All posts by Julia Clark

Julia Clark is a PhD student, poet, and reviewer based in Sydney, living on Ku-ring-gai and Darug land and working on Gadigal land. She is currently writing her doctoral thesis about the aestheticisation of bodies under consumer culture in contemporary feminist poetry at the University of Sydney. Her criticism has appeared in Cordite, Rabbit, Plumwood Mountain, and Audrey Journal. She is most known as the founder and primary reviewer at the Sydney performance review site Night Writes. If she’s not reading or writing, she’s at the theatre.

MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS : GONE WITH THE WIND ALMOST DIDN’T GET UP

Director Joy Sweeney

Gone with the Wind is an iconic American story with the novel by Margaret Mitchell earning a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and selling more than 30 million copies worldwide. The movie adaptation in 1939 was also a great success, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture and breaking the record for the highest earning film ever when it was released. But it nearly didn’t make it to the screen.

Based on the true story, Ron Hutchison’s MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS takes place in the offices of Hollywood film producer David O Selznick (Murray Fane), the man who bought the film rights to the adaptation of Gone with the Wind which he predicts will make him a huge success. Only, he’s just had to call off production and is now facing down what might be his career’s biggest flop. He’s fired the director and the screenwriter and has wrangled in two of the town’s big names, writer Ben Hecht (Des Harris) and director Victor Flemming (Clive Hobson). In a conspiracy with his long-suffering secretary Miss Poppenghul (Sarah Dolan), Selznick locks himself in his office with Hecht and Flemming to spend the next five days saving his production of Gone with the Wind. Subsisting on bananas and peanuts, the three work tirelessly to condense the 1000-page novel into a nearly 4-hour-long screenplay in the hopes of pulling off a miracle and producing a hit. Continue reading MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS : GONE WITH THE WIND ALMOST DIDN’T GET UP

CALENDAR GIRLS @ GUILD THEATRE ROCKDALE

The concept of a nude calendar isn’t new but replacing the typical bikini model or buff fireman with your average middle-aged Women’s Institute (WI) member is entirely novel. Based on a true story, the calendar girls of the Knapeley branch of the WI did exactly that and became international sensations for their trouble.

The Women’s Institute, the British version of the Country Women’s Association in Australia, is a community organisation that brings women together for charitable purposes, but it also forms a large part of the social networks for these women who bond over workshops, community engagement at fetes and fairs, and fundraising.

CALENDAR GIRLS, as adapted by Tim Firth from the film of the same name, represents the type of tight-knit relationships fostered in the WI when telling the story of how the community, and the world, rallied around one branch’s goal to raise money for a new settee for their local hospital. When Annie’s (Peggy Leto) husband John (Brian McGann) dies of cancer, she turns to her WI friends and especially best friend Chris (Yolanda Regueira).

They want to do something big and funny to raise money in John’s memory and make him proud, so they concoct the idea of a nude calendar starring themselves! It takes some coaxing, but the rest of the branch, excepting the president Marie (Deirdre Campbell), get on board and the calendar becomes a greater success than they could have ever imagined. With international attention and pressures from all angles to leverage their new fame, the central message of their mission becomes muddled, threatening the love and friendship at the heart of the WI. But, eventually, Annie and Chris clarify their perspectives and reprioritise what they have above what they’ve lost. Continue reading CALENDAR GIRLS @ GUILD THEATRE ROCKDALE

EXIT LAUGHING : THE NEW COMEDY @ ARTS THEATRE CRONULLA

 

Narrel Jaegar (Millie), Jennifer Birsdall (Connie) in EXIT LAUGHING

Death puts everything into perspective. When tomorrow isn’t promised, suddenly you’re looking over all your yesterdays wondering where they all went and how come you didn’t do all those things you planned? Mary won’t let her friends live with the “what ifs” she had, so she’s sending a message from beyond the grave whether they’re ready to hear it or not.

For the last 30 years Connie (Jennifer Birdsall) has been hosting her friends’ weekly bridge night with Leona (Meili Bookluck), Millie (Narelle Jaeger), and Mary. But now Mary’s passed and this’ll be their first night without the fourth musketeer. That is, until Millie comes swanning through the door with Mary’s ashes tucked under her arm, freshly collected from the funeral home. While Mary’s attendance was unexpected, there are even more surprises planned for the evening with Mary organising a range of deliveries as a final hurrah for her very best friends. Continue reading EXIT LAUGHING : THE NEW COMEDY @ ARTS THEATRE CRONULLA