If the Melbourne theatre scene was your family, MKA would be a hip cousin who was dismissed as a kid for being a bit kooky — the kind who's always wearing black clothing and listening to Bowie. But cousin MKA is making a name for himself now as one of the most exciting young companies dedicated to new writing, and everyone’s pretty proud.
This year they bring us their inaugural HYPRTXT festival that builds on an already celebrated and award-winning seasonal program. It promises to be an exciting event, offering audiences more than just the new works to be performed over the next few weeks. MKA will be running a debate series, the first MKA ART CLUB and a funky festival hub at The Tuxedo Cat.
To kick it all off from June 2-14, Like A Fishbone by UK-based Aussie writer Anthony Weigh will be telling the story of a murdered child’s mother and the architect designing the memorial. The tensions between the highly emotional and the highly calculated are sure to overwhelm audiences as the two women battle to define how a nation remembers.
Mark Wilson also returns to Melbourne from June 11-15 to present Unsex Me. After a controversial season travelling Australia (featuring both sell outs and walk outs), Wilson brings the show back to Melbourne for one last time. Celebrated as a fantastically dark comedy, Unsex Me dissects the story of Mark Wilson as she confronts the prospect of her next job: being directed by her father to play Lady Macbeth. A contemporary queer performance work not to be missed.
On the Grace of Officials by Emilia Poyhonen (Finland) will then be running from June 14-28. Presented for National Refugee Week and including a benefit night for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, this show is a tale of the immigration process told through politically scathing theatrical satire. MKA describe it as "1984 meets Wes Anderson"; if that doesn't intrigue you, we don't know what will.
Concurrently Thank You, Thank You Love, by MKA Creative Director Tobias Manderson-Galvin will be running at the festival hub. Performing alongside Miss Burlesque Victoria, Miss Becky Lou Church, Manderson-Galvin tells five tales of dying on stage. And who doesn’t like to see stage deaths? Probably best not to bring your six-year-old niece to this one.
MKA will also be presenting The Defence by Chris Dunstan from June 14-28 — a show we raved about in its debut at Sydney Fringe. Following this successful season, The Defence returns to the stage to present its "sensational deconstruction of a misogynist". Funny, satirical, sinister and provocative, this is one show sure to get you thinking.
Sugar Sugar by Yve Blake will also celebrate its world premiere at HYPRTXT from June 17-28. Visiting the depressingly confusing time following school when you’re not sure whether to grow up or get drunk, Sugar Sugar promises to cover all of the epic feels felt by 18 year olds worldwide.
There’s plenty of exciting theatre to indulge in, so get out and support cousin MKA as they pave the way for new writing in Melbourne.
Check out the full program of works and events at the MKA website. Photo credit: Sarah Walker.