Sauna Productions and Inc. Studios in association with B Sharp present

Sauna Productions and Inc. Studios in association with B Sharp present
Sauna Productions and Inc
© Sauna Productions and Inc
Written by Laura Ruohonen
Translated by David Hackston
Directed by Kate Gaul

Preview: 27 November
Opening: 28 November
Season: 28 November – 21 December 2008
Belvoir St Downstairs Theatre

Set & Costume Designer: Kate Shanahan
Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson
Composer and Sound Designer: Daryl Wallis
Assistant Director: Mark Pritchard

With: Viva Bianca, Andrew Johnston, Natalia Ladyko, Genevieve Mooy, Ona Nurkkala,
Mark Pritchard, Nicole da Silva and Anthony Weir

“Tell me, as you are a great philosopher and a tall man: does the soul have a gender?”

On November 27, Finnish playwright Laura Ruohonen’s Queen C will complete the highly acclaimed 2008 Season of Belvoir St Downstairs Theatre, finishing B Sharp’s year with an Australian premiere. Queen C is inspired by the fascinating story of a real 17th Century “Girl King” – Queen Christina of Sweden – a woman bought up as a man, a King, during the Thirty Years War.

The last hope for a male heir, Queen Christina was raised as a boy, fatherless and with a mother driven mad by mourning. Queen at six years old, this enigmatic and intelligent 17th Century monarch created a world around herself, living by her own set of rules and tormenting contemporaries with her unconventional opinions and actions. Rene Descartes, the greatest philosopher of the age, was hired as her tutor. Christina took male and female lovers, she founded theatres and universities.

Like so many Queens before and after her, Christina contested the demands bestowed upon her by tradition, including her lack of freedom and assumed obligation to produce an heir. This is however not a period drama, but an adult fairytale where everything is both possible and permissible.

Sauna Productions and Inc
© Sauna Productions and Inc
This dazzling and poetic work is being produced in Australia for the first time and will be directed by the renowned Kate Gaul (Gates of Egypt, Altar Boyz, Twelfth Night). The play’s challenging, imaginative scope, laden with magical and metaphorical games, is conveyed through movement, music, the use of puppetry and live multimedia.

Of the Australian premiere production, Director Kate Gaul says, “Christina is a very modern woman in her quest to understand herself. This important play is a whimsical, funny and contemporary piece, full of provocative questions about sexuality and the nature of identity,” she said.

Gaul brings together a diverse and award-winning creative team: Ona Nurkkala (Elma, Powerlunch (Ball Game), Finn City) and Nicole da Silva (Rush, The List, All Saints and a 2008 Logie Nomination for the Graeme Kennedy award for Most Outstanding New Talent) lead the team as both producers and actors. The talented and distinctive cast includes Viva Bianca (The Strip, All Saints, Twelfth Night), Andrew Johnston (Motortown, The Crucible) Natalia Ladyko (Polyphonic Bonus Features, Titus: The Ultimate Murder Ballad Musical), Genevieve Mooy (Small Poppies, The Dish (AFI Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominee, 2000), Frontline), Mark Prichard (Timon’s Daughter) and Anthony Weir (Slivers of Light, This Savage Parade, Cabaret Clochard).

This is an unusual and beautiful piece of work, closing B Sharp’s bumper 2008 season. The Downstairs Theatre is Company B’s independent wing which hosts the annual B Sharp Season, supporting independent artists to present dynamic, small-scale work and deliver a vibrant range of theatrical voices in an intimate setting.

The new look 2009 B Sharp program will be launched in February 2009.

…compelling, inscrutable and relentless. – Santa Barbara Independent

Queen C makes theatre history. – Daily Sound

PREVIEW: Wednesday 26 November
OPENING NIGHT: Thursday 27 November
SEASON DATES: 27 November – 21 December
PLAYS: Tues 7pm, Wed-Sat 8.15pm, Sun 5.15pm
WHERE: Belvoir St Downstairs Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills
TICKETS: $29/$23 (Preview $20, Cheap Tues Pay-what-you-can min $10)
BOOKINGS: 9699 3444 or