SEATING Premium seating allocations and row numbers in this brochure only apply during priority booking period for Season Tickets until Friday 9 December 2016 and are subject to change after this date.

EXCHANGING TICKETS Season Ticket Holders can swap each ticket in their package once for free into another performance of the same show, or a performance of a different show in Merrigong’s 2017 Season. Where performance prices vary, the difference will be charged. Unlimited additional exchanges are permitted at an exchange fee of $4.75 per ticket, per exchange. You will need to return your original tickets to the box office at least 24 hours prior to the earliest performance.

PAY HALF NOW, HALF LATER If paying by credit card, you can choose to pay half of your Season Ticket (and any additional tickets) when booking. We’ll charge your card for the remaining 50% on or close to Wednesday 12 April 2017. (A $9.00 handling fee applies).

PATRON ASSISTANCE If you would like access to hearing assistance, wheelchair seating, audio description, or other assistance, please indicate this on your booking form, or advise Box Office at the time of booking.

SEASON TICKETS FOR GROUPS To ensure that your group is seated together, please ensure that all booking forms are returned at the same time (in the same envelope if possible). Please include the names and addresses of everyone in the group if using one booking form.

FAMILY OF 4 TICKETS Family of 4 tickets are available for selected Merrigong shows. Please note that there is a maximum of 2 adults per Family of 4 ticket.

HOW TO BOOK Online Visit and fill in the online form and submit. In person Complete the enclosed booking form and take to Box Office counter at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 32 Burelli St, Wollongong By Post Complete the enclosed booking form and post to Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, PO Box 786, Wollongong, 2520.



Selected seats in each theatre are held for patrons who use wheelchairs or have other mobility concerns. Patrons must advise the Box Office at the time of booking if they wish to access these.

Select performances are audio described for the benefit of patrons with low or no vision. Actions, expressions and gestures are described by professional describers trained by Vision Australia to bring out the true imagery in a performance.

COMPANION CARD Companion card holders are entitled to a ticket for their companion free of charge. These can only be booked in person or by phoning the Box Office. Please ensure you present your companion card when you collect your tickets.

HEARING ASSISTANCE The IMB Theatre has an FM system for hearing augmentation. The Bruce Gordon Theatre has an induction hearing loop compatible with T-switch hearing aids. Receivers can be obtained free of charge from the box office prior to performances.

LIVE CAPTIONING Select performances are captioned for patrons who are deaf or hearing impaired. Captions are displayed on screens at the side of the stage. Please check the seat map or mention live captioning when booking to ensure you are in the best position to make use of this service. The following Season 2017 performances will be captioned: Jasper Jones Saturday 25 Feb, 2pm The Outside Man Saturday 25 March, 2.30pm Thérèse Raquin Saturday 10 June, 2pm Bakersfield Mist Saturday 5 August, 2pm Cyrano de Bergerac Saturday 16 September, 1pm

LARGE-PRINT CAST SHEET Large-print, plain text copies of cast sheets for Theatre Season shows are available on request (with 5 days prior notice).

Patrons who are blind and/or vision impaired will hear the description through headsets. Please specify this service to Box Office staff when booking tickets, and if you will be attending the accompanying tactile tour. Season 2017 audio described performances: Jasper Jones Saturday 25 Feb, 2pm The Outside Man Saturday 25 March, 2.30pm The 7 Stages of Grieving Saturday 27 May, 2.30pm Thérèse Raquin Saturday 10 June, 2pm Bakersfield Mist Saturday 5 August, 2pm Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday Saturday 2 September, 2:30pm Diving for Pearls Saturday 4 November, 2.30pm

TACTILE TOURS Before audio described performances, patrons have the opportunity to participate in a 30-minute tactile tour. Being amongst the scenery establishes the scene and allows for a deeper theatrical experience for patrons who are vision impaired or blind. Bookings essential.

RELAXED PERFORMANCES Relaxed performances are designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an Autism Spectrum Condition or sensory and communication needs; young patrons who are toilet training; adults who need to move; or others with a range of real-life needs. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement, and some small changes made to the light and sound effects. Preliminary visits to your seat are available upon request. A social story will be made available to patrons. The following Season 2017 performances will be relaxed performances: Mr Stink Friday 14 July, 1pm For more information, please contact the Box Office on (02) 4224 5999. 43

Year at a Glance THEATRE SEASON Angel Wed 8 Feb, 7.30pm Thu 9 Feb, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 10 Feb, 7.30pm Sat 11 Feb, 2.30pm Sat 11 Feb, 7.30pm Mittagong Tues 7 Feb, 8pm Jasper Jones Wed 22 Feb, 8pm Thu 23 Feb, 11am Q&A Thu 23 Feb, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 24 Feb, 8pm Sat 25 Feb, 2pm AD C Sat 25 Feb, 8pm The Outside Man Wed 15 Mar, 7.30pm P Thu 16 Mar, 7.30pm P Fri 17 Mar, 7.30pm Sat 18 Mar, 7.30pm Wed 22 Mar, 7.30pm Thu 23 Mar, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 24 Mar, 7.30pm Sat 25 Mar, 2.30pm AD C Nowra Sat 1 Apr 7.30pm VELVET Sat 8 Apr, 4.30pm Sat 8 Apr, 8.30pm Sun 9 Apr, 4.30pm Sun 9 Apr, 8.30pm Tue 11 Apr, 8.30pm Wed 12 Apr, 8.30pm Thu 13 Apr, 8.30pm Fri 14 Apr, 8.30pm Sat 15 Apr 4.30pm Sat 15 Apr 8.30pm Additional performances from 16 – 30 April to be announced in early 2017 The 7 Stages of Grieving Tue 23 May, 7.30pm Wed 24 May, 7.30pm Thu 25 May, 11am Q&A Thu 25 May, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 26 May, 7.30pm Sat 27 May, 2.30pm AD Sat 27 May, 7.30pm


Thérèse Raquin Wed 7 Jun, 8pm Thu 8 Jun, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 9 Jun, 8pm Sat 10 June, 2pm AD C Sat 10 June, 8pm Blue Love Wed 19 Jul, 8pm Thu 20 Jul, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 21 Jul, 8pm Sat 22 Jul, 2pm Sat 22 Jul, 8pm Bakersfield Mist Wed 2 Aug, 8pm Thu 3 Aug, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 4 Aug 8pm Sat 5 Aug, 2pm AD C Sat 5 Aug, 8pm Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday Wed 30 Aug, 7.30pm Thu 31 Aug, 11am Q&A Thu 31 Aug, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 1 Sep, 7.30pm Sat 2 Sep, 2.30pm AD Sat 2 Sep, 7.30pm Cyrano de Bergerac Wed 13 Sep, 7.30pm Thu 14 Sep, 10am Q&A Thu 14 Sep, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 15 Sep, 7.30pm Sat 16 Sep, 1pm C Sat 16 Sep, 7.30pm The Popular Mechanicals Wed 18 Oct, 8pm Thu 19 Oct, 11am Q&A Thu 19 Oct, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 20 Oct, 8pm Sat 21 Oct, 2pm Sat 21 Oct, 8pm Diving for Pearls Wed 1 Nov, 7.30pm Thu 2 Nov, 11am Q&A Thu 2 Nov, 6.30pm Q&A Fri 3 Nov, 7.30pm Sat 4 Nov, 2.30pm AD Sat 4 Nov, 7.30pm Sun 5 Nov, 5.00pm



Pieter Wispelwey & the SSO Fri 11 Aug, 7.30pm

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show Fri 13 Jan, 10am Fri 13 Jan, 12.30pm Sat 14 Jan, 10am Sat 14 Jan, 12.30pm Sat 14 Jan, 3pm

The Wharf Revue 2017 Wed 23 Aug, 8pm Thu 24 Aug, 6.30pm Fri 25 Aug, 8pm Sat 26 Aug, 2pm Sat 26 Aug, 8pm Sun 27 Aug, 5pm Landscape with Monsters Sat 23 Sep, 2.30pm Sat 23 Sep, 7.30pm

MAKE IT @MERRIGONG RUFF – New Works In Progress Sat 13 May, 11am Sat 14 Oct, 11am Made from Scratch Sat 25 Mar, 7pm Sat 10 June, 7pm Sat 2 Sep, 7pm Sat 18 Nov, 7pm Raw Comedy 2017 Thu 16 Feb, 8pm Sharing Stories Fri Jun 2, 6.30pm

Diary of a Wombat Tue 11 Apr, 10am Q&A Tue 11 Apr, 12.30pm Q&A Wed 12 Apr, 10am Q&A Wed 12 Apr, 12.30pm Q&A Mr Stink Fri 14 Jul, 10am Fri 14 Jul, 1pm R Sat 15 Jul, 10am Sat 15 Jul, 12.30pm Sat 15 Jul, 2.30pm The Listies – ICKYPEDIA LIVE Fri 6 Oct, 2.30pm Fri 6 Oct, 7pm Sat 7 Oct, 10am Sat 7 Oct, 12.30pm

MERRIGONG CREATIVITY CAMPS 10 - 13 Apr 10 - 14 Jul 3 - 6 Oct


Preview performance


Post show Q&A


Audio described for the benefit of patrons with low or no vision. C

Live captioning

R Relaxed

See page 43 for Access Services and information


Merrigong Theatre Company manages IPAC and Wollongong Town Hall on behalf of its major funding partner, Wollongong City Council.

SEASON 2017 SUPPORTERS Media Partners

Accommodation Partner

Av & Technical Services Partner

Partner – Young People’s Program

SUPPORTERS OF SHOWS IN OUR 2017 SEASON The producers of the following shows have been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory board: Bakersfield Mist, Blue Love, Diary of a Wombat, Diving for Pearls, Evening Salon: Pieter Wispelwey & the SSO, Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday, Jasper Jones, Landscape with Monsters, Mr Stink, The 7 Stages of Grieving, The Wharf Revue 2017, Thérèse Raquin, The Popular Mechanicals

Diary of a Wombat, Landscape with Monsters

The following shows have been assisted by the New South Wales Government through Arts NSW: Blue Love, Creativity Camps, Diary of a Wombat, Diving for Pearls, Evening Salon: Pieter Wispelwey & the SSO, Jasper Jones, Landscape with Monsters, Made from Scratch, RUFF – New Works in Progress, Mr Stink, Sharing Stories 2017, Merrigong Studio Sessions, The Outside Man, The Wharf Revue 2017

The 7 Stages of Grieving, Landscape with Monsters

Diary of a Wombat

Blue Love, Cyrano de Bergerac

Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday

The Popular Mechanicals

Thérèse Raquin

Evening Salon: Pieter Wispelwey & the SSO

Disclaimer: Details in this brochure are correct at the time of printing but are subject to change where necessary and without notice.


Merrigong Theatre Company is a trading name of Illawarra Performing Arts Centre Ltd. ABN: 87 590 935 138 32 Burelli St PO Box 786 Wollongong, NSW 2520 Box Office: 02 4224 5999 Admin: 02 4224 5959 Fax: 02 4226 9696 Email: CONNECT WITH US Stay up to date with show information, competitions and more! E-news:  /merrigongtheatreco  /merrigong  @merrigong  @merrigongtheatreco

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