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National Theatre of Parramatta’s Inaugural Premiere


This is a solidly engaging production….scenes sparkle.” The Sydney Morning Herald

…a performance that is gripping in every theatrical sense.” Stage Whispers

The performances of Valerie Berry, Megan Drury and Luisa Hastings Edge are powerful as the powerless Sam, Rebecca and Anna. The direction of Kate Champion is outstanding.
Weekend Notes

…this premiere production by the new National Theatre of Parramatta is superb, and opens the Company’s first season magnificently.” Sydney Arts Guide

…a stylistically and dramatically bold piece of theatre.” Daily Review

Swallow is a complex, thought provoking play, presented with sensitivity, a degree of humour without mocking the experiences, and unique design.” Broadway World

An auspicious moment for Parramatta and the performing arts, on Friday night we celebrated the inaugural premiere of National Theatre of Parramatta, with Swallow written by Olivier Award-winning playwright Stef Smith. The Australian premiere production is directed by founder and former Artistic Director of Force Majeure and Helpmann Award winner, Kate Champion.

“This is a significant occasion as it heralds the beginning of a permanent production house here in Parramatta that will not only perform at Riverside Theatres as our resident company but will also take productions around Australia and to the world,” Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Paul Garrard said.

“National Theatre of Parramatta is a wonderful addition to the cultural landscape here in the heart of Global Sydney and it will help foster the growth and development of the already-strong local arts community.”

“We are confident that the 2016 Season, starting with Swallow, will be the first of many successful seasons for the Theatre over the years to come.”

The theatre company was founded last year with funding from Parramatta City Council, the State Government’s Arts NSW, Crown Resorts Foundation and Packer Family Foundation.

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said the NSW Government was proud to be a supporter of the National Theatre of Parramatta.

“Parramatta has a thriving art and cultural scene and the establishment of a national theatre right in the heart of Western Sydney will further encourage and foster the development of talent in this region.”

“Swallow is an exciting and courageous production that will set a high benchmark of quality, exactly what we will expect from the National Theatre of Parramatta.”

Swallow explores questions of identity, heartbreak and hope with a vivid and poetic intensity. With a stellar cast of just three, Swallow tells the stories of Rebecca (Megan Drury), Sam (Valerie Berry) and Anna (Luisa Hastings Edge) who are simultaneously at the tipping point between self-destruction and self-acceptance. Sharing similar states of vulnerability and defiance, they influence each other’s lives in unforeseeable ways while connecting their fates and ability to re-enter the outside world. A story about survival, Swallow is tragic yet comic, complex yet simple and ugly yet beautiful.

After receiving rave reviews for its world premiere season at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015, Swallow continues its critical acclaim at Parramatta.

“Director Kate Champion, an accomplished choreographer, fuses the physical and the psychological with a remarkable fluidity, defining the confinement of the characters but deftly leading them to their liberation. The performances are thrilling.” Australian Stage

“National Theatre of Parramatta’s (NTofP) very first production is a dark play, but one nonetheless that ticks all the boxes of the sort of work NTofP aims to produce. That is, it’s “bold, contemporary, imaginative and inspired … (taking) us into the belly of urban life”. It has attracted director Kate Champion, a team of imaginative designers and three impressive and talented performers to the ‘west’, and, hopefully, will establish this new company as another beacon for the arts in western Sydney.” Stage Whispers

“Almost all of the creatives working on this show are women — a rare thing in the theatre — and there’s strength in every element. This is a very promising start for this company and a robust statement about the kind of work they’ll pursue.” Daily Review

Don’t miss out on your chance to see the Australian premiere of this powerful production and join us in celebrating the launch of National Theatre of Parramatta. Swallow must close Saturday night! CLICK HERE to secure your tickets now.

Check out some photographs from the inaugural premiere on Friday night, below.

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