In the upcoming year, Sydney's renowned Old Fitz Theatre is set to embark on a fresh journey under the guidance of Artistic Director Lucy Clements and Executive Producer Emma Wright.

In December 2023, the dynamic duo unveiled the initial offerings of their debut season, marking a continuation of the Fitz's storied tradition of showcasing performances ranging from intimate to epic within the confines of Australia's last pub theatre basement.

The inaugural season promises a diverse array of acts, including an Irish classic from a globally beloved playwright, an award-winning queer love-triangle-mystery direct from London, the world premiere of an Australian gothic drama led by women, and a thrilling assortment of late-night experiences. Act One serves as just the starting point for what is anticipated to be an unforgettable year at the Fitz.

Kicking off the year is Martin McDonagh's timeless piece, "The Lonesome West." McDonagh, renowned for works such as "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and "The Beauty Queen of Leenane," presents a darkly humorous tale of sibling rivalry. As the final installment of the acclaimed Leenane Trilogy, this pitch-black comedy is poised to shock, thrill, and entertain. Empress Theatre will present the production, directed by Anna Houston (known for "Cyprus Avenue"), and featuring performances by Ruby Henaway, Abe Mitchell, Lee Beckhurst, and Andre de Vanny.

Following suit is the Australian premiere of Isley Lynn's "The Swell," a mind-bending romantic drama exploring themes of love, betrayal, attachment, and care. Hailed as the "best piece of new writing in London" by The Arts Desk, this gripping queer love triangle, presented by Akimbo + Co and directed by Julia Billington, promises to leave audiences breathless. Fresh from its 2023 London debut, which earned Lynn an Evening Standard Theatre Award, "The Swell" is set to shine a spotlight on queer voices during the 2024 Mardi Gras season.

Rounding off Act One is the world premiere of Emily Sheehan's gothic thriller "Frame Narrative," a production by New Ghosts Theatre Company under the direction of Lucy Clements. This metatheatrical, genre-bending work draws inspiration from Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and traces the evolution of gothic literature to '90s trashy horror. Exploring the complex relationship between fiction and its creator, "Frame Narrative" underscores Lucy and Emma's ongoing commitment to fostering new Australian writing and championing women in the arts.

A second event is scheduled for January 5th at the Fitz to officially introduce the first three Late Night slots of the year, with late-night programming continuing throughout 2024. The inaugural late-night offering will run in tandem with Isley Lynn's "The Swell."

Tickets: www.oldfitztheatre.com.au

Lucy and Emma express their sincere gratitude to Red Line Productions, particularly Andrew Henry and Dino Dimitriadis, for their unwavering support and remarkable contributions to Sydney's theatrical landscape.