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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
theatre & performance concentration of talent in the performing arts," says Upton. While the perception and understanding of Australia's arts is changing internationally, Blanche says there is still a challenge that lies much closer to home. " e challenge for Australia is consumption of our own cultural product. Sometimes we don't deeply value it until it's come back to us via the boomerang of an international success. Not always, but that is o en the case. It's ge ing those things back to us so that we maintain audiences here and in turn, they can see diverse Australian work.," she says. She points to the international success of Circa, a Brisbane-based circus troupe and Elision Ensemble, an Australian contemporary music out t, both of whom enjoy big followings in Europe, as examples. Neither are well-known at home. But both companies are outstanding in their audaciousness, a quality, Blanche and Upton say, which is uniquely Australian. " ere's quite an adventurous mindset in Australia for the arts," says Upton, with Blanche adding, "Australians are happy for people to do things their own way, and to nd their own way. "If you look at our lm industry as well as our performing arts industry, they are inherently non-hierarchical and that is a creative atmosphere that spawns collaboration. Certainly, with our work at the Sydney eatre Company, that's what we're interested in doing. We're not interested in decreeing from on high what plays must and should be done. We're looking to foster and develop various groups of collaborators because we feel that that is intrinsically how work is born and I think this produces a di erent performance style as well. "But that's what I mean by the element of surprise. In the end, you don't mind that because it means you are unfe ered by expectations. People are constantly surprised by what comes out of Australia and, in the end, I think the responsibility that larger companies [such as STC] have and the challenge facing us is to get the broader range of the work out there to give international audiences access to a diverse array of cultural exports from Australia." AUSTRALIAN STAGE LUMINARIES Tropic Sun Theatre Oedipus the King After wowing audiences across the Australian outback, the cast of this critically acclaimed play travelled to Japan to perform at the Alios Theatre in July 2009. David Clarkson & Dean Walsh, MirrorMirror A collaboration between physical theatre company Stalker and choreographer Dean Walsh, Mirror Mirror had a sell-out premiere season at the Noorderzon Festival in the Netherlands. Hugh Jackman The Boy from Oz Australian actor Hugh Jackman won a Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for his role in the hit musical, The Boy from Oz. Jackman played Australian performer and songwriter Peter Allen in 2003 and 2004 before performing it again in Australia in 2006. Geoffrey Rush Exit the King Geoffrey Rush joined an elite group of actors to win Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards when he won a Tony for his performance as a 400-year-old monarch in Exit the King in 2009. Force Majeure The Age I'm In Australian dance and physical theatre company Force Majeure toured to Dublin, Montreal and Seoul with this challenging play. Critics described it as "brilliant" (Stage Noise), and "unforgettable" (LiveGuide). Priscilla Queen of the Desert -- the Musical Based on the successful Australian film by Stephan Elliott, the musical has been seen by over one million people. It opened in London in 2009. Neil Armfield Cloudstreet Director Neil Armfield created Sydney's lauded Company B Belvoir, which has premiered some of the country's finest plays and productions. Armfield's production of Cloudstreet won best production at the Dublin Festival. Getty Images Company B Belvoir & Malthouse Mebourne/Heidrun Lohr Heidrun Lohr Cate Blanchett A Streetcar Named Desire Sydney Theatre Company's production starring Cate Blanchett was loved by US critics. "If Cate Blanchett's nerve-shattering turn as Blanche DuBois doesn't knock the wind out of you, then there is nothing on a stage that can blow you away," said the Washington Post's Peter Marks. Blanchett in A Streetcar Named Desire.