The Sydney Theatre Company (STC) will be bringing a touch of Europe to its 2013 season with a starring role for French actress Isabelle Huppert and the smash UK and US hit One Man, Two Guvnors coming to town.
Husband and wife co-artistic directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton were visibly delighted to be hosting the UK's National Theatre production that has played to rave reviews in London and New York.
Blanchett said there is a real feeling of a reciprocal agreement with international companies to bring acclaimed productions to Australia.
"This year we sent three of ours out - we were with History of Everything in Chicago and in Europe at the same time Gross und Klein was on its big European tour, and then we took Vanya to New York," the Australian Oscar-winning actor said.
"So it's like, `OK we've been out three times, we can have one of yours back'."
Huppert and Blanchett will star in Jean Genet's The Maids, in a new translation by Upton and Benedict Andrews.
Australian classic Storm Boy has been adapted for the theatre by Tom Holloway and Upton said the STC will probably use puppeteers to bring the central character of the pelican, Mr Percival, to the stage.
Lending belly laughs to the program is comedian Tim Minchin, who will be partnering with Toby Schmitz for Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Speaking on the phone from the UK, Minchin said it was great to be reunited with Schmitz after they appeared as minor characters in a version of the play in 1996 at the University of Western Australia (UWA).
"I just adore the play, I adore Stoppard, I adore Toby, but my main motivation was that I wanted to see if I could turn my career as a comedian back into the things I've always wanted to do," Minchin said.
"I was an actor and a muso long before I was a comedian."