Independent Theatre

WINK BY JEN SILVERMAN : COMING TO KINGS CROSS THEATRE

Sofie and Gregor are drifting apart. Their cat, Wink, is missing, and the only thing they share is their psychiatrist. Then Wink turns up on the psychiatrist’s couch…

One relationship falls apart – while another blossoms – as violent desires, domestic terrorism, and relentless feline vengeance drip from this ominous comedy about the thin line between civilisation and savagery.

Anthony Skuse directs Eloise Snape (MopHead’s The Humans, FX Networks’ Mr. In Between), Matthew Cheetham (Outhouse Theatre Co’s The Flick, ABC TV + iview’s Les Norton), Graeme McRae (Birdland, Foxtel’s Secret City) and Sam O’Sullivan (The Norman Conquests, SBS Australia’s On The Ropes) in the Australian Premiere of Jen Silverman’s (The Moors, Netflix’s Tales of the City) brand new play.

★★★★ “AUDACIOUS, INNOVATIVE, COMPLETELY SURPRISING AND JAW-DROPPING.” – San Francisco Theatre

DATES
August 2 – 24 at Kings Cross Theatre, 244-249 William Street, Kings Cross

For more about WINK by Jen Silverman, visit http://www.kingsxtheatre.com/wink

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Featured image- Sam O’Sullivan in ‘Wink’  Pic by Robert Catto

FAULTY TOWERS : THE DINING EXPERIENCE : A DOUBLE PASS TO GIVE AWAY

Officially the world’s longest running and most successful tribute to the BBC’s famous sitcom, this Australian original has made its international mark as an ‘unforgettable night out’ (The West Australian). Selling out at shows all over the world – including Sydney Opera House and London’s West End – it’s now returning to Castlereagh Boutique Hotel in July 2019.

Basil, Manuel and Sybil are in town – and they’re bringing a healthy dose of mayhem to your door. Fully immersive, highly interactive and completely original, this is the top-flight show where anything can happen and usually does – and with 70% of the show improvised, it’s never the same twice. With two hours of comedy, three courses of food, and five-star reviews, expect chaos, laughs, and a brilliant night out.                 Continue reading FAULTY TOWERS : THE DINING EXPERIENCE : A DOUBLE PASS TO GIVE AWAY

ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE @ THE OLD FITZ

The subject id Alice Birch’s play  is the cross generational havoc which mental illness creates.

We first meet  Carol (Anna Samson), a woman who has just survived a suicide attempt. She plays it down to her husband. Then we meet the next generation Anna (Andrea Demetriades) who is a heroin addict,. Finally we meet her daughter Bonnie (Kate Skinner) , a lesbian Accident and Emergency Doctor  at the stage where she is putting her family home on the market.

I found this play too much. The darkness, the shifting dialogues between the three generations. All  of it taking place in such an intimate space as the Old Fitz.

Things come to a head with Bonnie announcing that the family lines ends with her. She emphatically refuses to have children, seeing how mental illness is so embedded in the family.

I couldn’t fault anything in Shane Anthony’s production, The performances of a cast of ten- Danielle Catanzariti, Jack Crumlin, Andrea Demetriades, Teale Howie, Charles Mayer, Guy O’Grady, Natalie Saleeba, Anna Samson, Kate Skinner and Contessa Treffone– were all good.

Production elements were strong- a good set design by Shane Anthony with Gus Murray, a sharp lighting design by Veronique Benett, an edgy soundscape by Damien Lane, and a striking costume design by Siobhan Jeff O’Hanlon.

ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE is playing the old Fitzroy Theatre until Saturday 6 July, 2019.

https://www.redlineproductions.com.au/

 

JAMES ELAZZI : OMAR AND DAWN

Omar, a first-generation Lebanese Muslim Australian, is in and out of foster homes. Hungry for a warm bed and determined not to return to a life on the streets, he reluctantly agrees to be placed with 80-year-old Dawn. His best friend Ahmed has been rejected by his family for being gay and now lives under a bridge, working the local beats as a sex-worker. As Ahmed’s mental health deteriorates, Omar is determined to forge a better life for them both. Continue reading JAMES ELAZZI : OMAR AND DAWN

PLAY ON @ HUNTERS HILL THEATRE

Theatre makers have a proclivity for navel gazing. Rick Abbott’s play PLAY ON falls into this territory. We see inside an amateur theatre company putting on new murder mystery show with the title ‘Murder Most Foul’ from early rehearsals to an inauspicious opening night.

It’s a fun night in the theatre. It’s a case of the play that goes wrong. We have the playwright interfering with rehearsals with inappropriate demands, changing and adding lines at whim. We have the director having her nineteenth nervous breakdown as does the stage manager. We have actors forgetting their lines and coming in at the wrong  times. It’s the whole comic disaster.

The cast all revel in the fun, deftly directed by Margaret Olive. The players were Anthea Brown, Blake Eaton, Francis Etheridge, Prudence Foxe, Georgia Golledge, Carol Keeble, Lois Marsh, Mark Massingham, Susan Mozell and Michael Richmond.

Recommended, Rick Abbot’s PLAY ON is playing Hunter Hills Town Hall, 22 Alexandria Street, Hunters Hill until Sunday 16th June, 2019.

http://www.huntershilltheatre.com.au/

 

http://www.huntershilltheatre.com.au

Featured image – Carol Keeble and Frances Etheridge in Rick Abbott’s comedy ‘Play On’ at Hunters Hill Theatre. All pics by Dan Ferris

THE CHERRY ORCHARD @ CHIPPEN STREET

If you are looking for a meaty play hat you can really get into then make your way across to Chippendale’s Chippen Street Theatre.

At the heart of this play is human beings great difficulty in dealing with vast, weeping change An aristocratic family struggles to deal with the realisation that their best times are past and that the beloved estate, including the cherished cherry orchard, has to be sold.

The young people are the best people to cope with the sweeping changes. Student Peter Trofimov, with his fierce intellec,t is best positioned to deal with changes but his opinions are largely ignored by the family.

Victor Kalka’s production is a  good one with lost of modern touches including the use of popular songs to complement the action. The play  features Martin Bell, Garreth Cruikshank, Dominique de Marco, Zacharie di Ferdinando, Benjamin Tarlinton, Suzann James, Craig James, Laurel McGowan, Alannah Robertson, Martin Quinn, Caitlin Williams, and Harley Wilson.

Kalka’s creative team of costume designer Jake Parker and sound designer Ryan Devlin do well.

THE CHERRY ORCHARD features one of the saddest endings in all of drama. Everyone has reluctantly left the estate. Into the living enters the family long standing servant Firs who realises that he has been forgotten. With no means to leave the estate he will stay there till he dies.

As Firs fate is sealed we hear  the inexorable sounds of the  chopping down of the cherry orchard.

Recommended, Virginia Plain’s  production of  THE CHERRY ORCHARD  is playing until Saturday 15th June 2019 at the  Chippen Street Theatre   located at 45 Chippen Street, Chippendale, NSW. 

https://chippenstreet.com/  

https://www.facebook.com/chippenstreet/

 

Production photography by Clare Hawley

FEMALE OF THE SPECIES : A WALK ON THE DARK SIDE

A priest, a secret covenant, a murder set in an insane asylum and a young woman wrongly accused of murder or desperately in need of help?

Three inmates all with motive and opportunity to commit murder agree to a pact that will allow a group of strangers to pass judgement on whom they believe to be the guilty party.

Meet the inmates, learn their story, pay attention to the clues and pass judgement. Choose carefully, else send an innocent person to an early grave.

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL – 3 NIGHTS ONLY

DATES
5th to 7th July / 6pm, 7pm & 8pm in Balmain, Address to be advised on ticket purchase.

For more about Female of the Species, visit https://www.darkstories.com.au/theatre/
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TWO QUARTERS FULL @ LIMELIGHT DOWNSTAIRS

New Australian play Two Quarters Full by Iley Jones will have it’s World Premiere at Limelight Downstairs from the 19-30th of June 2019.

Starring Sean Bermingham, Samantha Lambert, Alannah Roberston, and Cheng Tang, Two Quarters Full is an intimate 1-act play exploring grief, love, and the turbulent relationships that it’s characters share. When a not so by the books lawyer is suddenly confronted with potential unemployment, death, and his estranged brother showing up on his doorstep, Christian’s and the lives of those around him are thrown into dysfunction and insecurity. Grief is prominently what’s explored, the grief that we hide from the ones we love and sometimes even ourselves. Continue reading TWO QUARTERS FULL @ LIMELIGHT DOWNSTAIRS

THE TEMPEST @ THE GIANT DWARF THEATRE

 

This was an entertaining, adventurous production of one of Shakespeare’s great comedies.

The director and lead performer Alex Kendall Robson’s director’s note in the program is very illuminating. This is an excerpt from the note.

“As always with Giant Dwarf, set elements have to be kept minimal, as we essentially have to bump out after every show. So how does one then transform an Art Deco Hall in Redfern into a renaissance tropical island? You don’t. Which saves a lot of bother. I went with a carnivalesque aesthetic to match the red velvet curtain and gilded proscenium. Prospero’s own cheap and nasty circus for the damned: Mardi Gras meets Dia de los Muertos- on a budget. Prospero is a magician, literally, but is also a ringleader and puppet master; the other characters are his ‘demi-puppets’- enacting his present fancies.”

THE TEMPEST  is a story of magic and monsters, and of an enchanted island set in a distant sea. It tells of what happened in three hours on that island, when beauty and nonsense and innocence and terror clash for a time and then quiet in to a final peace under the power of a great magician Prospero, and to see it is to enter into a wonderful world which is not quite like any other that Shakespeare ever made. Continue reading THE TEMPEST @ THE GIANT DWARF THEATRE

I HOPE ITS NOT RAINING IN LONDON @ PACT THEATRE

“Two people, trapped in a room. One is almost finished but the other is not yet ready. The other will be ready, but just not yet.”

In June/July this year, a team of six young artists will be touring from Newcastle to Tuggerah, Sydney and Melbourne! They will perform sixteen times at six different venues over the span of four weeks.

I HOPE IT’S NOT RAINING IN LONDON is a contemporary, hybrid-experimental theatre piece which sets out to explore our perceived realities and the effects of trauma. The production is directed by Riley McLean.

Young emerging artist, Nicholas Thoroughgood, has written a sophisticated short play, which places two strangers together in a mysterious room. Neither of them has knowledge of where they are currently existing and how they got there- and the newest to arrive has no memories whatsoever. Small boxes appear sporadically- containing objects which trigger memories for them both and gradually their significant life stories are remembered and painfully explored.

Playwright: Nicholas Thoroughgood
Producer/Director: Riley McLean
Stage Manager: Tyler Atcheson
Cast: Daniel Cottier, Cassie Hamilton, Nicholas Thoroughgoodand Zoe Walker.

The production contains strobe lights, loud noises and mature themes including language, violence, sex, assault and suicide. Suitable 14+

Tickets for I Hope it’s Not Raining in London are on sale at our Sydney Venue: PACT- Australia’s original centre for emerging and experimental art.

Early bird $30 tickets available until the end of the month!

The cast of four alternates leads each performance.

DATES

WED 26th JUNE: 7pm (CAST: Nicholas & Cassie), THURS 27th JUNE: 7pm (CAST: Nicholas & Daniel), FRI 28th JUNE: 7pm (CAST: Zoe & Daniel), SAT 29th JUNE: 2pm (CAST: Nicholas & Daniel), SAT 29th JUNE: 7pm (CAST: Zoe & Cassie) at Pact Theatre, Erskineville.

For more about I Hope it’s Not Raining in London, visit http://www.pact.net.au/
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SUICIDE, INCORPORATED : THE RETURN SEASON

Knock and Run Theatre is set to spark conversation about men’s mental health in the return season of their award-winning production “Suicide, Incorporated” in late March 2019. After an outstanding reception to the company’s first production of the dark comedy in 2016, Knock and Run are collaborating with Newcastle Theatre Company to re-stage the show as a part of their Indie Season, in hopes of reigniting the discussion about suicide prevention.

The play “Suicide, Incorporated”, by American playwright Andrew Hinteraker, follows Jason who lands a job at Legacy Letters, a company that specialises in writing suicide notes. Unbeknownst to his employer, Jason has a secret agenda to get their clients to reconsider taking their own lives, however he must do so without losing his job.

Cast members James Chapman, Phillip Ross, Carl Gregory and Cooper McDonald are all returning to their roles, with newcomer Ned Keogh entering the role of Tommy.

Director Patrick Campbell, who was nominated for a CONDA for his direction of the 2016 production, says “It’s been fantastic to reunite with the team on a play that’s very dear to all of us. A great opportunity to further develop the production, with four fifths of the original cast, and we’re excited to have Ned on board to bring a new life to that role.”

After the return Newcastle season, Knock andRun hope to tour the work around regional New South Wales. Producer James Chapman says “Suicide is a real problem in Australia, particularly in regional communities. It’s the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, and men and Indigenous people in particular are at a greater risk. We want this play to open up the conversation about mental health and reduce the stigma around getting help.”

Knock and Run’s first run of “Suicide, Incorporated” won Best Dramatic Production at the 2016 CONDA awards, and received nominations for Excellence by a Director (in Drama or Comedy) and Excellence in Lighting Design.

The return season of “Suicide, Incorporated” will mark Knock and Run Theatre’s sixth production, with more 2019 productions to be announced soon.

DATES FOR THE DIARY  
28th March 7pm, 29th March 7pm, 12pm 30th March, 8pm 30 March.

Tickets are $20 and available online via NTC’s website or at the Box Office.

For more about Suicide, Incorporated (Return Season), visit https://newcastletheatrecompany.com.au/
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