The cradle, the crown and the cauldron. Good fights, bad men and three weird sisters create a world of uncertain tragedy.
This promises to a very different and thought provoking take on one of Shakespeare’s greatest dramas.
In Roz Riley’s production the three witches are not evil hags but three very different sibylline creature who pass on the vital information but fight each other over what the outcome should be. Nor are they diabolical entities shaping the world of the play for their own evil gain. They go much deeper than that.
There will be live drawings of scenes carried out by the “head witch” who goes by the name ‘E. Strange’.
Factory Space Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s MACBETH will play the Star Of The Sea Theatre on the corner of Collingwood Street and Iluka Avenue, Manly between the 14th and 29th July.
Performance dates in July – 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 at 7.30 pm and there are matinees at 2 pm on 16 and 23 July.
Prices – $35 full, $28 concession.
Special offers exist on the Factory Theatre website.
Featured photo – Blake Erickson and Nic Starte in Between Worlds.
Sydney theatre lovers will have the chance in July to see the first public staged workshop presentation of an exciting new Australian musical, BETWEEN WORLDS.
BETWEEN WORLDS is the creation of award winning Sydney theatre-makers Jason Langley and Michael Tyack, composer Gareth Hudson and writer Nick Higginbotham.
The musical tells a fascinating, little known story, the last journey of the founder of our country, Captain James Cook. The time is 1779 and Cook has sailed to Hawaii where he was received as a returning God named Lono.
Red Line Productions at The Old Fitz Theatre will shortly be presenting a brand spanking new Australian work, TONGUE TIED by Clare Hennessy, part of the New Fitz 2017 program.
Mia loves two things: feminism, and journalism. She’s landed the scoop of a lifetime, and she’s not going to let anything stand in her way.
Parker loves one thing: his job at Sunday Juice. They’ve landed in a PR nightmare, and he has every intention to pull them out of it.
Neither Mia or Parker planned on falling into each others laps.
Passion has a tendency to ruin even the best of intentions and the most perfectly pronounced of political dispositions. When so many things in her life have to be black or white, Mia finds herself falling, spectacularly, into the grey areas.
TONGUE TIEDis an exploration of ethics, integrity and how passion can fuck up even the best laid plans and features Jessica Arthur is in the director’s chair and the play stars Gary Clementson (Hidden Sydney, Caress/Ache) and Contessa Treffione (Mystery of Love & Sex, STC’s All My Sons).
TONGUE TIED is being proudly presented by Poor Tom’s Gin & Mark Blumer with the support of of Playwriting Australia and ambassador Louis Nowra.
Email email@example.com “TONGUE ARTS” in the subject line for your chance to win a double pass to the Tuesday 4 July performance at 6:15 PM.
Clare Hennessy’s TONGUE TIED will play the Old Fitz theatre between the 27th June and the 8th July, 2017.
This was a very different and, in its own way, adventurous night at the theatre.
In Jeanette Cronin’s play we find a forties something couple whose relationship is on the rocks. They have booked a night in a hotel room in the hope that they rekindle some of the old magic.
June suggests that they do some fantasy, role playing stuff. Straight way I am reminded of Harold Pinter’s classic play on this theme, The Lover.
Leo is up for it. June kicks off by suggesting that he leave the room and come back as Leo twenty years younger.
For the next hour and a half or so we are in the world of play – literally! Most of the time they are playing other characters and situations. For instance – Leo goes with Michelle. June is having an affair with Rob, Leo’s brother. On the side, Leo is also having an affair with Melissa, the nanny. Meanwhile, June is also bonking Helmut, her personal trainer. Continue reading JEANETTE CRONIN’S ‘I LOVE YOU NOW’ @ THE ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE→
Featured photo – Simon Lyndon and Georgina Symes. Pic Patrick Boland.
From time to time, a play comes along that fits perfectly well in the psyche – enabling us to relax, enjoy, compare, empathise, sympathise, laugh and brood.
SUNSET STRIP, Suzie Miller’s latest play, empowers its audience. We know that we are not alone and mutual hope is the elixir of well-being.
It is a play about challenge, hope and families struggling with their imperfections whilst maintaining a deep sense of belonging and an unbreakable bond
Miller says of her play, “I wanted it to reflect how we bumble through life with all sorts of challenges, some of which will never be fixed or cured, but which we take on board and battle along with. There are also many funny and darkly ironic moments that come about even when we live with ‘everything going wrong’. I wanted to celebrate this because it is something we have all known and have experienced.”Continue reading SUZIE MILLER’S ‘SUNSET STRIP’ @ THE STABLES→
Featured photo – Maggie McKenna. Pic by James Green.
“Muriel, you are terrible!”
The long awaited announcement of the cast for the Sydney Theatre Company’s big production for the year, MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL, took place at a function held earlier this week at the Bar at the end of the Wharf at the STC.
Executive Director Patrick McIntyre started things off and said that the STC was very excited to put on ‘Muriel’ in partnership with Global Creatures and Destination NSW. “The production has generated plenty of interest internationally and is expected to attract a lot of tourists to Sydney.’
Director Simon Phillips was at his sprightly, witty best as he addressed the audience and introduced the cast who were hidden by a promotional display barrier.
Phillips reflected that he thought that now was a great time to bring back Muriel. He envisaged that Muriel would now take to Youtube and the various social network ‘channels’ available in her bid to achieve fame and fortune.
He was confident that the landmark Aussie film would transition well from screen to stage musical and made the interesting remark, “the ballad is like music theatre’s close-up.”
Phillips introduced a delighted Maggie McKenna, just twenty years old, who has won the much prized lead role. McKenna reflected everyone can ‘get’ Muriel. She is a true outsider and dork.’
Writer PJ Hogan, whose career took off brilliantly after Muriel, going on to make a number of Hollywood films including My Best Friend’s Wedding, was on hand to say a few words. “I grew up in the Queensland town of Coolangatta. Long before the movie I nicknamed it ‘Porpoise Spit’. Like Muriel, I was dying to get out of there.’
Joint composers, the ebullient Kate Miller- Heidke and the droll Keir Nuttall also said a few words. The very talented Miller-Heidke said that it had always been one of her dreams to put on a full length musical.
The presentation ended with members of the newly announced cast performing a rousing rendition of one of the show’s big numbers, Nobody’s Perfect with the catch-cry, “Everything goes in Sydney Town/ When you get to Sydney/ You will finally get to be you.”
This production looks like it will be something very special with the Heslop family being as hysterical as ever. Justine Clarke will play Muriel’s long suffering mother, Betty. Cast playing other members of the Heslop family include Briallen Clarke playing Joanie, Michael Whalley playing Perry and Connor Sweeney will play Malcolm.
MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL will open on Saturday 18th November and will play for over two months at the Ros Packer Theatre, closing on Saturday 27th January.
Featured photo- Benedict Wall and Gabrielle Scawthorn in THE VILLAGE BIKE. PIc Andree Vasguez.
This show was a knockout… A strong drama with good performances and was well suited to the intimacy of the Old Fitz.
Penelope Skinner’s play follows the journey of a troubled, sexy and feisty young woman, Becky who has recently become pregnant but is in a nondescript marriage to John.
John’s blandness is driving her mad. She is finally having their child but he becomes obsessed by it. That’s all he talks about. And to her chagrin his sex drive has deserted him. Even the porn dvd’s that he used to hide beneath the bed don’t hold any allure for him. Becky tries the strategy of watching this porn to win his adulation but fails.
Becky tries to prime her husband’s libido but without any luck. The inevitable happens…if she can’t get satisfaction at home she will seek it elsewhere. She has a sexual encounter with a very odd, charismatic guy called Oliver! And so begins her new, erotically charged life which spins, perhaps more to the point, veers increasingly out of control. Continue reading PENELOPE SKINNER’S ‘THE VILLAGE BIKE’ @ THE OLD FITZ→
Oh, the road some people walk down….You kind of know that there is no way this is going to come to any good but alas, one just can’t stop them…Maybe it is fate or perhaps it comes down to character, how they are made….
In Melbourne playwright Patricia Cornelius’ play SLUT we follow Lolita’s journey through the eyes of her friends. Over the course of many years, from early childhood to adulthood…
Two words best describe Lolita – precocious and daring. She is the first to do and try everything. She is the fearless leader. As the girls say – ‘her life is was so full, it filled ours.’
‘It’s a horror movie right there on my tv/ And it’s shockin’ me right out of my brain/ It’s bound to get you in/Get right under your skin/Hit you right on the chin/ It’s a horror movie and it’s blown a fuse/ It’s a horror movie/It’s the six thirty news.’ (Skyhooks from the album ‘Living In the Seventies’ 1974).
Australian playwright Daniel Evans play reworks Sophocles classic play into a contemporary setting.
We have an Oedipus who lives in the outer suburbs. Well he did, but as the play’s title states, he has left town, moved on after his dysfunctional world comes apart and he himself implodes.
The stage action takes place after his exit. The style of the play is non-naturalistic; four actors take to the stage and tell us that they will re-enact Oedipus’ story from go to woe by donning various characters caught up in the various situations. By doing so they endeavour to get behind the sensational news, and not only piece together what happened, but to make sense of the horror of it all.Continue reading DANIEL EVANS ‘OEDIPUS DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE’ @ ATYP STUDIO 1→
Fifty years after its debut Tom Stoppard’s ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, directed by David Leveaux’s, returned to the Old Vic in this marvellous production direcuj. We here in Australia are privileged to see it as part of this year’s NT Live Series.
Stoppard’s play is an existential philosophical comedy, examining the very meaning of existence, memory and our fear of death.
Against the backdrop of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, two unfortunate minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet’s friends, are now thrust centre stage. As the young double act stumble their way in and out of Shakespeare’s iconic drama, they become increasingly bewildered and out of their depth as their version of the Hamlet story unfolds.
Much attention needs to be paid to Stoppard’s wordy at times convoluted text. In some ways the play has a Becket like Waiting For Godot like feel.
Sydney theatre lovers will get a brief window of opportunity to see Australian playwright Gina Shien’s poignant play MORGAN STERN based on her brother’s battle with schizophrenia.
In Schien’s quirky play, a character named only as The Gent, part ghost, part protector, has been assigned from the other side of the planet to help Morgan, a young Sydneysider afflicted with schizophrenia.
The play shifts between centuries and across hemispheres but remains primarily set in a still difficult to know corner of the universe – the human brain.
The production, mounted by Company of Rogues, will play Belvoir Street downstairs for two performances only in early July. Then in August the Company are very excited to announce that it will have its international debut at the Edinburgh Festival which turns 70 this year.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:
MORGAN STERN will play downstairs at Belvoir Street on July 1 at 7.30 pm and July 2 at 5.30 pm.
Featured image – Reg Livermore as Alfred P. Doolittle. Production photography by Nicole Tyers.
As always, Melbourne is blessed to have its own West End. At one side of the city there’s Aladdin showing at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Now showing at The Regent Theatre for a limited time is My Fair Lady.
Directed by theatre legend and the original Eliza Doolittle, Dame Julie Andrews, MY FAIR LADY tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phonetician, so that she may pass as a lady, during the Edwardian days of London. It was all because of a bet with fellow phonetics Professor Hugh Pickering. The show is based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The show became a sensation during its original 1956 season, setting the record for the longest run of any show (2,281 performances) on Broadway up to that time. It has since become one of the most successful and popular musicals in history. It’s a story about love, comedy; drama and social class which has made it not only a great show, but has also seen it frequently being described as “the perfect musical”.
Featured photo – Griffin Award 2017 winner David Finnigan. Photo by Javier Vela. Inset photos by Brett Boardman.
In promoting and encouraging new, emerging Australian playwrights, the Griffin Theatre Company is continuing to evolve and grow.
Under the Artistic Direction of Lee Lewis, Griffin has become an audience favourite, as evidenced last Sunday by a full house of writers, fellow actors and loyal supporters at the annual 2017 Griffin Award.
The Griffin Award is now in its twentieth year and recognises an ‘outstanding play or performance text that displays an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice.’
The winner received a $10,000 prize and the runners-up $1,000. Of the 95 entries this year, only 5 were shortlisted.
The winner was David Finnigan for Kill Climate Deniers, a sharp and satirical look at politics, the two-party system coming face to face with a global-scale crisis unfolding over decades.
The other 4 shortlisted plays this year were: Kit Brookman for The Bees Are All Dead, Ang Collins for Blueberry Play, Emme Hoy for Extinction of the Learned Response and Brooke Robinson for Good Cook. Friendly.Clean.
The play readings were stimulating, clever and funny and all refreshingly different. It would be good to see these plays, in their entirety, on stage some time soon.
If you are a playwright and wish to be notified when applications for 2018 open, go to the Griffin website, Griffin Award, and fill out a form. For other queries, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tunks’ play is about the dysfunctional Post family and their friends, everyone has unresolved issues, their attitudes reveal the dark sides of just another typical Caucasian Australian family.
It is a confronting message piece, LGBT life is a bitch w hen you choose denial.
Ultimately it is a very satisfying drama about self-interest and personal trauma, filled with adult cynicism carefully blended with casual discrimination, racism and homophobia, including brutality, appropriate language and some violence. There are sympathetic performances, that were always tempered with pathos and humour.
This is sharply observed dark comedy about people maintaining their false façades. It is a a stunning script by Jon Robin Baitz containing an unexpected outcome.
The whole family is visiting at the wealthy Wyeth’s family home, located in Palm Springs California on Christmas Eve 2004. Daughter Brooke has just written a politically and emotionally dangerous memoir about her life, her parents and the tragic loss of her older brother. Her memoir sends shockwaves through the family.
“As I have not yet been appropriated, normalised or groomed into shame you’ll be accepting some risk of objectionable, offensive, unlawful, deceptive or harmful content to be known hereon as an authentic human experience”.
Prefaced with a content warning, the Glitta Supernova Experience – Body Map promises to deliver an original, provocative and honest human adventure. For those who like their cabaret a bit bizarre and entirely stripped-back (in the literal sense), Glitta’s one-woman show is an entertaining fusion of social commentary, personal anecdote and unbridled dance breaks.
The unruly terrain of the body map is bumpy, bushy and unapologetic, navigated by a fairdinkum tour guide adorned with an akubra of dangling glittery tampons instead of corks. Glitta reprimands the controlling consumerist gardener of society who perpetually tries to tighten, lift and snip the body of all it’s natural beauty. Live body art accompanies a depressing monologue where heavy chains are placed around Glitta’s neck, weighing down the body with labels such as “saggy tits” and “too fat”. Continue reading THE GLITTA SUPERNOVA EXPERIENCE – BODY MAP @ THE GIANT DWARF→
In the first few minutes of BUGSY MALONE vast numbers of bad guys are done in by vicious cream pie attacks and random bystanders are felled by crazy string machine guns. Little Chicago circa 1920s is littered with speakeasy staff and speak quickly mob bosses. By the time we get to Fat Sam’s Grand Slam and the body count is piling up, we are so glad that there are over 50 young people in the cast … we just don’t want the fun to end through lack of upright citizens.
Because, from the top of the show, Hills Musical Theatre Company’s BUGSY MALONE, performed exclusively by kids (from 10-16 years) is joyous, thrilling, incomparable community theatre. It’s a treat for all ages and a testament to what young people can do if we prepare them, support them and let ’em loose!
There’s a mob war happening, you see. Fat Sam is being out-armed by Dandy Dan who has managed to find a supplier for a secret weapon. Splurge guns! No longer are the streets slick with the failed hurlings of mano-on-mano flans, this new invention targets victims directly where it hurts. Fat Sam needs to get those guns and he has the green stuff to hire the best driver in the business, our narrator and all round good guy, Bugsy Malone.
In 1974, to keep his four kids entertained on long car trips English Filmmaker Alan Parker (who would direct a huge variety of films from FAME to MIDNIGHT EXPRESS) made up a story about a Chicago gangster from snippets of memory of films and books he had encountered. His eldest son, Alex, insisted that the story had to be about kids. When Parker decided to make a film of his amusing tale he enlisted Paul Williams to write the music and went on a talent search for young people. Jodie Foster and Scott Baio were just two names in the film and when it became a musical in 1983, Micky Dolenz from The Monkeys directed a young Catherine Zeta-Jones to wide acclaim.
Now for a new list of names. Any one of these kids could be the next generation of Australian musical theatre stars. They are remarkably talented and focused in a family friendly show with Hills MTC’s traditionally high production values.
Let’s have a quick chat about that first. Peek at the early promo images for the show and you will see kids in school musical costumes. Dangling sleeves, Dad’s cut down suit. Go and see the show now and you will see superbly envisioned costumes (Rebecca Demary- co-ordinator).
Every child’s costume fits them, so do their hats and shoes and ties and furs and fans and pom pom fringes. Each change, and there are many, gives the young artist a character to bring on with them. The showgirls look glorious in their beaded and sequined and fringed gold flapper dresses and then they come out in the second act in equally lush silver costumes. Just brilliant! Continue reading HILLS MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY PUT ON A CRACKER PRODUCTION OF ‘BUGSY MALONE’→
The audience thoroughly enjoyed itself on opening night with gales of laughter filling the Pavilion Theatre. Only the British do bedroom farce with that certain touch and this script is a wonderful example of the art of adding confusion to confusion in a seemingly logical way. Will it be possible to untie all the knots by the end of the play or will more be tied?
The play opens in the honeymoon suite of a hotel where the bridegroom wakes on his wedding morning, with his fiancée about to arrive any moment, and finds an unknown, very attractive girl in bed beside him. His best man arrives, his fiancée arrives, the girl is hidden in the bathroom pretending to be the best man’s girlfriend, the best man’s real girlfriend has to be kept ignorant of the fact and the chambermaid is coerced into being everyone’s girlfriend. By interval when the bride’s mother arrives chaos has ensued which only escalates in Act Two.
My theatre highlight for this week was attending the Opening Night of Liverpool Performing Arts Ensemble’s production of Australian playwright Richard Beynon’s classic play, SIMPSON J. 202.
Michael Giglio gave a stellar performance in the lead role, playing John Simpson Kirkpatrick, the brave young Anzac stretcher bearer who used a little donkey to save many Aussie soldiers injured on the battlefield. Giglio traverses well the different stages in his characters’ journey.
During the play the playwright fills in a lot of the back story to John Simpson’s heroism on the battlefield. We learn that he was a good natured but naive adolescent who had more love for his pets and the local strays than he did for school work. Simpson desperately wanted to follow his father’s footsteps and become a merchant seaman. Continue reading RICHARD BEYNON’S ‘SIMPSON J, 202’ @ CASULA POWERHOUSE ARTS CENTRE→
British playwright Robin Soan’s play was first performed on 21st April 2005 at the Theatre Royal in Suffolk, England.
It is a strong and confronting work of Verbatim Theatre. Every word spoken has come from the mouths of real people, from very different vantage points . . . terrorist, perpetrator, hostage, victim, politician, journalist, peacemaker. Christians, Sunni and Shia Muslims, IRA, Kurd, NRA, the British Army, Foreign Office, relief-worker, and psychologist.
The Willoughby Theatre Company transport us to OZ in this, their latest splendid production. It is colourful and spectacular with some sensational staging. The cast is young, vibrant, energetic and enthusiastic.
For this version the front cloth is a green and gold revolving compass like design . (No looming dragon, sorry fellow OZians).
The orchestra as boisterously led by Greg Jones played magnificently, but in Act 2 a couple of times I thought the sound was a little overwhelming and was presented like a rock opera rather than a musical.
Now regarded as a modern classic WICKED by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holman, based on the book by Gregory Maguire tells the story ‘ behind the scenes’ of The Wizard of Oz and what really happened. Who is Elphaba, the ‘Wicked Witch of the West‘? Why is her skin green ? What is Glinda’s real name? Who were the Tin Man , Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion originally ? All these questions are answered in the show… Continue reading WILLOUGHBY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS ‘WICKED’ @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD→
Featured photo – Eliza Logan as Mrs Lusty. All photography by Lucy Parakhina.
THE HAM FUNERAL was written by Patrick White, (the irascible and insightful Australian Nobel Laureate of 1973), in 1948. It is set in a gloomy, post-war London boarding house.
The play remained unstaged for 13 years. After being submitted for and controversially rejected by the1962 Adelaide Festival, it was instead first performed by the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild in 1961. It both shocked and delighted audiences.
Jetpack Theatre’s ART HEIST is inspired storytelling. Yet there is no story and no telling. You and your companions are the story, the triumph, the saga! Whatever exposition you choose to tell. The 3 performers are just there, part of the tale as you write the script. And these are very nuanced actors with improvisation instincts that must be tested over their 3 shows a night. Great scene partners too because this is bespoke, immersive theatre of the highest calibre.
But, not quite knowing what I was getting into I gathered an odd assortment of four players. We were young (our Yr 11 Workplacement student, Lauren) and old (that would be me). A married couple (Bec and Ben) who know each other well, naturally. I don’t know Ben well except for a dance with him at the wedding and Lauren didn’t know anyone except me. We were a logical yet creative collective. An artist, a banker, a technician and an actor. Continue reading JETPACK’S ‘ART HEIST’ : AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT→