Theatre

THE CARETAKER : THROWING SHADE THEATRE COMPANY REVISITS A PINTER CLASSIC

An old tramp receives shelter in a cluttered room of an abandoned house. Aston lives in personal and emotional isolation, tinkering with gadgets and dreaming of building a shed out in the yard. And Mick, who carries on like a man of affairs, inhabits a dream world that resembles an extrovert’s nightmares.

It is winter. Into his derelict household shrine Aston brings Davies, a tramp – but a tramp with pretensions, even if to the world he may be a pathetic old creature. All that is left of his past now is the existence in Sidcup of some papers, papers that will prove exactly who he is and enable him to start again.

Aston, too, has his dreams: he has always been good with his hands and there is so much to do in the house. Aston’s hopes are tied to his flash brother Mick’s; he has aspirations to live in a luxurious apartment. Human nature is a great spoiler of plans, however… Continue reading THE CARETAKER : THROWING SHADE THEATRE COMPANY REVISITS A PINTER CLASSIC

Jetpack Presents: Ghosts of Glebe

That house. On the corner. It’s so damn scary. That street. Near the church. You get a chill every time you cross it. That ghost. In the park. Who is she? Or, you suppose, was she? Why won’t she let you have a turn on the swings? Join us at Ghosts of Glebe as our professional guides lead you on a spooky tour of thrills, chills and friendly spectres that surround one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs. Who knows what you might discover about the spirit world… or yourself?

Inspired by local history and architecture, this interactive show is a fictional walking tour performed on the streets of Glebe, blending performance and reality for a delightfully eerie night out.

DATES
6.30 & 8pm, Tuesdays-Saturdays, 31st October-11th November

For more about Jetpack Presents: Ghosts of Glebe, visit http://ghostsofglebe.eventbrite.com.au
Find us on: YouTube | Facebook

THE LISTIES ‘ICKYPEDIA’ @ THE MERRIGONG THEATRE

As an adult chaperoning a small human to a kid’s comedy show, you don’t have high hopes of enjoying yourself. At best, you can hope to receive some second-hand joy watching the ecstatic faces of the children you broughtknowing you have just become their coolest guardian. Alternatively, you can hope the show will encourage you to peg huge boogers at its presenterswhich is precisely how THE LISTIES ‘ICKYPEDIA’ had me spending my Friday night; and yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In THE LISTIES ‘ICKYPEDIA’, Richard Higgins and Matthew Kelly (both former adult comedians- turned children) bring their eponymous comedy book to the stagean unfactual encyclopedia of hilarious, entirely made-up (and almost-always-poo-related) compound words. From being ‘fartled’ to accidentally entering ‘nose-go zone’, these new words and their expertly formed definitions finally address some of the Macquarie Dictionary’s shortcomings. Continue reading THE LISTIES ‘ICKYPEDIA’ @ THE MERRIGONG THEATRE

WILLOUGHBY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS ‘CHICAGO’ @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

This is a glitzy, bright bold and colourful production slickly staged by the Willoughby Theatre Company (WTC).

The show is a bleak, cynical, world weary look at life murder and corruption in Chicago of the 1920’s and includes audience favourites like All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle.

The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal”.

Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by crime reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins.

Each number is based on a traditional vaudeville act or performer, making explicit the show’s comparison between “justice”, “show-business”, and contemporary society.

The iconic show has won six Tonys and is one of the longest running shows both on Broadway and in London.

There have been two major productions in Sydney, the landmark Sydney Theatre Company production with Geraldine Turner and Nancey Hayes in 1981, the production in 1999 at the Capitol with  Caroline O’Connor and Chelsea Gibb.

What is interesting is the slight changes – the ‘standard’ Fosse choreography is not used, although there are allusions to it,  and the WTC seek to out Barnum Barnum and razzle -dazzle us with HUGE production numbers.

There is no fan dance with chorus girls for Billy Flynn’s All care About Is Love– yet the girls appear in other sections of the show, and the sharp, spiky Cell Block Tango has another team of ladies up top on the scaffolding. And why were there three extra Billys and Roxies for We Both Reached For the Gun?! 

Rather than have various cast members introduce the assorted numbers in Brechtian style,in this production we have a dapper MC nattily played by Luke Davis.

Andrew Castle lovingly directs with great timing and pacing from the fine ensemble who perform with panache. The orchestra under the baton of Alex Ash was sensational , bringing the infectious score vibrantly to life.

The 1920’s costumes were incredibly detailed and textured – oh ! the beading and lace for some of them!

Janina Hamerlok’s choreography was snazzy and oh so showbizzy, also including tap and the Charleston.

Dangerous, angry Velma Kelly , a deadly viper who is dethroned in prison by her rival ,was given an impressive performance by Kristina McNamara. 

Her big introductory number – All That Jazz – boisterously set the scene .We see how she sets out to look after number one but is also  scared and fragile. She shimmies, she dances up a dazzling storm to try and get Roxie on her side( I Simply Cannot Do It Alone) .

Roxie Hart, superficially sweet and pretty is coldly calculating, as played by fiery, petite Erin Carlton who portrays her as a spoilt and self absorbed wannabe who tries trading up in boyfriends and pinches Velma’s plans for her trial . Her baby is also a scam.

Roxie transforms her prison cell into a command centre for her commando raids on Chicago’s court system , with help from Flynn. We do also see her vulnerability underneath. The Nowadays duet was glamorous and eye catching,

Sleek, suave, cynical, corrupt hot shot lawyer Billy Flynn was marvellously played by Gavin Brightwell who croons his way through All He Cares About Is Love – oh yeah? The money , rather.

Matron Mama Morton was given a dazzling performance by Courtney Powell who cynically reveals her corruption. She sings up a storm and her When You’re Goo to Mama brings the house down

Quiet, shy Amos, Roxie’s husband, who is rather simple and naive , (Mr Cellophan ), was terrifically played by Scott Dias in a very sympathetic performance.

Vibrant naïve Mary Sunshine (There’s A Little Bit of Good in Everyone), who hides a deep secret,  was given a splendid performance by Jared Pallesen .

CHICAGO is about life as a battlefield and the weapons we use in our attempts to survive the wars. It is witty and intelligent its famous songs about betrayal, selfishness and press manipulation, could be equally at home either on the Broadway or Australian stage or in any of the recent Presidential or Prime Ministerial campaigns, giving us plenty to think about.

Razzle dazzle them ….

Running time – just over 2 & ½ hours.

Willoughby Theatre Company’s CHICAGO is playing the  Concourse  at Chatswood until the 22nd October.

Book by Fred Ebb & Bob Fosse
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fredd Ebb
Based on the play Chicago by Maurine Dallas Watkins
Script adaptation by David Thompson

 

MONOPOLY : A NEW PLAY BY STEVEN HOPLEY

This is a neat piece of small scale theatre, written and directed by Hot Room Theatre Group Artistic Director Steve Hopley.

One of Hopley’s main goals as Director is for his Group to create new work, and get actors, who aren’t regularly performing, up on the stage.

The show riffs off a simple idea that makes one think why hadn’t anyone thought of it before. The concept – to draw parallels between the classic property game ‘Monopoly’, and the real life property ‘game’ of buying and selling real estate in Sydney. Continue reading MONOPOLY : A NEW PLAY BY STEVEN HOPLEY

BUYER AND CELLAR @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

We are a species with a great ability to improvise. One of our more modest and  frequent outlets for our creativity is in the way we express ourselves  with/through our nests, our homes. 

Movie rooms, music rooms, game rooms, the list goes on… One friend set up a fully fledged cafe in his house. Everything was set up…the latest coffee machine, fresh pastries in glass cabinets, journals such as the New Yorker on the coffee table,  plush sofa seating.

Great ideas…These, however, are nothing near the scale of what Hollywood legend Barbra Streisand established in her home. Are you ready for it?! A  shopping mall in the basement of her LA mansion. Continue reading BUYER AND CELLAR @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

MIRACLE CITY @ THE STUDIO, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

MIRACLE CITY was first produced in Sydney in 1996 and after brief, bright flame of 4 weeks flickered out as the creative forces behind it moved on. Written by the late Nick Enright with music from Max Lambert (who is Musical Director for this production), the original director was Gale Edwards. Did I see Edwards and original cast member Genevieve Lemon in the crowd tonight? This production was  spoken of in legendary terms yet it was interesting to note there were plenty of excitable tweets coming from opening night audience members repeating the precept that MIRACLE CITY was previously ‘undiscovered’.

Offering this production up for fresh discovery is Darren Yap, directing again after a sell-out season at Hayes Theatre in October 2014. He worked as Enright’s assistant in 1997 when a modified version was produced for WAAPA.

Credibility galore so far. Add to this line-up, a stellar cast, high production values, uniform excellence in the voices and you have a show which is sure to please.

It is the 1990s at the height of the Televangelist craze that will come crashing down as scandals and swindles come to light. MIRACLE CITY plays out in real time as the Truswells, a family of faith, prepare and present their live-to-air “Ministry of Miracles”. Father Ricky, Mother Lora Lee, 16 year old daughter Loretta and younger son Ricky-Bob are excited that prestigious pastor Millard Sizemore is their guest on today’s show. Continue reading MIRACLE CITY @ THE STUDIO, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Puntila / Matti @ Kings Cross Theatre

Production photos by Rupert Reid.

“It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a clerk.” – Bertolt Brecht

This quote by German Modernist playwright Brecht is the opening description on MK Alpha’s page for Puntila/Matti, and perhaps the most apt and appropriate way to explain this show.

Set the audience up for an enjoyable, mindless night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross theatrical hub only to be immediately knocked down and disappointed. This show is not intended to be watched nor enjoyed like a regular performance.

Fourth-walls are broken, audience members personally called out, asked to perform on stage with the actors, coerced into very uncomfortable situations, and left unsure as to whether they are correctly following along. It’s a surprise if no one walks out during the show.

Puntila/Matti is an adaptation by Doppelgangster of Brecht’s play Mr Puntila and his Man Matti. Presented by MK-Alpha and Kings Cross Theatre, Puntila/Matti has been conceptualised by Tobias Manderson-Galvin, directing and performing alongside Grace Lauer and Antoniette Barbouttis.

The trio each have their own moments to bond with the audience but it is perhaps Manderson-Galvin that is trying to make the audience feel the least comfortable. Sitting next to, interrogating, and even kissing members of the audience, leaves an uneasy feeling throughout the entire show.

In Brecht’s eyes, this show would probably pass as using his famous styles and techniques common to his work. But would he enjoy it? For a play that was originally written in 1940 and first performed in 1948 probably not. However, this show is being performed in 2017 and is subverting the modern viewer. This is not a play designed to be enjoyed by all. It is experimental and aggressive, whilst maintaining a certain wit and comedic approach that will not be palatable to everyone.

Whether intentional or not, the fact that Puntila/Matti is being performed in Kings Cross is incredibly clever. An area once infamous for crime, drugs, and scandal, is slowly gentrifying. The environment is shifting from a once bustling nightlife hub to an expensive, high-rise area. The intersection between rich and poor is becoming more apparent in the suburb, particularly on the main strip. Puntila is an aristocratic land-owner and Matti is his servant. Theatre is more commonly enjoyed by those who can afford it, with Puntila/Matti attempting to shake all of us out of this bubble.

This is anti-theatre with a devilish comedic twist.

Puntila/Matti is on at The Kings Cross Theatre (inside The Kings Cross Hotel) from 25th September – 14th October on Monday – Saturday at 7:30pm. The show is approx 90 minutes with no interval.

Please note: Strong Language, Nudity, Loud Noises, Smoke. Over 18 is advised.

JULIAN LARNACH’S ‘IN REAL LIFE’ @ THE ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE

As our world gets more complex, and more and more technically savvy, the line between reality and fantasy is becoming increasingly blurred. One inevitably begins to ponder where all these technological advances are going to leave us? Will life, as we know it, still be manageable? Have we human beings  become far too smart for our own good?! It is this area, and these questions, which Sydney playwright Julian Larnach explores in his new play.

The play is a two-hander, Anni Finsterer plays an unnamed middle  aged mum and Elizabeth Nabben is her (also unnamed) adult daughter.  Nabben also plays a number of other, incidental characters.

Very early on in the play we cotton on that the  two have a very fractured, tense relationship.

At the heart of the tension between them is the daughter’s great antipathy towards her mother’s corporate career based in cutting edge technology. She sees her mother as being cold and dispassionate. Tension mounts up between them, culminating in the daughter storms out of the family home and simply vanishes.

She might have all the smarts in the world, but mum doesn’t know how to deal with her baby’s disappearance. She is used to being able to work out, and control everything. At the point of full on despair she comes up with a strategy. She will try and create a clone of her daughter. That way she will never have to miss her daughter again!

Larnach’s narrative has plenty of twists and turns over its two hour journey. Sometimes the shifts, especially in time sequences, are a little confusing, still it was a provocative night in the theatre, leaving one with plenty to think about.

The performances by Anni Finsterer and  Elizabeth Nibben were excellent. Luke Rogers direction worked well, as did the work of his creative team, with highlights being an edgy soundscape by James Brown and a compact, very good looking set by Georgina Hopkins.

Julian Larnach’s IN REAL LIFE is in its last few days at the Eternity Playhouse. The season ends this Sunday, 15th October.

http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/

 

CRASH TEST DRAMA : NOW IN ITS TENTH YEAR

Crash Test Drama, a unique theatre event located in inner Sydney, is going to hold its last audition showcase for the year on October 31 at 107 Theatres, 107 Redfern Street, Redfern.

The event provides a fantastic space for  directors, playwrights, actors, and actresses to  network and work in.

Pete Malicki, the coordinator of Crash Test Drama, has constructed a friendly and warm atmosphere for all comers and made Crash Test Drama a fun and fruitful event for theatre people to take part in. Continue reading CRASH TEST DRAMA : NOW IN ITS TENTH YEAR

The Natural Conservatorium for Wise Women @ Old 505

Lean and slippered. The stained figure before us is no hothouse creation. He is of the earth. His modesty is protected by his natural fibre woollen longjohns but he is white faced and stripped of insignia and identifiers. Perceptually naked as the ball root of the plant he holds.

That little tree. In his eye … a son. An object to be threatened into growth when it takes its natural place in a hole of the creature’s digging.

Clockfire Theatre Company will take this being on a journey to a place where the earthen tear he has dug, with his father and his father’s father and back beyond, is no longer owned by him. And in that place, he will beg.

THE NATURAL CONSERVATORIUM FOR WISE WOMEN is a work of power about power: the taking of it, the nature of reclaiming it and the powerlessness of those from whom it is wrenched or cajoled. Continue reading The Natural Conservatorium for Wise Women @ Old 505

SIMON STEPHENS’ ´BIRDLAND’@ THE NEW THEATRE

Production photos by Chris Lundie.

In Simon Stephens’ new play BIRDLAND Paul is a rock God. Everyone knows his face. Everyone knows his name. He can have whatever he wants. He can fuck whoever he wants. Buy anything. Eat anything. Drink anything. Smoke anything. Go anywhere.

He is on his latest European tour which is coming to an end. The mega fame and limitless money that go hand in hand with the rock stardom are messing with his head. The pressure is finally getting to him and he could implode at any time…..

What to make of New’s latest play?!  

I have to say that I was lukewarm about it. Do we really need to see another story about an indulgent, excessive, belligerent rock god?!

Frankly, I have seen enough of them. Stephens’ play didn’t stand out for me. Anthony Skuse’s taut production did as rock  god Paul’s fall from grace production is captured in minuscule detail.

Graeme McRae gave a very strong performance in the lead with a good supporting cast playing long time friends, hangers on, mistresses, and managers.

Simon Stephens BIRDLAND is playing the New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown until Saturday 4th November.

Performances Thursdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm and Sundays at 5pm. Final performance Saturday 4th November at 2pm.

Creative Team –  Director/Set Designer Antony Skuse, Lighting Designer- Christopher Page, Costume Designer – Brodie Simpson, Assistant Director- Jack Angwin, Vocal/Dialect Coach- Linda Nicholls-Gidley,, Bio Box- Olle Borch, Stage Manager- Ricca Costa.

Cast – Jack Angwin, Charmaine Bingwa, Matthew Cheetham, Airlie Dodds, Louise Harding, Leilani Loau, Graeme McRae.

http://www.newtheatre.org.au

CALENDAR GIRLS : BRASSY, BOLD AND AS COMIC AS EVER

This is the stage adaptation, by Tim Firth, of the very popular movie of the same title, starring Helen Mirren.

Many will know the story, based on real life events, when a group  of women working in a small Women’s Institute group in Yorkshire, London, took their kit off to put together a calendar to raise funds for cancer research after one of the women in the group, Annie,  lost her husband John to cancer.

The Calendar was released and went ‘viral’. The women found their sudden fame hard to deal with, and friendships within the group become strained. All however does end up happy enough.

Firth’s adaptation is clever, racy, funny and at times touching, and Pymble Players have given it another life with a fresh, winning production in their intimate theatre,  a converted church space.

Julia Griffith’s direction is sharp and featured elegant staging. Her cast maintained their accents well. Ian Ackland’s  compact set  of a village church hall where the Women’s Institute meets. Other locations are well established by full length images projected on the back wall.

Melissa Abrahams soundscape, primarily featuring excerpts of popular songs worked well, as did Jan McLachlan’s period costumes.

Griffith’s enthusiastic cast were all good. Louise Deibe as Chris and Fran Etheridge as Annie were very effective in the main roles. Favourite performances in the supporting cast were by Bronwyn Courts  as the glamorous, good natured Celia, Maria Karambelas as the vivacious, feisty retired teacher.Jessie, and Racquel Boyd, who after initially being reluctant, does pitch in with her friends. 

Margaret Olive plays the social climbing Marie, Helen Hunter-Lee plays both local dignitary Lady Cavendish and a deceitful beauty consultant, Elaine, Royden Broad has a brief part playing Annie’s dying husband John before he shuffles off his mortal coil, Wills Burke is the shy photographer Lawrence who receives his best assignment ever, and Murray Fane plays two roles, those of Rod and Liam.

Make a date soon to meet up with these feisty, vivacious Calendar Girls. They are a lot of fun, and keep the audience well entertained. The show is playing at Pymble Players, on the corner of Bromley Avenue and Mona Vale Road, until 28th October.  Please check the website for performance times.

http://www.pymbleplayers.com.au

 

 

 

THE GLOVEMAN @ BLOOD MOON THEATRE

THE GLOVEMAN which is currently playing at Blood Moon Theatre is bookended by he song ‘Rain’ from Dragon’s ‘Cuts from Tough Times’ album. The characters in the play are from hard times, the coal dust frosting the pub’s pint glasses and deaths from black lung touching the whole town. But there is a bright spot. One of their own has been awarded the Golden Gloves award for being a champion goalkeeper, the second local to do so.

THE GLOVEMAN is not, however, a play which is about success. Rather, it explores temptation and greed and manipulation. It is about failure. The human failure of innocents in the face of insatiable and incultivated dishonesty.

Emerging playwright Chris Naylor, in collaboration with Director Michael Block, have created a play that places corruption in the least venial of places. A Northern English industrial town with a lower division soccer club.

Rising star gloveman or keeper, Royce is about to be interviewed for the paper about his win and his sister Edith and old teammate Col are on hand to support him. His interview gets out of hand and the paper prints a story with a whiff of “suspicious score lines and betting”. As things snowball, Clive, that first recipient of the award, is keen to keep his credibility and scorecard in the face of this young pup. Nothing will be helped by the arrival of HUGH a manipulative match fixer who has few morals and a devious agenda. Continue reading THE GLOVEMAN @ BLOOD MOON THEATRE

RED CARPET : BEAUTIFUL THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL

Beautiful. Not only was the musical beautiful but so were many of the celebs who walked the Red Carpet. Here are some of the best pics that Ben Apfelbaum took. Enjoy!

Featured image. Left to right- Director Marc Bruni, Writer Douglas McGarth, Producers – Michael Cassel and Mike Bosner.

SECRET HOUSE PRESENTS ‘THE WINTER’S TALE’ @ THE DEPOT THEATRE

“Yes there is a bear in there.” This is the chase: I am gone for ever! [Exit pursued by a bear.]

THE WINTER’S TALE is one of William Shakespeare’s problem plays, a tragic romantic comedy with many a twist in the tale, its multiple moods offer a challenge that requires expert direction, and a cast capable of fine ensemble work.

This huge cast of seventeen actors, brilliantly deliver this wonderful Shakespearean epic of revenge, passion, insane unwarranted jealousy, cruelty and regret.

The stage direction [Exit pursued by a bear] gives every director a severe problem that needs to be solved during the rehearsal process. Secret House director, Sean O’Riordan, has magnificently solved “the bear issue” immediately generating applause from the entire audience on opening night.

Continue reading SECRET HOUSE PRESENTS ‘THE WINTER’S TALE’ @ THE DEPOT THEATRE

GHOSTS : CLASSIC DRAMA UPSTAIRS @ BELVOIR STREET

 

Feature image – Pamela Rabe as Mrs Helene Alving and Robert Menzies as Pastor Manders in ‘Ghosts’. Pic by Brett Boardman.

Dave, one of my close friends, has a pet saying – ‘That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it? He uses it whenever he hears a bad news story,  yet another story of man’s inhumanity to man.

Dave’s turn of phrase can be applied to any number of dramas penned by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Actually that is something of an under-estimation…his plays tend to be very harsh. They are explorations into the dark side of life. 

Take his play GHOSTS. Ibsen draws us deeply inside the world of Mrs Alving, played by the remarkable Pamela Rabe.

Mrs Alving’s life has been tough, mainly due to a very unhappy marriage – a common scenario for women in Ibsen’s plays. Her late husband, Captain Alving, went to the grave with his reputation as a distinguished military man and respectable family man in tact. The reality was that he was anything but, he was an alcoholic and as well had countless affairs on his wife. Continue reading GHOSTS : CLASSIC DRAMA UPSTAIRS @ BELVOIR STREET

SMASH HITS AND STEREOTYPES @ THE ACTORS PULSE

One of the most moving songs in SMASH HITS AND STEREOTYPES is actually about an imminent death. Considering this is a young cast, a freshly created work and the story of a 21st birthday it really made me think. Such an entertaining show, vibrant, shiny and new, energetic and driven, deserves a life.

Two characters arrive alone on stage with love on their mind. A group of friends have hired a beach house to celebrate a Spring birthday and Olivia and Bud are the early birds who will get the biggest bedroom. As the other friends arrive the good times are set to roll until tensions surface as one of the relationships comes under threat from an interloper. Alliances will be tested and each of the friends will change and grow over the next 2 hours.

SMASH HITS AND STEREOTYPES has a solid story and characters to fall in love with, and yet is disarmingly thoughtful and reflective. There is a Cinema vs Music battle that we have all had at a drunken student party which has been moulded into a neat song that puts the intelligence of this work on show. Written by Coco Grainger and Ludwig Van Distortion (yes really!) it is professional and polished. With some really well written comic lines! I liked “bedsprings to test”. Such an archaic reference but what really made me laugh was “Hi Sis, I was just about to toke up!”

Their publicity blurb suggests that the show is a kind of anti-musical “Burn down Broadway” and that is apparent in the music. The musician character Ray sings of “discordant, unusual instruments” and there is mention of “dissonant pauses” and those are there for sure. Add to that an audacious slow and sad opening number after interval and the score is well and truly lifted away from the formulaic. Continue reading SMASH HITS AND STEREOTYPES @ THE ACTORS PULSE

MIRROR : A CELEBRATION OF SELFHOOD @ THE SYDNEY FRINGE

 

Production photography by Tyler Grace Photography.

Every last instinct is screaming at me. Plead.

Beg even. Make them go.

So here it is… I don’t ask much of you.

Please go and see MIRROR at the Sydney Fringe. I know it’s at 6 p.m. … but take the day off. It’ll be worth it.

Please, please don’t let this artist and his 5 alternate selves have to present this joyous, gentle and loving production to an audience of six, plus me, ever again. Seriously, it is such engaging, entertaining work I can’t bear the thought of people missing out on it. Continue reading MIRROR : A CELEBRATION OF SELFHOOD @ THE SYDNEY FRINGE

THE BIG ANXIETY FESTIVAL : TILL NOVEMBER  11 ACROSS GREATER SYDNEY

Photographs by Ben Apfelbaum.

This Festival explores and re-imagines the state of mental health in the 21st Century.

Leading national and international artists, scientists, technology experts and thinkers have got together to make this a special Festival.

During the Festival over 60 events will be presented across Sydney with hubs being located at Customs House, Riverside Theatres Parramatta and the UNSW School of Art and Design.

The  Festival hopes to transform the way people think about and deal with mental health issues via innovative experiences that include state of the art immersive environments including the world’s highest resolution 3D cinema, international art exhibitions, theatre and performance, contemporary dance, interactive media events and  public forums  for the entire family. Continue reading THE BIG ANXIETY FESTIVAL : TILL NOVEMBER  11 ACROSS GREATER SYDNEY

WHERE BE THE WINGED APES? @ ERSKINEVILLE TOWN HALL

Hell on wheels, Emma O’Sullivan is hell bent on running hell for leather, um hell for sequins, into hellfire.  And it’s a damned (get it?) good thing that she is a better pun writer than me.  She has managed to create a hellava show (somebody stop me!) out of nothing.  Bugger all.  Except a disco sequined onesie and a vision of hell that doesn’t live up to any of the Catholic hype.

Emma has been listening to various language versions of a particularly noxious bossa nova jazz standard for 6 hours. We join her in the waiting room of Hell.  Pre-hell?  Nice outfit she died in… good lookin’ corpse, girl!  Night out pissed was it?  Pretty bored with the waiting gig, she now has an audience and being somewhat of a go-getter she decides to knock up Satan and enquire when the party of reprobates and sinners is going to get started.  

What follows in an hour of astonishingly skilled performance.  The character is detailed and has a very well written arc to follow, from enthusiastic newhellbie to power hungry usurper.  O’Sullivan not only inhabits the character but the small space as well.  She wanders and mingles, even extending to the very, very peculiar and ineffectual seduction of a door … complete with jamb.   Continue reading WHERE BE THE WINGED APES? @ ERSKINEVILLE TOWN HALL

HOT MIKADO : TWO HOURS OF QUIRKY, MESSAGE FREE ENTERTAINMENT

Chatswood Musical Society’s much anticipated season of HOT MIKADO has commenced.

The show opened last Friday night and features the updated version of the classic Gilbert and Sullivan tale The Mikado as pieced together by Rob Bowman (music) and David H. Bell (lyrics).

Gilbert and Sullivan’s storyline is just a bit of silly nonsense, with the main characters facing life and death situations as if they were on their way to afternoon tea parties. It’s the music, the dancing and the costumes that make this show. The music ranges from jazz to blues to gospel to torch songs, and there’s some tap dancing in the big Company numbers. Continue reading HOT MIKADO : TWO HOURS OF QUIRKY, MESSAGE FREE ENTERTAINMENT

SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY LAUNCHES ITS 2018 SEASON

Featured image : Guy Simon, Contessa Treffone and Rose Riley who will next year in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of ‘Harp In The South’. Pic by Rene Vale.

Sydney Theatre Company(STC) has unveiled its 2018 Season – Kip Williams’ first as Artistic Director. It is a bold program of sixteen shows across five venues which will inspire, challenge and entertain audiences. The season comprises a range of new works by Australian writers, the epic stage adaptation of a beloved trilogy of novels, and the return of a rarely produced Australian classic. These sit alongside ground-breaking and inventive new productions of contemporary and classic international works.

Speaking about the season, Artistic Director Kip Williams said:

“The theatre is where we come to find pleasure, to ask questions, to understand ourselves, and to negotiate our society. In 2018, these traits are the bedrock of the season. I’ve aimed to put together works that reflect our city and our community. The writing comes from some of the world’s great playwrights, who give lively and expressive shape to timely questions around political leadership, social responsibility, gender equality and race relations. Continue reading SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY LAUNCHES ITS 2018 SEASON

ASSASSINS : SONDHEIM’S DARK MUSICAL REVISITED @ THE HAYES

Featured image- The cast of ‘Assassins’. Production  photos by Phil Erbacher.

The great American composer likes to explore, at times.  very dark  subjects. Take Sweeney Todd, his play about a serial killing barber. Or his 1990 play ASSASSINS which the Hayes Theatre Company is currently reviving in a production directed by Dean Bryant.

ASSASSINS takes place in a fairground shooting gallery, where a group of misfits gather. Each has a problem they need to solve and each has discovered the answer – they must shoot the President of the United States!

From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald we learn of the many ways that each has committed or attempted to commit the ultimate crime.

In his program note, the esteemed Director states that he has wanted to put on a revival of ASSASSINS for a long time. He makes the most of his opportunity by assembling one of the strongest line-up of performers seen at the Hayes theatre for some time. Continue reading ASSASSINS : SONDHEIM’S DARK MUSICAL REVISITED @ THE HAYES

CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT ‘LADIES IN LAVENDER’ @ THE PAVILION THEATRE

Featured image- Julian Floriano as Andrea and Mary Clarke as Dorcan in ‘Ladies In Lavender’. Production photos by Chris Lundie.

Castle Hill Players production of LADIES IN LAVENDER is a poignant, gentle comedy of sibling rivalry, love and lost dreams. Shaun McKenna’s play is an adaptation of Charles Dance’s screenplay for his 2004 film of the same name, which itself was itself based on a short story by William J. Locke.

LADIES IN LAVENDER tells the tale of two sisters, Ursula and Janet, who live in a close-knit fishing village in picturesque Cornwall in 1937. When the sisters discover an unconscious stranger on the beach and nurse him back to health their ordered life of cocoa before bed and the village jumble sale, is transformed.

Jennifer Leslie as Janet Widdington and Sandy Veline as Ursula Widdington are expertly matched and very convincing as the temperamentally contrasting sisters and Julian Florian is ideally cast as Andrea Marowski the young man they rescue. Continue reading CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT ‘LADIES IN LAVENDER’ @ THE PAVILION THEATRE