Tag Archives: Alex Bryant-Smith

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN @ THE OLD FITZ

I loved this show. Like the best theatre it was as if I was cast under a spell in the intimate space that is the Old Fitz.

We are transported to the going on in Inishmaan, a small country town in Ireland. It’s a sleepy old town where nothing much happens, kind of like Porpoise Spit in Muriel’s Wedding, There are the two women who run a small corner shop which everyone visits. My favourite character is an old guy who is the town gossip, who comes in all the time telling them the latest news. Most of his news items are plain dead boring and the women tease him about it. 

Then one day the guy bursts through the door with some news that is actually newsworthy. An American film company are coming to the town to shoot a film. Here is a chance for a bit of fame. Who had the nerve to say that no-one wants to know about Inishmaan?! Continue reading THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN @ THE OLD FITZ

THANK YOU NICHOLAS. ‘THE CARETAKER’

Production photos: Sanja Vukelja

The power of the personal was how I ended up sitting in a Saturday afternoon matinee of THE CARETAKER at Riverside Theatres.  Nicholas Papademetriou talked me into it; you can see the interview with him here.  For me, Harold Pinter’s classic work comes with a certain amount of baggage … leftovers from the 1960s when it was new, when the ‘Pinter Pause’ dominated, when abstract work and non-sequiturs were not as common on the stage.   Instead of baggage, this production has clutter, dirt and performances groomed into deterioration.  It is an achievement of modern relevance in a rigorously truthful reflection of the play’s heritage.                         Continue reading THANK YOU NICHOLAS. ‘THE CARETAKER’

THE CARETAKER. NEARLY 60 YEARS ON – EVEN MORE RELEVANT. GIVEAWAY

Legendary absurdist playwright, Harold Pinter’s masterpiece is coming.  THE CARETAKER is one of the most brilliant contemporary classics of our time and is a must-see.

Following its premiere nearly 60 years ago, THE CARETAKER remains as relevant today as ever with issues of identity, power, family and mental illness. It will be presented by Throwing Shade Theatre Company (Metamorphosis, Vincent River) in association with theatrongroup (Anna in the Tropics, Greek Tragedy and The Importance of Being Earnest). Continue reading THE CARETAKER. NEARLY 60 YEARS ON – EVEN MORE RELEVANT. GIVEAWAY

THAT EYE, THE SKY @ NEW THEATRE NEWTOWN

 

THAT EYE, THE SKY has been lovingly adapted from the Tim Winton novel and brought to the stage by Richard Roxburgh and Justin Monjo and directed by David Burrowes. It is beautifully, eloquently written and the show is extremely polished with an incredibly talented cast but the work is mostly cerebal and we feel distanced observers. The play asks the big questions about the nature of religion and the meaning of Life and Death.

Continue reading THAT EYE, THE SKY @ NEW THEATRE NEWTOWN

ROMEO AND JULIET

Dan Webber and Rainee Lyleson play the star crossed lovers

It’s the weekend. You are looking through the entertainment guide for something to do. You check out the theatre section. There’s not much that takes your fancy. And then you spot something. A company, the Impulse Theatre Company, is doing the Bard’s Romeo and Juliet but they’re giving it a contemporary setting, resetting it at the time of the Cronulla Race Riots that took place in December 2005. The show’s promo line,-‘Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Cronulla’….It sounds interesting…Let’s do it!

Clever concepts don’t always convert. This is the case with this re-imagining of the Bard’s classic in the setting of the Cronulla riots. It may well have been a good pitch but it doesn’t make for a great fit.

The Cronulla riots were the result of tension, over a long period of time, between local residents and people from a Middle Eastern background, mainly from the Western suburbs, who were coming into the area on weekends. The riots had nothing to do with warring families nor was the racial conflict the breeding ground of a romance for the ages….

Thankfully, Wallace only gives this angle to the narrative a very light brush! He starts strongly with the replaying of old video footage from the riots, and then the staging of the  Cronulla beach scene where a local Aussie woman is sunbaking and being harassed by Lebanese guys however by play’s end titles flash across the back wall saying that we are now in Mantua. From Cronulla to Mantua in  a flash….

All is not lost! Impulse’s production proves to still be worth catching, as the result of a very  committed cast  and some good really good performances, particularly from the supporting cast. Bryan Hajduczoh as Mercutio and Alex Bryan-Smith as Tybalt impress as the impulsive foes. Lisa Peers, the real-life mother of Rainee Lyleson who played Juliet, gave, for me, the performance of the night, playing Juliet’s Nurse as well as Lady Montague (quite indiscernible in this role). Alan Faulkner impressed in multiple roles as well as delivering Shakespeare’s wonderful prologue.

Impulse Theatre Company’s production of ROMEO AND JULIET opened at the King Street Theatre, corner King Street and Bray Street, Newtown on Wednesday 31 July and plays until Saturday 24 August, 2013.