SYDNEY UNIVERSITY DRAMATIC SOCIETY PRESENTS A NEW WORK : IN TWO CIRCLES

“It beckoned to me, and I couldn’t help but follow”

A series of disappeared persons line 100 years of Herald obituary sections. Despite the best efforts of the authorities, each search has proved fruitless.

As history begins to forget these lost souls, three social pariahs have come forward with a crazy theory they say links them all. So close to finding the answers and forever changing history, one of the group has mysteriously vanished seemingly into thin air.

From the team behind the sold out ‘Weathervane’ and ‘a menagerie’, comes the immersive production ‘In Two Circles’. Enter their world, be bold, and find your truth.

DETAILS :
02-05 August & 09-12 August: 6pm, 7pm, 8pm & 9pm at the Annandale Hotel, 17 Parramatta Road, Annandale.

For more about In Two Circles, visit http://intwocircles.eventbrite.com.au
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BONDI FEAST : THE ETERNITY OF THE WORLD (PARTS MISSING)

 

Nope.

No way.

Didn’t understand it.

Didn’t get it.

Can’t review it.

Instead.

In the true spirit of deconstructed post-modernist anarchic performance I saw this …

Venue problems … the bane of the touring show. Suggestion: instead of telling people to move away from the speakers just turn the f’ing thing down. Didn’t hear most of it.

Saw it all though. Traverse seating!

Props and costume changes and scripts read from loose papers and set pieces … so a plot, through line, a sequence, a vague structure must exist. Continue reading BONDI FEAST : THE ETERNITY OF THE WORLD (PARTS MISSING)

ACTS OF FAITH : A NEW PLAY BY MELVYN MORROW @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

This is the world premiere of a witty, sparkling, delicious comedy from the pen of Melvyn Morrow.

Under Elaine Hudson’s excellent direction the play, full of incisive one liners, is fast paced with the actors swiftly moving between scenes., moving smoothly between the scenes. The two cast members perform with pizzazz and there is a good chemistry between them.

The set by Allan Walpole was in three parts, with a church like atmosphere overall, the two outer sides pulpit like, the main middle section with its lights proclaiming ‘ Last Orders Bar and Bistro’. The arches for the two side areas act as windows and allow very atmospheric lighting. Scene changes (church to racecourse to restaurant and more) are often indicated by changing a prop on the bar – for example, flowers, or a silver teapot, an Islander statue, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Continue reading ACTS OF FAITH : A NEW PLAY BY MELVYN MORROW @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

PACKING ROOM PRIZE THE ARCHIBALD 2017

Featured photo – Lisa Wilkinson AM, retiring Head Packer Steve Peters and behind the winning entry Peter Smeeth’s portrait of Lisa. Pic Ben Apfelbaum.

‘High drama’ this was. This was the last time Steve Peters, after forty years on the job, selected the Packing Room Prize worth $1500. Peters has handed the reins to Breet Cuthbertson who will judge this coveted prize for the foreseeable future.

As the winning prize was announced, the sitter, Lisa Wilkinson, suddenly strode into the room. She was told that her portrait had won just as she emerged from surgery  on her right arm three days ago, due to a fall in Italy. Groggy after the operation she thought it was the Kerry Packer prize! The occasion was the first time that she had seen the portrait and she was absolutely delighted with it. ‘He got me’, she told the gathering.

Adding a touch of poignancy to the prize giving the artist, Peter Smeeth, was at the same time delivering a eulogy for a very dear  friend  in Yass. Lisa said. ‘This is the mark of this man.’

In the background of this portrait is a reflection of her family who were all present at the function.

Gallery Director Michael Brand noted that no Packing Room Prize winner has ever the Archibald Prize. Furthermore, the Prize had never been won by a reclining subject. He advised that if you are an arts punter don’t bet on Peter Smeeth’s portrait to win!

Finalists for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes were also announced at the ceremony, as were the finalists for the Young Archie competition.

The announcement of the winner of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes will take place on Friday 28th July at noon.

The 2017 Young Archie winners will be announced on Saturday 16th September and the People’s Choice announcement takes place on Wednesday 4th October.

THE BONDI FEAST : SOME EARLY HIGHLIGHTS

It’s certainly my idea of a cheap theatre menu. Tickets are $10-$20 and one can choose from delights sweet, spicy or salty.

First on my plate at BONDI FEAST?

STORY CLUB SOLO: ZOE NORTON LODGE, a storyteller who knows how to pull you straight from a wintery beach into the warmth of a loving family. Put your hand up who here is not my mother? Why are you here? She asks of the large audience show of hands … It’s really cold. More disturbing perhaps is the number of people who yell and raise arms to the question, Who here is my mother? Feels like a family.

And what a family! Not quite what we think a good Greek girl who grew up in leafy Annandale might be standing on stage talking about. Aberrant grandparents who hate each other, dodgy neighbours with whom to pull cones and a surprisingly coherent 2 and a half year old hell bent on ruling the pre-school. Continue reading THE BONDI FEAST : SOME EARLY HIGHLIGHTS

WAITING FOR MANOT : PART OF SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL2017

This production has been described as, ‘A dis-quietening tragicomedy on female existence…An absurdist play that can be enjoyed by anyone.,..A bit madcap with shades of Caryl Churchil and a touch of Ad Fab.

“If only they raped me in the morning, I’d get some sleep”.

Maebh and Gráinne wait in a bar for the mysterious Manot. The question is, if he comes, which of them will he choose.

DATES :- 19th until 23rd September between 8.30pm and 9.30pm at the Blood Moon Theatre, Kings Cross.

For more about Waiting for Manot – Sydney Fringe Festival, visit
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Cabaret In The Day : I’ll Follow My Secret Heart @ Mosman Arts Gallery

Featured photo- singer Christopher Hamilton.

The second of the 2017 Cabaret In The Day season was the wonderful I’LL FOLLOW MY SECRET HEART, with maestro Glenn Amer on piano and starring Christopher Hamilton

Hamilton has appeared in many musicals and plays in both professional and community theatre including The Pirates of Penzance, Paris, A Song to Sing O!,Vice, Man of La Mancha, The Hatpin, The Producers, Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, The Venetian Twins and narrating Peter and the Wolf.

This show was a great nostalgia trip, with the performance looking at the career and songs of two of Britain’s greatest 20th Century songsmiths – the dashing Ivor Novello and the ultra sophisticated Noel Coward. Both composers remain the ‘gold standard’ of wit and romance, their works evergreen favourites.

The show opened stirringly with Novello’s 1914 patriotic Keep The Home Fires Burning . Amer then told us a bit about Novello’s life (he was described as ‘ the British Valentino ‘ , terribly handsome, who wrote seven musicals – yet apparently couldn’t sing!) .

Hamilton, dapper and very elegant in black and gold with cravat and tie pin, then launched into the liltingly romantic I Can Give You The Starlight from the 1939 musical The Dancing Years. Also from that musical we then heard the romantic infectious Waltz of My Heart . We then learnt that between the Wars Novello moved to Hollywood where he worked as a script doctor.

Amer then swept into the swirling passionate, longing, yearning title song from the 1935 Glamorous Night .

We then jumped to Novello’s comic songs and Hamilton then, through gritted teeth, performed the biting, witty And Her Mother Came Too.

Amer then talked further about Novello’s luxurious, flamboyant somewhat scandalous gay life and his links to and influences upon Coward. Amer then played Someday My Heart Will Awake from Novello’s King’s Rhapsody.

We then heard more about the rise and rise of Coward and how Novello’s work generally went out of fashion and he sadly passed away in 1951.

Amer and Hamilton performed one of Novello’s most famous songs We’ll Gather Lilacs from Perchance to Dream (1945).

Hamilton swiftly changed from his black to a white dinner jacket while Amer talked more about Coward and his various auto)biographies, letters, plays and aphorisms.

Another duet was enchantingly performed I’ll See You Again. We then heard the title song of this particular show I’ll Follow My Secret Heart, again as a duet , which lead to more discussion about how both Novello and Coward were gay with Coward being more discreet about it.

Hamilton then launched into Cowards’ Mad About The Boy.

Amer then talked about how Coward moved internationally (Bermuda, Jamaica , Switzerland) for tax reasons but always remained at heart an Englishman.

We then heard (with Big Ben chimes on the piano) the stirring, moving London Pride written during the 1941 Blitz. We then heard the jaunty , bouncy A Bar on the Piccolo Marina with its tongue twisting rhythms .This was followed by the delightful Dance Little Lady Dance with its emphatic rhythms . Amer then performed a powerful captivating solo Gypsy Melody on piano .

Next we jumped to the delicious witty Nina, with its infectious Latin rhythms and tongue twisting lyrics. We were then treated to a provoking, sarcastic and haughty Why Do the Wrong People Travel ? another duet for Amer and Hamilton.

Three classic Coward pieces followed: a breathless Mad Dogs and Englishmen, the witty I’ve Been to A Marvellous Party and the blistering, pleading, eventually furious Don’t Put Your Daughter On The Stage Mrs Worthington.

Amer gave a stellar performance of the rather strange Uncle Harry which was followed by a sad, reflective If Love Were All , which is regarded as autobiographical and is from Coward’s 1929 Bitter Sweet. The final song was a duet, a wistful, romantic version of The Dream is Over.

The audience vociferously cheered and applauded at the end leading to the encore of three Coward songs from his The Girl Who Came to SupperLondon, What Ho Mrs Briskett and the music hall like Saturday Night at the Rose and Crown.

We were then thanks by artistic director Melvyn Morrow and given a sneak peek of next week’s show Broadway Babies with the sizzling powerhouse Adele Johnston.

Running time 90 minutes without interval.

I’LL FOLLOW MY SECRET HEART,  part of the Cabaret in the Day concert series, took place at the Mosman Art Gallery on the 16th July.

UNSW MTS PRESENTS JASON ROBERT BROWN’S ‘THE LAST 5 YEARS!’ @ STUDIO ONE UNSW

The University of New South Wales Musical Theatre Society (MTS) is presenting the show THE LAST 5 YEARS! at Studio One on campus from the 1st – 5th of August.

This musical by Jason Robert Brown tells a story of shattered love, time and dreams , depicting the fragility of relationships and love over its  unique timeline.

MTS says that it has come up with a great cast which will do the show justice. The production will star Lily Stokes as Cathy Hyatt and Jack Dawson as Jamie Wellerstein.

Tickets can be booked at  https://www.trybooking.com/QRKF

Producer: Tash Atkins
Director: Kate Cameron
Musical Directors: Yasmin Stelling and Alexander Mau

For more about UNSW MTS Presents: The Last 5 Years, visit https://www.trybooking.com/QRKF
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DISCOVERING DOBELL : ART CRITIC CHRISTOPHER HEATHCOTE’S NEW PUBLICATION

A large coffee table book, beautifully presented and lavishly illustrated, this is an intriguing book for art lovers brought to us by the excellent Wakefield Press.

Christopher Heathcote is one of Australia’s foremost art critics, has published a number of books on Australian painters, and  is a regular contributor to the current affairs journal Quadrant.

Linked in with the current exhibition at TarraWarra Museum of Art we gain a fascinating insight into the life of Dobell. The book is in effect divided into four sections with a Forward by TarraWarra Museum of Art director, Victoria Lynn.

In her forward Lynn says that the exhibition and this book places Dobell in context, from his working class roots and ‘ between the two camps of the Academy of Arts and the more avante- garde Society of Artists ‘.

The book and exhibition also examine the links and friendships between Dobell and his contemporaries such as Russell Drysdale, Donald Friend, Margaret Preston, Justin O’Brien.

Dobell maintained close friendships with many of these artists and in the 1940s Dobell controversially became a Trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, an influential advocate for rising artists, again indicating how important he was to the mid-century Sydney art scene.

Heathcote,  in his curatorial essay, has written a tremendous examination of Dobell’s life and work. We see how Dobell was concerned with ordinary people, painting subjects ranging from ordinary men and women seen on the streets of Depression-struck London to Sydney’s Kings Cross.

Much mention is made of his 1943 Archibald prize win for his portrait of Joshua Smith and the huge controversy this created , and how it badly affected Dobell afterwards.

Heathcote also looks at Dobell’s work practices, how he developed ideas from sketches to paintings.

DISCOVERING DOBELL stresses Dobell’s trademark style – elongation and lashings of paint – and prominently features the artist’s controversial and recognisable portraits of Joshua Smith, Dame Mary Gilmore and Helena Rubinstein, together with other major themes of his extensive output, including paintings of grinning Ockers, ( Billy Boy ) struggling young mothers, ( Cockney Mother) cheeky street children at play( Cockney Kid With Hoop) and haughty women intent on keeping-up-appearances. (Mrs South Kensington).

Dobell became quite a society portrait painter at one point . We can see his very strong solid use of shape and form. Some striking landscapes are also included of London in the 1930’s. .There is also his portrait of The Cypriot – quite startling for its time – and his portrait of The Strapper.

The book’s overview is completed with analysis of Dobell’s experimental drawings and paintings from New Guinea, ( for  example Highland Natives and The Thatchers) as well as his little-known ventures into abstract form once he moved to Wangi Wangi, some paintings just completed with ball point pens.

This book reminds us of the major creative achievements of this great Australian painter and brings these achievements alive for the younger generation of art lovers.

Details
Category Arts, Architecture and Design
Format Jacketed hardback
Size 290 x 260 mm
ISBN 9781743054802
Extent 112 pages

Price: AU$49.95 including GST.

 

FACTORY SPACE THEATRE PRESENTS THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH @ THE STAR OF SEA THEATRE

This intimate production of MACBETH is performed both on stage, and in and around the audience, as we follow Macbeth’s twisted mental landscape as he kills all his rivals to capture the Crown.

Many actors believe that the play is cursed, and refer to the play as  “The Scottish Play”. As written, the play has a minimum of 40 characters, usually requiring a cast of 19 actors. Director Roz Riley has created her extraordinary vision of MACBETH with just ten actors, and each night there are  video-projected  images which are drawn live by E. Strange.

The three Weird Sisters (The Witches) constantly change costumes and demeanour, to magnificently deliver the bulk of the huge cast of characters. The production was beautifully staged with the tension palpable throughout  and the fine ensemble cast delivering consummate performances. Continue reading FACTORY SPACE THEATRE PRESENTS THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH @ THE STAR OF SEA THEATRE

BONDI FEAST FESTIVAL : 18 – 29 JULY @ THE BONDI PAVILION

The Bondi Pavilion is alive and kicking for its 5th year of the popular BONDI FEAST festival.

This year the Festival is bigger than ever, stretching over ten nights with 90+ performances and 150+ artists.  The festival runs from the 18 – 29th of July.

Festival Directors Rachel Chant and Phil Spencer have filled all possible spaces in the Pavilion with 40 vibrant shows to choose from. You can visit:  The Big Theatre, The Mini Theatre, The Little Theatre, The Ballroom, The Gallery and even one of the toilet blocks will be a temporary theatre – The Changeroom.  For shakers and movers, there is also a Walking Tour into the back streets of Bondi, at 6.45pm from Tuesday 25th July until Saturday the 29th. Continue reading BONDI FEAST FESTIVAL : 18 – 29 JULY @ THE BONDI PAVILION

PATRICIA CORNELIUS’ SHIT @ THE REGINALD THEATRE, SEYMOUR CENTRE

 

Patricia Cornelius’s fast-paced play SHIT is a compelling sixty minute theatre experience, charting the lives, of three very tough young women, Billy, Bobby and Sam. As abandoned children, these three marginalised girls found themselves moving hopelessly from one abusive foster home to the next.

They believe in different things :- one believes that unconditional love can only be found by birthing a child who will always love her. Another  had a baby when twelve years and they have become friends for life.

The play features adult themes, aggressive violence and brief nudity, with the very confronting use of explicit course language.   Continue reading PATRICIA CORNELIUS’ SHIT @ THE REGINALD THEATRE, SEYMOUR CENTRE

MARAIS MEETS MUFFAT @ INDEPENDENT THEATRE NORTH SYDNEY

Above : Jennifer Eriksson from The Marais Project performs with guest violinist Stephen Freeman and The Muffat Collective’s cellist Anita Gluyas.  Featured image : members of The Muffat Collective
This was a joyous collaboration of two passionate and committed local early music ensembles. It took us back to a time where monarchs and patrons craved the French musical style which was de rigeuer internationally.

In this concert the Marais Project’s Jennifer Eriksson and The Muffat Collective (Matthew Greco and Rafael Font-Viera -violins, Anita Gluyas-period cello /bass viol, Anthony Hamad-harpsichord and guest violin Stephen Freeman) combined their performance experience and specialist training to supply a beautiful and exciting stream of instrumental music from the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The six accomplished musicians explored the work of five composers through short works, excerpts from dramatic formats of the day or dance-inspired concert suites.

And dance this programme definitely did. The joyous and comfortable blending of talent presenting contrasting  pieces of music worked  very well.  Joyous performances resulted and were received enthusiastically.

A special highlight of this programme was the inclusion of two concert suites in the fashionable French style but featuring a concerto style part for a string soloist in the Italian style. These suites celebrated the French love of dance music but also displayed amazingly virtuosic passages for the soloist.

Viola da gambist Jennifer Eriksson and Baroque violinist Matthew Greco worked sensitively within the ensemble texture of these works but also dazzled us with demanding filigree above the general character of the dance movements.

The first of these concert suites was Telemann’s Ouverture-Suite in D Major TMV55:D6. The French overture styled opening was boldly played. it was a confident start to the string of dance movements. This work was imbued with a fine sense of subtle shading and contrast from all members of this concert’s new collective. Eriksson shaped Telemann’s challenging interludes of bravura for her instrument in effective broad strokes.

In the second such concert suite, by JS Bach’s cousin  Johann Berhard, Matthew Greco’s baroque violin sang with finesse alongside the other instrumentalists. The intricacies of the various dances were realised with finesse, but Greco also soared above the texture in solo display and out to the astonished listeners. This was the concert’s final offering on the programme  and a stunning conclusion to an elegant kaleidoscope of early music.

Another intimate delicacy which danced elegantly before us was the concert suite Concert pour quatre parties de violes . This was another example of the French stylistic fare, this time by four players from the ensemble, presenting the well-articluated work  by French composer Charpentier.  The contrasting dance movements were skilfully delineated.

Music from the theatre was a sharp, dramatic  addition to the event and a good way for each half of the programme to begin . It also showcased the musicians’ historically informed performance style in presenting works with a narrative or stage basis  as well as purely instrumental entertainment.

The concert opened in attention-grabbing fashion and with theatrical flair as the ensemble introduced its expressive potential by playing Lully’s Prologue from  the tragedie en musique,  Armide‘ Following interval the full ensemble welcomed us back into the world of of their study with a short energetic march from the comedie-ballet Le bourgeois gentilhomme by Lully.

Energy, committed performance and elegance were features of this successful collaboration. Informed commentary by members of the combined groups brought the music and musicians close to us. This is always a great human touch from performers in the modern climate and a good accompaniment to fine playing. Anthony Hamad’s historical perspective in this regard was as endearing, expressive and  clear as his playing throughout.

The expressive work La Sultane by Francois Couperin unfolded as a performance rich in moments of contrast, as well as balanced and lyrical  instrumental combination. The level of poise, interplay between parts and authentic gesturing  made this work drip with elegant chic and vibrant shifting colours. Even though such playing was consistent with the overall treats supplied by other items on the programme, this work was a definite highlight alongside the  Bach and Telemann suites.

This immensely successful collaboration project was a tribute to the training and talent of  members from both collectives. The Marais Project and The Muffat Collective continue with their individual 2017 Sydney concert seasons. We look forward to the next meeting of these two important early music groups.

Continue reading MARAIS MEETS MUFFAT @ INDEPENDENT THEATRE NORTH SYDNEY

LOUIS NOWRA’S ‘THIS MUCH IS TRUE’ @ THE OLD FITZ

Featured image – Cast of This Much Is True. Pic by John Marmaras.

With his latest trilogy complete, Louis Nowra has shown himself to be a very fine exponent of the ‘Memory Play’, a phrase coined by the great American dramatist Tennessee Williams. Williams most famous Memory Play was his exquisite drama, The Glass Menagerie, depicting the troubled life of his beloved sister.

The term describes an autobiographical play in which the writer steps to one side and narrates the action whilst observing him/herself as a younger person going through the play’s journey.

In the first play of the trilogy, SUMMER OF THE ALIENS, we see Nowra  looking back at his experiences as a sensitive teenager growing up in suburban Melbourne. In COSI we see the playwright reliving the time in his early twenties when he directed interned psych patients performing a landmark production of a Mozart Opera.

Now with THIS MUCH IS TRUE, the final play in his trilogy, we see Nowra writing about the experiences he has had, and the characters he has engaged with, in the times that he has spent at this local drinking hole, the Old Fitzroy Hotel. Continue reading LOUIS NOWRA’S ‘THIS MUCH IS TRUE’ @ THE OLD FITZ

ROMEO AND JULIET @ THE COMEDIE FRANCAISE: A PRODUCTION TO SWOON FOR

This production  sees Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET performed for the first time in over 50 years at the Comedie Francaise.  The play is performed in French, it is the Victor Hugo version with English surtitles.

The clean camera work exquisitely transfers the play from the stage to screen, with very effective use of close up when appropriate.

There are some wonderful touches in Ruf’s direction as for instance when Romeo blow dries Juliet’s hands with his breath.

The high, looming sets were cold and imposing (mostly tiles or marbled walls) with fluid, seamless set changes .

The costumes by Christian LaCroix were evocative of a broken down glamour.

This production resets Shakespeare’s classic play to the early twentieth century. A main theme is the idea of the vendetta and with turbulent emotions seething just under the surface. There were no extended sword fights but rather the deadly use of a small, hidden stiletto dagger. Continue reading ROMEO AND JULIET @ THE COMEDIE FRANCAISE: A PRODUCTION TO SWOON FOR

THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : ‘SUMPTUOUS STRINGS’ @ CONGRESS HALL

Above: TMO’s Artistic Director Sarah-Grace Williams and members of TMO Strings. Featured:  Duo Histoire’s Murilo Tanouye and Nicholas Russoniello. 

The recent TMO Met Concert #3 was an evening of exciting firsts. A new city venue option of the Congress Hall in Elizabeth Street successfully accommodated this event. As with many Met Concerts in any TMO subscription year, a world premiere composition, or arrangement in this case, added to the programmes richness. This concert contained the first collaboration between TMO and Duo Histoire, performing a version of Piazzola’s Double Concerto, arranged by saxophonist Nicholas Russoniello. When we heard this rewarding arrangement for the first time, the blend of strings, guitar and saxophone would have been a first for many in the crowd.

This concert featured TMO strings separated from the rest of the orchestra. This capable string orchestra presented famous and signpost works from the genre with pleasing precision and blend.

TMO’s Artistic Director Sarah-Grace Williams deftly guided all possibilities for shifting string timbres and articulation through the range of works string orchestra works by nineteenth and twentieth-century composers. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : ‘SUMPTUOUS STRINGS’ @ CONGRESS HALL

KIT BROOKMAN’S ‘THE PLANT’ @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

Featured image – Briallen Clarke, Sandy Gore, Helen Dallimore and  Garth Holcombe. Pic by Prudence Upton.

This was a quirky, whimsical, fanciful night at the theatre. As one would expect from the playwright who wrote the play A RABBIT FOR KIM JONG il which premiered at the Stables Theatre in 2015.

Sue is a middle aged woman who ho hasn’t been able to get her life back on track after the sudden death of her husband. Her three adult children are each busy with dealing with dealing with the challenges in their own lives  and aren’t able to be there for her.

One of the few simple pleasures she has is to look after her beloved exotic plant. The play is chugging along when a metamorphosis takes place. One minute we are looking at the plant, neatly perched on  side table, the next minute Clare has turned into a beautiful young woman who comes on stage dressed from head to toe as as a very leafy plant.

I won’t reveal any more of the plot than this. Suffice to say that that the play has a few more twists and turns, and decidedly left field moments, before journey’s end. Continue reading KIT BROOKMAN’S ‘THE PLANT’ @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

BEFORE LYSISTRATA : A THOUGHT PROVOKING PRODUCTION BY MONTAGUE BASEMENT

 

Production photography by Zaina Ahmed.

There are two ‘good wives’ standing centre stage and back to back as the show opens. Each is speaking in support of their husband … good men who are sending their countries to war for the best of reasons if we believe the wives. These are the first ladies of agoge and of discourse. Lampito speaks for Archidamus of Sparta. The virtues of Pericles of the city state of Athens are extoled by Lysistrata. BEFORE LYSISTRATA is an intelligent, driven and timely treatise on what happens when women step from the shade thrown by great men.

Aristophanes’ was living through the Peloponnesian War when his comic play LYSISTRATA (about 411 BCE) took revolutionary, yet disguised, gender relations to the masses. His titular heroine is responsible for creating a no sex strike by the women of the warring nations. A ploy to force the warriors to peace. This Montague Basement production is an original story which looks at how Lysistrata might have been brought to the point of such a politically volatile solution to a very long war. Continue reading BEFORE LYSISTRATA : A THOUGHT PROVOKING PRODUCTION BY MONTAGUE BASEMENT

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S : A LOVELY TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

Dendy Cinemas are gearing up to host a series of retro screenings themed to feature food, drink and moments reminiscent of those in the movies.

On Monday July 31st at Dendy Opera Quays will host two separate screenings of the iconic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s – starring the fabulous Audrey Hepburn in one of her most iconic roles on screen.

Dendy Cinema-goers can attend either a 10am session with a coffee & croissant, or a 6:30pm session with a glass of champagne (just like Audrey) for either of these two very special limited screenings. Continue reading BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S : A LOVELY TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

AN OFFER TOO GOOD TO REFUSE – HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO MEET THE ADDAMS FAMILY

With music and lyrics by renowned musical composer Andrew Lippa, this Tony nominated musical follows the iconic spooky family – The Addams Family.

Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents have never met.

If that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY, THE MUSICAL   promises to be a fun, kooky night at the theatre for all ages. For those who grew up with the wonderful characters created by Charles Addams, this is a great new take on the beloved family whilst offering plenty of nostalgia.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

NUTS will put on performances on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th August at 7pm and Saturday 19th at 5pm at the Science Theatre, UNSW Campus.

For more about The Addams Family, The Musical, visit http://www.nuts.org.au/addams-family.html
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TORONTO ALL STAR STEEL ORCHESTRA (TASSO) @ SYDNEY TOWN HALL

All the way from Canada, Toronto All Star Steel Orchestra will give the command performance at the conclusion of the 28th annual Australian International Music Festival taking place tomorrow– July 15– at Sydney Town Hall.

Festival organisers selected TASSO for the honour immediately following the band’s adjudicated presentation at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on Thursday night.

A distinctive melodious sound combined with a high level of musicianship help TASSO stand out in a festival setting.

Lead by musical director Salmon Cupid, the 29-member band has members ranging in age from 12 to 20 and is one of more than 40 wind, choral, jazz and orchestral ensembles with an estimated 1,200 participants competing at AIFM this year from around the world. Continue reading TORONTO ALL STAR STEEL ORCHESTRA (TASSO) @ SYDNEY TOWN HALL

MAURITIUS @ THE NEW THEATRE

There is a neglected and dusty Philatelist’s display cabinet on stage for MAURITIUS at the New Theatre. A shrewd observer, while peering in, may find a hidden treasure. Theatre going is a bit like that too and a keen, educated audience member will always find something to watch and be engaged in. For me, the story, Theresa Rebeck’s 2007 script, was the key to my interest in Sure Foot Productions’ show.

Jackie( Kitty Hopwood) is obviously uncomfortable as she gingerly enters Philip’s seedy stamp shop. She is easily dismissed by this stamp expert (Andy Simpson) who won’t even look at the album she clutches to her chest. Lurking around is Dennis (Peter-William Jamieson) who sympathetically thumbs through her book. Something might have caught his eye but it turns out that Jackie is in an inheritance tussle with her sister Mary (Emma Louise) and may not own the object of desire. The little piece of paper also attracts local thug and wiseguy Sterling (Brett Heath) who has a long history with Philip and philately.

There are a few too many frequent repetitions and riffs on a theme in the script, but there is also an implication that tension and simmer could build well to the violence of the final scene. Rebeck’s script also has a strong mystery feel with room for comic moments. However, despite their hard work this cast struggled to bring the play to life.

Static, stilted and bland, the direction (Richard Cornally) sees very little movement and a great deal of shouting across the wide stage. He has allowed his characters to stand flatfooted with their arms tight across their chest or stuffed into pockets, constrained and forced . Voices are strident or huffy.

Nor are the cast supported by the lighting design which has hot spots and dips all over. The set does the job to show the two spaces but had a nasty wobble on opening night.

But there are things to see… moments when the play does lift. The cat and mouse about the money is well played. Dennis manages to be ingratiating and untrustworthy without being smarmy. Mary shows distinct signs of having been in therapy. There is something emotional happening between Jackie and Dennis. So … a show for a seeker of hidden enjoyments.

And I was carried along the story, even if the ending had a predictability that made it unsurprising.

MAURITIUS continues at the New Theatre, Newtown until 29th July.

 

GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS : BONNIE CURTIS PROJECTS ANNOUNCES ITS DEBUT SEASON

GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS is a double bill of original works presented by Sydney’s daring new dance company, Bonnie Curtis Projects.

Staged in a heritage church, the show gives audiences a personal and intimate experience, at times blurring the lines between audience and performer.

The title piece Girls Girls Girls is a gutsy new work by choreographer and filmmaker Bonnie Curtis. Exploring the experiences of modern Australian women, their deepest, darkest thoughts and insecurities are paraded on stage.

Hilarious, clichéd, and deeply moving, this performance is an unconventional work sure to provoke discussion.

Kate Garrett’s work When I Was… transports audiences to another time and place, discovering the joyful stories of generations past.

Garrett’s piece features music by British folk band Steeleye Span, and explores the profoundly human experiences of love, misjudgement and loss.

GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS represents the first full-length work of Bonnie Curtis Projects.

DATES FOR THE DIARY 

September 8, 9, 10 at 7.30 pm at Annandale Creative Arts Centre,  81 Johnson St Annandale 2038

For more about Girls Girls Girls, visit http://www.bonniecurtisprojects.com
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YOUNG ARCHIE EXHIBITION TURNS 5 @ ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

 

Celebrate young Australian talent and get up close and personal with the enchanting entries in the Young Archie competition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Part of the family program for the 96th annual Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes exhibition, the Young Archie competition invites budding artists aged five to 18 to embrace the genre of portraiture, and paint a portrait of someone who is special to them and plays a significant role in their life.

This is the fifth year the family-friendly Young Archie competition has run alongside the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes and it has become a much-loved annual event for Gallery-goers.

DATES FOR THE DIARY

The Young Archie 2017 Exhibition is on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from the 29th July to the 22nd October 2017. Admission is free.

For more about Young Archie 2017 Exhibition, visit https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/young-archie/
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ART BITES WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The August 6th deadline approaches for entry into LOVE BITES, a Screen Australia and ABC TV Arts competition for LGBTQI filmmakers. A curated series of 10 x 5 minute shorts to be premiered on the ABC Arts channel on iview during Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in March 2018 the initiative was born of ART BITES, a similar completion.

The winners of ART BITES, now in its second year, have just been announced. These four teams will receive direct investment of $60,000 from the ABC and Screen Australia to make a 6 x 5 minute documentary web series to premiere on the ABC Arts channel on iview in 2018. Continue reading ART BITES WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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