Virginia Lovett.

Virginia Lovett. Photo: Ponch Hawkes

The Melbourne Theatre Company has announced Virginia Lovett as its new executive director, taking up reins held for 18 years by Ann Tonks.

Lovett has most recently been general manager of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and has worked for Sydney's Powerhouse Museum, the STC, and Zoos Victoria.

It's the latest in a series of commendable appointments by artistic director Brett Sheehy (who is on a week's leave before joining the company full time next week). He has created key positions for several of the country's most interesting theatremakers, including Griffin Theatre AD Sam Strong, director Leticia Caceres and Playwriting Australia's Chris Mead.

Author and poet Dorothy Porter.

Author and poet Dorothy Porter. Photo: Cathryn Tremain

Lovett will begin her new role in January.

NOTORIOUS PRODUCTION

Two months before his murder, Melbourne crime figure Mario Condello gave his brother Enzo a book on Adolf Hitler's niece and suggested it would make great theatre.

The resulting play has since attracted its own degree of notoriety, after a production in May this year was ''banned,'' according to the playwright, due to the anti-communist and anti-Semitic sentiments of some of its characters.

The planned venue, Trades Hall, at the time said that the director and cast of Hitler: The Tragedy of Geli Raubal had withdrawn at the eleventh hour due to ''creative differences''.

Enzo Condello has found a new team for the show, however, and its debut production will be staged from November 14 at Collingwood Secondary College Theatre. Bookings 1300 314 151.

PORTER PLAY

December will mark the four-year anniversary of Dorothy Porter's death from breast cancer, which makes Malthouse Theatre's latest production a timely reminder of why the poet occupies such an esteemed position in Australian literature.

Wild Surmise was Porter's verse novel of 2002 and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin; the work has now been adapted for the stage starring Jane Montgomery Griffiths and Humphrey Bower.

The piece centres on a couple whose marriage has been disintegrating for years, woven in with imaginary flights to distant moons and Porter's ravishingly poetic language.

Previews begin on November 9, details at malthousetheatre.com.au

 

DRAMA IN aMOMENT

Four-wheeled eateries have become a permanent (if mobile) feature of the Melbourne landscape in recent years, and a new theatre work is taking its cues from the social media presence of the various taco trucks and wiener vans.

aMoment is a hand-built caravan that will travel around the city during November, offering a five to 10-minute experience that will transport its audience into 'a parallel world of ample space, time and future-gazing'.

The work is designed as a 'very special reward' for those who take the time to stop and investigate something out of the ordinary in the drab, grey streets of Melbourne, but those looking to hunt down the thing themselves can get a head start on Twitter (@Miss-aMoment) or Facebook.