Tag Archives: Adam Cook

THE ROLLING STONE: GET TICKETS, DON’T DELAY

This image: Nancy Denis, Henrietta Amevor, ELjiah Williams, Zufi Emerson, Mandela Mathia
Featured image: Damon Manns, Elijah Williams
Production photography: Clare Hawley

So this will be brief.  After seeing THE ROLLING STONE tonight, my advice? Read no more, just get yourself tickets.  It will sell out for sure.  This production is political theatre that strikes with a charm and intelligence that never lets you look away.  Multi-themed and superbly delivered, it is a work which collides matters around sexual orientation, human autonomy, religion and women’s education for one’s immediate contemplation and later disturbs your sleeping with considerations of grief and loss and hatred .

We meet Dembe.  He’s 18, it is Uganda and he is a devout Christian worshipping at the altar of his older brother, Joe, who has just been made a pastor.  He and his sister Wummie have been left poor after their father’s death but their neighbour, Mama is adopting of the 3 and has Dembe picked out for her daughter Naome.  But Dembe knows himself, he feels the presence of God and just as clearly understands that he is homosexual.  When he enters a relationship with Sam, an Irish born doctor it is a dangerous time. A paper, ‘Rolling Stone’ is publishing, based purely on hearsay and rumour, the names and photos of local men who are suspected of being gay.  And they are being murdered by mobs. Continue reading THE ROLLING STONE: GET TICKETS, DON’T DELAY

CROSS POLLINATE PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS KAYAK @ THE OLD FITZ

“TIDES FLUSH EVERYTHING OUT. EVEN CRAZY CHICKS LIKE YOU”

In Sydney playwright Katherine Thomson’s KAYAK, all Ruth wants to do is be out on the harbour with her kayak and enjoy the quiet. She’s in Heaven. “I’m nestled in the meniscus, as secure as a duck.”

Just as Ruth gets lost in the serenity, her floating universe is destroyed by a perilous encounter with teenage hoons in a tinnie. Ruth seeks revenge and tracks down Luke Continue reading CROSS POLLINATE PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS KAYAK @ THE OLD FITZ

The Motherf**ker With The Hat

Zoe Trilsbach and Troy Harrison. Pic Kurt Sneddon
Zoe Trilsbach and Troy Harrison. Pic Kurt Sneddon

Stephen Adly Guirgis is garrulous. Three of the quintet of characters in his script THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT could, as they say, talk the leg off a table.

The play begins with a telephone conversation between Veronica and her mother, the drug addled daughter trying to persuade her addicted mother to attend rehab and ditch her fish headed fiancé. It’s a mouthfully funny monologue and indicative of the mastery of Guirgis’ ear. Continue reading The Motherf**ker With The Hat

A DOLL’S HOUSE

Douglas Hansall as Torvald ties valiantly to hold onto his darling Nora, memorably played by Matilda Ridgway. Pic Seiya Taguchi
Douglas Hansall as Torvald ties valiantly to hold onto his darling Nora, memorably played by Matilda Ridgway. Pic Seiya Taguchi

In stark, and it has to be said refreshing contrast to the recent radical approach by other directors to classic works, Adam Cook plays his Doll’s House with a very straight bat. The play is performed in its time period and the plot-lines are strictly adhered to in his concise adaptation. His creative team, designer Hugh O’Connor, and lighting man Gavan Swift bring the play’s world vividly to life.

The hallmark of this production is how strongly the bold, cathartic nature of Nora’s journey is conveyed. Leading a uniformly strong cast, Matilda Ridgway as Nora takes the audience all the way with her to her chilling epiphany. It is then when Nora realises that she has spent her entire playing roles, being the dutiful child, the sweet wife, the doting mother and it is now time for her to throw off all her roles and find her own way in the world.

Iconclastic Nora exits stage left, leaving Torvald transfixed, and the other characters left to play out their roles, secure in their insecurities. Torvald (Douglas Henshall) will continue to be the straightlaced bank manager. Nils Krogstad (Anthony Gooley) will remain a shifty character, trying to get the best deal. Nora’s childhood friend Kristen Linde (Francesca Savige) will live in a compromised life with Krogstad so that she can keep the debtors from her door. Ever dutiful family friend Dr Rank (Barry French) has decided to face his final days alone, a proud man to the very end. The maid Helen (Annie Byron) will continue to be the good natured maid and carer to the two children.

Another strong showing by Sport for Jove, A DOLL’S HOUSE opened at the Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre on Saturday July 18 and plays until Saturday August 2..

FREUD’S LAST SESSION

FREUD'S LAST SESSION
Douglas Hansell as C.S.Lewis and Henri Szeps as Sigmund Freud in FREUD’S LAST SESSION

Andy Warhol famously pushed the envelope and his audience’s attention way too far when he made his 1963 film SLEEP which mercilessly showed a man sleeping for five hours not stop. Perhaps Warhol’s goal was to make the most boring movie ever made?! God only knows……

When the film MY DINNER WITH ANDRE was released in 1981 it sounded like co-creators Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn were trying to compete in the boredom stakes with the original Campbell Soup man. The film, with a running time of just under two hours, screened a dinner between the two thespians at a sophisticated New York restaurant, from entrée to port…

Amazingly the film, directed by legendary French film auteur Louise Malle, turned out to be far from uninteresting and went on to achieve cult status. Whole worlds seemed to open up as the two men put everything on the table,- their life experiences, how they perceived them, and saw one another’s. The trysts between them added that extra element, it was exhilarating watching the two very different personalities sparring,- Andre the dreamer, the visionary…..Wallace,- staid, pragmatic, urbane.

Mark St Germain’s FREUD ‘S LAST SESSION offers a very similar experience. The play documents a (fictional) meeting that takes place between Sigmund Freud and Professor C.S. Lewis at the legendary psychoanalyst’s home. Likewise, the two men put everything on the table,- their views on sex, love, God, the meaning of life… their clashes are passionate, intense, fiery…

St Germain raises the stakes by having the meeting between two of the greatest minds of the Twentieth Century take place on the day that England enters the Second World War.

Adam Cook’s production serves St Germain’s play well. Henri Szeps and Douglas Hansell are convincing in their portrayals of these two iconic figures. Mark Thomson’s set and costume design and Gavan Swift’s lighting design create the world of the late nineteen thirties well.

The examined life is worth living, especially when seen through the eyes of two of the world’s liveliest minds.

A co-production by Strange Duck Productions and Liberman Partnership, FREUD’S LAST SESSION is currently playing Sydney’s Theatre Royal.