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Blanchett to star in ‘Maids’

Play, with Huppert on board, set for STC slate

SYDNEY — Sydney Theater Company’s outgoing co-artistic directors, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, unveiled a final season of plays that includes Blanchett starring with French thesp Isabelle Huppert in Jean Genet’s “The Maids.”

Previous seasons have had a continental theme with 2011 celebrating Europe and 2012 having a local flavor. The 2013 slate will center on “dynamic duos.”

Anticipation is certain to be high for Blanchett and Huppert in “The Maids,” which the Aussie thesp describes as a “dark and magnificent” play. Production will feature a new translation from Upton and helmer/scribe Benedict Andrews.

“The estate is quite restrictive, but because of the work the company has been doing, they have allowed us to do a new version,” she said of the estate of late scribe Genet.

Huppert came on board after seeing the Andrews-helmed Blanchett starrer “Gross Und Klein,” which was one of the STC’s lauded international touring productions during Blanchett and Upton’s run as co-artistic directors.

Another strong partnership on the STC bill will pair Hugo Weaving with Richard Roxburgh in Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” a production which grew out of rehearsals for the STC’s hit “Uncle Vanya,” recently seen in Gotham as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. “Vanya” helmer Tamas Ascher returns to direct.

Elsewhere in the season, Tim Minchin and Toby Schmitz will topline Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead.” There will also be world preems of Aussie novel adaptataions “The Secret River” by Kate Grenville and “Storm Boy” by Colin Thiele, as well as new local plays such as “Vere (Faith)” by John Doyle (“The Pig Iron People”).

The 2013 STC season commences Jan. 8 with “The Secret River.” While the season will be the last to be programmed by Blanchett and Upton, it was recently announced that Upton will continue solo in the role of a.d. for another three-year term.

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