Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cate Blanchett Leaves Behind Drama at the STC

With Cate Blanchett's contract up at the Sydney Theatre Company her husband Andrew Upton has been re-appointed as Artistic Director but there are rumblings amongst the ranks with claims of nepotism.

Giorgio Armani with Cate at the STC
Upton and Blanchett jointly ran the STC producing critically acclaimed productions that received  plaudits around the world including their A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Liv Ullmann and staring Cate as Blanche DuBois being declared the best ever presentation of the play by the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The City News is reporting that local playwrights and actors are not happy and do not accept that the board of the STC has fully searched the world for a replacement for Upton.
" Are we seriously meant to believe after searching the globe for someone to replace Cate and Andrew the best possible person happens to be already working at the STC and it happens to be Andrew? " says an anonymous source .

Liv Ullmann,Cate & Joel Edgerton at the Sydney Streetcar premier
One of  the complaints is about Upton's "black box" minimalist productions that feature black walls and street clothes rather than costumes and a preference for overseas' plays instead of local plays.
 STC's General Manager Patrick McIntyre is quoted as saying " the STC Board had always wanted Mr Upton and Ms Blanchett to stay, and only looked for a replacement because “Cate and Andrew … were contemplating moving overseas“When [this] changed, the Board asked Andrew if he would reconsider and stay on … The Board absolutely believes he is the best person for the job.
 When Blanchett and Upton took over in 2007 the STC was ailing financially and Blanchett was able to attract big time sponsors like Giorgio Armani who flew into town for two opening night performances and the critical acclaim the pair's productions have received have revived the financial fortunes of the Australia's premier theatre company.