Independent Theatre

A LIFE HALF LIVED : THE NATALIE WOOD STORY

A one-woman show by Madeleine Wighton celebrating the life of Natalie Wood.

Hollywood royalty, Natalie Wood, was known for films such as Rebel Without a Cause, Gypsy, Splendour in the Grass, and West Side Story.

From the outside, it looked like she had the world at her feet. But as we delve into the nuances that moulded her life, we see that behind the glamour and fame, Natalie Wood was terribly broken and fragile.

For thirty years it was stated that, after her body was found floating in the Pacific Ocean, that Natalie Wood’s cause of death was “accidental drowning”.

But only a few years ago alongside some newfound evidence, the case was reopened and we are now asking, was Natalie Wood murdered?

A LIFE HALF LIVED : THE NATALIE WOOD STORY is playing one night only at the Bondi Pavilion on 19th October, 2019 at 7pm,

https://www.bonditheatrecompany.com.au/shows/a-life-half-lived-the-natalie-wood-story

SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL : EXIT WOUNDS BY LARA BALKEN

from left- Ilya Ilyashyk, Chrissy Mae Valentine, Lara Balken and Sam Martin. Pic by Ella Vanderdeyl

Creating space for women’s voices in Sydney’s theatre culture. ‘Exit Wounds’ is the world premiere of a new work from emerging Sydney playwright Lara Balken.

Graceless Productions present ‘Exit Wounds’ as part of Sydney Fringe Festival 2019, playing 10-15 September at Flight Path Theatre, 142 Addison Road Marrickville.

Sam doesn’t know who she wants to be when she grows up, besides relatively happy, and hopefully safe holding her girlfriend’s hand in public. Which would be fine – if she wasn’t 23, an unapologetic disaster with a self-destructive streak, and suddenly staring down her own mortality while the three people she cares about most stand right in her blast radius. “Exit Wounds” is a darkly comedic drama about grief, love, and identity, centred on a young woman whose life takes a startling turn.

Lara Balken (director/writer/actor) says: “There’s a notable absence of roles in theatre for women in their 20s, particularly queer women, and Exit Wounds is in many ways a response to that. I wanted to write characters who feel genuinely contemporary, and let the women be messy in a way that’s still almost unheard of in theatre.”

Cast: Lara Balken as Sam, Ilya Ilyashyk as Zach, Chrissy Mae Valentine as Natasha, and Sam Martin as Eli.

Creative team: Director/Writer Lara Balken, Set/Costume Design: Bronte Barnicoat, Lighting/Sound Design: Marie Echevarria, Stage Manager: Hannah Crane, Production Assistant: Elle Vanderdeyl

Graceless Productions is a new Sydney-based company dedicated to supporting emerging artists and telling challenging, provocative stories. “Exit Wounds” is being presented by an all-female creative team.

Exit Wounds plays at Flight Path Theatre as follows: Preview 8pm September 10, shows 8pm September 11-14 and 5pm September 15. Tickets are $25 (preview/concession) and $30 (adult) and can be purchased online at www.sydneyfringe.com. For more information please visit www.sydneyfringe.com

For more about Exit Wounds, visit http://www.sydneyfringe.com
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Speak … easy @ Annandale Creative Arts Centre

This is the world premiere of a new play by Sydney-based Jo Kadlecek, directed by Nicholas Papademetriou.

The story: young writer DJ Havel is stuck. She’s pregnant, on deadline and reeling from the mother’s death. Enter three legendary writers from the 1920s, Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Day and Dorothy L. Sayers.

DJ has found her muse – if they’ll behave. Presented by Joining The Dots theatre company.

DATES
3-5 September, 7.30pm, 5pm Sundays at the Annandale Creative Arts Centre, 81 Johnston Street, Annandale.

For more about Speak … easy, visit
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Bar’d Work – The Shakesbeer Sessions: Twelfth Night

Fast, funny and irreverent Shakespeare performed in your local pub. This troupe of actors will have you dying with laughter, singing along with pub classics, and most importantly, doing something you never thought you’d do. Love Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s classic comedy of shipwreck, mistaken identity and lust. Love triangles left and right as a stranded Viola, enters Orsino’s service to woo Olivia yet falls in love with him in the process. With an array of weird and wonderful characters, one of Shakespeare’s most loved comedies comes to life with a pint and pub grub. Continue reading Bar’d Work – The Shakesbeer Sessions: Twelfth Night

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.

A Wheels and Co production, 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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