MUSE, the musical society of Sydney University always puts on a terrific show and PARADE, their current production is no exception. Spare and stark, the production delights on many levels but there is one deliciously thrilling aspect that really takes you by surprize … the birth of some future stars. With work as good as this, uniform excellence across the leads and some truly enjoyable performances, it’s a big call but I’m making it anyway. Continue reading ‘Parade’ : MUSE Puts Injustice on Trial
Miranda Musical Society presents “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”, the smash hit Broadway musical. Superb production of the Disney musical intended for the entire family, based on the 1991 Academy Award winning Disney animated feature film, as adapted from the French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont. Continue reading Disney Beauty and the Beast – The Musical @ Sutherland Entertainment Centre
From the prolific pen of Carol Dance (Future Seekers, Indian Embrace) comes KISS OF THE GALLERY GUARD. Scene Theatre Sydney returns to the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct of Sydney this May with the world premiere of a show which breaks the mould of traditional theatre by including piano music, a soirée atmosphere and a most unusual story. Continue reading Anything Can Happen In a Gallery: Kiss of the Gallery Guard
IN THE HEIGHTS playing at the Hayes Theatre is a stunning success. There’s brio is the barrio and blood on the keyboard in this driving, pulsing, fast-paced offering from Blue Saint Productions. It’s a skyrocket of a show as it speeds through with firecracker dancing, singing and musicianship. Continue reading Hitting the Heights at the Hayes
Sydney recently lost another intimate theatre venue with the demise of Newtown’s King Street Theatre. The theatre was located on the corner of King and Bray Streets on the St Peters end of King Street.
Over its time the theatre has had two main owners, the original founders of the theatre, (back in the nineteen eighties), Jepke Goudsmit and Graham Jones who ran the theatre as the Edge Theatre. During their time the Theatre was home to many dance and experimental works.
Over recent years Markus Weber and his wife Maria de Marco, took over the running of the theatre running under the name the King Street Theatre.
Sydney Arts Guide has received an article written by Jepke in response to the fall of the theatre. It is published below unedited.
DO WE NEED ANOTHER GYM?
Some reflections on the life and loss of a unique place: THE EDGE, last known as THE KING STREET THEATRE, by its original founders, Jepke Goudsmit & Graham Jones (co-directors of Kinetic Energy Theatre Company).
Good, affordable theatre venues and practice studios for the performing arts have long been hard to come by in Sydney. Unfortunately, that still is the case. The latest victim of our city’s rat race for survival is our former home base: that intimate little theatre at the bottom end of King Street in Newtown, which we set up in 1985. We named it THE EDGE, as our contemporary theatre practice was precarious and experimental, crossing comfortable borders and pushing conventional boundaries. And also because we were literally at the edge of the city where it borders the Inner West. We spent nearly 18 years there, before handing it on. It changed name then, and did so a few more times, as different directors and companies gave running it a go.
We don’t want to start a long litany about the inequalities and neglect suffered by the spear-headers of culture, (ie our society’s creators, communicators and imaginative initiators). Nor moan and groan about the impossible tightrope walking we are often forced to perform in order to stay alive and true to our calling. We would rather take a moment to reflect on our contribution to the rich history of this unique space, and particularly when it was our artistic home. Continue reading THE FALL OF THE KING STREET THEATRE : A PERSONAL RESPONSE
Anish Kapoor said in 2003, “One of the great currents in the contemporary experience of art is that it seems to come out of the experience of the author.” In the show playing at the Factory Theatre nothing could be truer.
The show with the unwieldy name, SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM – OPENING NIGHT is a satire of contemporary art practice written by someone who obviously knows his contemporary art with set pieces designed and expressed by someone who knows how to satirise contemporary art. The production is very entertaining when it hits full art criticism, unfortunately in its current form that is too seldom. There is enough, though, to make the experience worthwhile. Continue reading SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM – OPENING NIGHT
An eclectic group of sixth-graders arrives at the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, each eager to win for very different reasons. Sweet and shy Olive brings only her best friend (the dictionary) with her to the bee; bold and hyperallergic speller William Barfee uses his “magic foot” to propel him to greatness; former champion Chip is struggling with his burgeoning puberty; easily distracted Leaf is unconvinced that he’s smart enough to be a challenger; overachiever Marcy is disappointed by her consistent success; and politically aware Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre only wants to impress her gay dads. Continue reading The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The Lower Garden Theatre Project will be presenting Patricia Cornelius’ unapologetic and grungy Australian play SHIT. Established in late 2017, this production will be a part of their fresh slate of productions, off the back of their inaugural venture into Sydney’s independent theatre scene. Continue reading Patricia Cornelius Play for Lower Garden Theatre Project
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE was filmed live at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End especially for the cinema screen. With this revival of A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE Dominic Dromgoole launches two exciting projects in London– his new company Clear Spring and a year long season of Oscar Wilde plays. Continue reading A Woman of No Importance: Oscar Wilde on Film
Birdie productions is in rehearsal for THE LITTLE MERMAID to play 13th-22nd April 2018 at the Bryan Brown Theatre in Bankstown.
Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above, bargaining with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea. Continue reading An Invitation Under the Sea: Little Mermaid In April
American playwright Sarah Delappe takes us into the world of a late teenage women’s soccer team, THE WOLVES. The play has been generating some social media interest which makes sense considering how women’s soccer in Australia is doing so well, and especially our much loved national team, the Matildas.
THE WOLVES follows the team as they compete over a number of matches in an attempt to qualify for the Nationals. The players are keen to make careers in the sport and are hoping to be discovered by talent scouts who come to their games.
Whilst it is a sports story, the focus is more personal as we get to know each of the girls, and their issues. For instance, there’s the goalkeeper suffering from high anxiety who isn’t able to open up to the group and spends a lot of time rushing to the toilet and throwing up.
I enjoyed the simplicity of the staging. Design wise, the stage mimics a soccer pitch with artifical grass and a white line marking for half way. There is also one long bench with water bottles sitting on top. And also stage wide netting which separates the players from the audience. Continue reading THE WOLVES @ THE OLD FITZ
Matriark Theatre Company‘s playful, roaming, shaggy, vibrant, quirky, chilled-out monsters will be hanging out in public spaces around Sydney during Art Month.
The Monstrosities are a roaming performance created for Art Month Sydney, bringing to life underappreciated, urban spaces in Sydney. A family of giant, colourful, roaming monstrous creatures who will be hanging out in parks, basketball courts, skate-parks and bus stops around the city. Neon-coloured, shaggy and infinitely chill; like a colourful, tripped out manifestation of Where the Wild Things Are.
With creature design is inspired by prominent graffiti murals from around the South Sydney area, The Monstrosities will first emerge on the 22nd March in the Green Square/Waterloo area as a part of Art Month Sydney, but expect them to pop up in a park or community space near you later in 2018!
It’s shaping up to be an exciting 2018 outside the city centre. Here’s an idea of what’s happening for those companies who have announced their 2018 season.
Have we missed your favourite community group? Just let us know. It’s a great big creative city!
Featured image – Rose Fenny as Tanya Boyle in Bankstown Theatre Company’s production of ‘Dogfight’.
Written by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, the same writers of the Broadway-hit Dear Evan Hansen, DOGFIGHT is set in 1963, beginning on the eve of three young recruits’ deployment to a growing conflict in Vietnam.
On their final night of debauchery, partying and trouble-making, Corporal Eddie Birdlace (Stefan Jamal), angry and inexperienced, meets unsuspecting, trusting, and idealistic waitress Rose Fenny (Tanya Boyle) and enlists her to win an unkind bet with his fellow recruits.
Rose turns out to be far more than Eddie bargained for. What will Eddie do when Rose rewrites the rules, opens Eddie’s eyes to what really matters in life, and turns his last night before heading to war into a lesson on the power of kindness?! Continue reading DOGFIGHT @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE
Some play titles just hit the mark and this is definitely the case with the Goodale Brothers show PERFECT NONSENSE, the new production by the Hunters Hill Theatre Company.
PERFECT NONSENSE is a theatrical adaptation of PG Wodehouse’s novel The Code of the Woosters and features many favourite Wodehouse characters including most notably Bertie Wooster and Jeeves.
The show really is a lot of comic nonsense with a very hairbrain, ludicrous plot line which one can either take or leave. The pleasures lie mainly in the play’s rich theatricality; there are just three male actors in the cast who treat us to an array of goofy characters of both genders.
It’s a delight with everything done so playfully. Director Maggie Scott captures the tone of the production perfectly. Props are brought in and in off the stage by the cast to ‘telegraph’/set the various scenes with great obviousness, and humour. There are plenty of costume and wig changes as the actors swap between characters. The cast also treat us to some improvisation and clever asides. Continue reading PERFECT NONSENSE @ THE HUNTERS HILL THEATRE
Theatre company Sam Productions presented Edward Allan Baker’s 1986 one-act play DOLORES in an intimate studio apartment space on Parramatta Road, Annandale. Entering through an unassuming florist on the main road, up a flight of stairs then into a kitchen framed with chairs, it felt like sneaking into someone else’s home and stepping into their real lives. Continue reading DOLORES : THE DEVASTATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Photos: Felicity Tchorlian
A deadline. A pet spider. A bucket list budget.
THE CAROUSEL will play at the Kings Cross Theatre as part of the KXT Step Up Festival. THE CAROUSEL is a new Australian play that explores the limits of unconditional love between sisters.
Christa and Jamie (Alex Francis and Tasha O’Brien) are sisters. Together they are embarking upon the treacherous transition between girlhood and womanhood. As girls they learn about the horrors of life, and as young women they inevitably start to live them. Christa wants Jamie to start living, Jamie refuses to leave the house. Continue reading The Carousel: Part of KXT Step Up Festival
It may be true, as ONE WAY MIRROR suggests, that modern actors are the truth-tellers yet when Thespis stepped out of the chorus to become someone else, there were riots in the Athenian capital. How dare a person pretend to be another? ‘Actors are Liars’ screams extant graffiti.
Liars indeed. The particular actor-liars in this production are characters who are paid to use their acting skills as academic sleight of hand. Little or no truth is told by these characters. However, the truths extrapolated by their professorial observers are presented with increasing scepticism and moral concern to the audience. It’s a fine premise for this new Australian work presented with commitment and coherence by the director and cast. Continue reading One Way Mirror: Observation and Complicity
Australian premiere of the musical “BE MORE CHILL” and is based on the bestselling novel, and was first performed at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, USA on 30th May 2015. Composer/lyricist Joe Iconis, and book by Joe Trancz. All of the student characters are Juniors at Middle Borough High school, setting their age around 16 years old. Continue reading BE MORE CHILL @ MANLY BLACK BOX THEATRE
Sometimes it is the smaller theatre spaces which give us some of our richest theatrical experiences?
I, and I am sure other long time theatregoers, will fondly remember having some very special nights at the tiny Lookout Theatre in Woollahra, set up by long time theatre lover and producer, Andrea Baker. The Lookout theatre fitted less than thirty people and yet it managed to survive for quite a few years until the pub where it resided, decided to close the venue down and turn it into a poker machine room.
Likewise, I am sure that many will fondly remember many good nights had at Belvoir Street Theatre’s intimate Downstairs Theatre with just over eighty seats, enjoying Belvoir’s B Sharp seasons of plays, one of Neil Armfield’s finest innovations during his long tenure as the Company’s Artistic Director.
Earlier this week Eamon Flack, Belvoir’s current Artistic Director, announced that it is bringing the intimate theatre ‘properly’ back to life after having been used infrequently over the last seven years. From April to December Belvoir will be hosting Season 25A, a series of independent plays, The rehearsal and theatre spaces will be given to Companies for free, and they will receive marketing support. Continue reading BELVOIR ANNOUNCES ITS INAUGURAL SEASON 25A
Playwright Travis Cotton has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Lysicrates Prize for his play Starfish. Co-presented by Griffin Theatre Company and The Lysicrates Foundation, the prize—now in its fourth year—celebrates the best new Australian writing.
Starfish was shortlisted alongside The Hollow Queen by H Lawrence Sumner and GALILEE by Christine Evans. Cotton will receive a full commission of $15,000 to finish the play.
“Firstly, I would to congratulate my fellow playwrights for their outstanding work. It was a joy to listen to their words. Secondly to Griffin, not only for the grand prize, but for the support and fanfare the three finalists receive,
“Writing can be a very lonely job. Months can pass by—heck, years—whilst receiving little to no encouragement. Hundreds of thousands of words can be written in a void of self-doubt that, quite simply, must be overcome. To listen to actors speak the words I have written, and to have people discuss my work, makes my heart soar, and strengthens my resolve as I work towards being a great Aussie contemporary playwright, Cotton said.
Travis graduated from WAAPA in 1999 and been has working in the theatre ever since. Some of his plays include, Rites of Evil, Robots Vs. Art, and 80 Minutes No Interval. They have played around Australia at venues such as The Blue Room, The Old Fitz, Red Stitch, La Mama, and The Store Room. Continue reading TRAVIS COTTON WINS MAJOR PLAYWRITING AWARD
SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM – OPENING NIGHT is a satire on art practice. “It’s opening night at the Sydney Contemporary Art Museum and things are not going well.” A play about modern art, love and elephant dung… and suicidal Santas! And we have 10 double tickets to give away to the real opening night. Continue reading IT’S A SCAM AND YOU ARE INVITED.
CLOWN! THERE’S CLOWNS OVER THERE. CLOWNS!
Hear the word in your head and what image springs to mind? Do you have circus and red noses appear before you? Or is it the Marceau-like French clowning fraternity. Healers in frightwigs and doctor’s coats? Or are you Coulrophobic and recoil from the thought? Whatever associations interpolate with the word, I bet it’s big. Big and broad. And probably loud.
That is not what is going on at Old 505 theatre at the moment. RUDY AND CUTHBERT are clowns of a different water. No squirting flowers here. Bonded together by a shared suit, the characters are innocents unleashed. Ostensibly in front of us to perform that classic of naturalism, 12 ANGRY MEN, Rudy (Toby Blome: he wears the suitcoat) and Cuthbert (Zelman Cressey-Gladwin: he wears the pants) will create a world of love, empathy and hope that lifts the spirits engendering a joyous calm to take out into the storm. Continue reading Rudy and Cuthbert: Mood Improver at Old 505
Operatic in its emotions , searingly intense , this is a gripping intimate production of Richard Benyon’s play that under Kim Hardwick’s direction glows. THE SHIFTING HEART is set in Collingwood in Melbourne at Christmas time 1956, and while it could be regarded as a period piece is still extremely relevant today . It is an analysis of racism and its victims , of how migrants/refugees are viewed as ‘other ‘ .There is the haunting sense of displacement yet also a longing to belong and be accepted.
Hardwick’s production is compelling and dynamic and she has a strong , splendid cast . Continue reading The Shifting Heart: Gripping and Intimate
Playwright Travis Cotton has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Lysicrates Prize for his play Starfish. Co-presented by Griffin Theatre Company and The Lysicrates Foundation, the prize— now in its fourth year—celebrates the best new Australian writing. Continue reading 2018 Lysicrates Prize for Travis Cotton and ‘Starfish’.