Tag Archives: William Shakespeare

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

NT LIVE : TWELFTH NIGHT

 

This is a very interesting but perhaps somewhat disappointing version. Shakespeare’s dark comedy has been updated to now, and in a major twist we have Tamsin Grieg as Malvolia, compelling us to view everything through fresh eyes. But that is not the only twist in this unusual version – sexual orientations and gender identities are fluid in the confusions of Twelfth Night – not everyone is what or who they appear to be.

Countess Olivia and Duke Orsino are both captivated by the shipwrecked Viola when she’s in disguise as the page ‘Cesario’, while Viola’s twin brother Sebastian, in his search for her, is lovingly watched over by Antonio the sailor who rescued him.

This new modern dress production by Simon Godwin increases complications by boldly transforming Malvolio, the Puritanical steward, into Malvolia, a woman who has a lesbian passion for her employer, the Countess Olivia .

Does it work? To a degree, yes, but it is a bit uneven and rushed under Simon Godwin’s direction. For the screenings there are lots of dizzying shots of the use of the revolve and the unfolding of the pyramid like set (which at times unfolds like a 3D pop up storybook to fluidly become a ship’s prow, a chapel , a cell , a highly manicured courtyard full of box trees, a nightclub). The opening shipwreck scene is masterly. There are long dangerous staircases and a swimming pool or two … not forgetting the fountain in the famous letter scene … water is a major theme.

Continue reading NT LIVE : TWELFTH NIGHT

THE PUZZLE COLLECTIVE PRESENTS ‘SUPERHAL’ @ THE PARADE THEATRE, NIDA

Sorry readers but I am afraid this production was disappointing. Enthusiastically directed by John Galea, The Puzzle Collective is currently presenting an abridged version of both parts of Shakespeare’s Henry IV as well as Henry V, after interval.

The idea behind this adaptation was clever, involving updating the three pieces, and then adapting them to be akin to computer games, with superheroes to make the plays more accessible and contemporary to younger audiences.

The production kept the historical linear narrative as necessarily demanded but it wasn’t sure if it was ‘traditional ‘ Shakespeare ,beautifully ,eloquently spoken or rough and ready in ‘contemporary ‘ style with minimalist staging.

There were three platforms that could be shifted to represent different locations and allowed for fluid scene changes. Continue reading THE PUZZLE COLLECTIVE PRESENTS ‘SUPERHAL’ @ THE PARADE THEATRE, NIDA

SECRET HOUSE presents ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA @ DEPOT THEATRE MARRICKVILLE

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Secret House has come up with a captivating two hour adaptation of Shakespeare’s great love tragedy, in modern dress and using the original language and plot.   This stripped down new version is fast-paced and features an ensemble of just eleven actors skilfully playing some twenty seven roles.

In  this epic play the Bard brilliantly charts the highs and lows of the intimate relationship between the besotted Mark Antony and the beautiful Cleopatra. Thematically, the work is a unique exploration of the conflicts of politics, sex and power, in a war torn empire, starting with the Sicilian revolt until Cleopatra’s suicide, during the Final War of the Roman Republic. Shakespeare tinkers with the historical facts to aid in his dramatisation.

Continue reading SECRET HOUSE presents ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA @ DEPOT THEATRE MARRICKVILLE

BROADWAY BARD @ Glen Street Theatre BELROSE

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The versatile and very talented Julian Kuo starred in Melvyn Morrow’s BROADWAY BARD

BROADWAY BARD created by Melvyn Morrow, was an inspired and very fast ninety minutes of the best of Shakespeare’s magnificent words lovingly put to fine music.

The show starred cabaret artist Julian Kuo along  with Mark Chamberlain on the piano with with Musical Direction by Mark Chamberlain and Choreography by Daniele Clements.

Julian Kuo is an exceptionally talented actor and singer with a great range. Some will know him from his appearance in He Said She Said at the Sydney Fringe Festival in September 2012 and 2013.

Kuo touched the audience with his individualised delivery of each musical number specific to each different character. Playing both roles, he is both Romeo and Juliet. His bogan strine character, with a can of VB in hand, was a favourite with the audience and generated plenty of laughter.

The show was wonderful ear-candy, and you were left wanting more. With one encore, a total of seventeen musical numbers were presented, with some fast dance moves and tap-dancing.

One could well surmise that if Shakespeare was born at this time in history he would have been writing some musicals.

Running time 105 minutes including one interval.

BROADWAY BARD played the Glen Street Theatre, corner of Glen Street and Blackbutts Road, Belrose on the 28th and 29th August.

THE WINTER’S TALE

Pic Michele Mossop
Otis Pavlovic as Prince Mamillius and Myles Pollard as Leontes in THE WINTER’S TALE. Pic Michele Mossop

This can be called one of Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’ as it is full of both intense psychological drama yet also is lyrical, rustic and has a romantic happy ending. In some ways it is almost in effect two separate plays, with massive shifts in mood and tone. There is lots of doubling of roles by the excellent cast and fine ensemble work.

It is all seen through the imagination of young Prince Mamillius (Otis Pavlovic or Rory Potter) who controls and manipulates everything. Mamillius acts as lynchpin, questioner and observer throughout. The ’nursery’ /fairytale set as designed by Stephen Curtis was light and airy with bunk bed with ladder, a cradle ,small child size stools, a wonderful mobile…

Continue reading THE WINTER’S TALE