Tag Archives: Ben O’Toole

Brendan Cowell’s MEN @ The Old Fitz

Production photography by Marnya Rothe
Production photography by Marnya Rothe

MEN, playing at the Old Fitz, is about trust. Trust has nothing to do with the story actually but it’s what might keep you in your seat. Germaine Greer said that women don’t really know how much men hate them but many woman trust that Germaine is wrong… that our brothers and husbands and nephews, men of our acquaintance, men we share a bus with and so on don’t see us like that.

I trust playwright Brendan Cowell.  He is an internationally recognized writer of TV and theatre who has won awards and nominations for his work.  He crafts work of considerable intellectual reach to challenge an audience and to drag them through a world of his creation.  The gynophobia hits early in this show and my decision to stay was all about trusting that the wordsmith was taking me to a place of redemption where I could forgive the misogynist arseholes who populate the stage.   Continue reading Brendan Cowell’s MEN @ The Old Fitz

Freak Winds @ The Old Fitz

writer director star marshall napier
Marshall Napier, the very talented writer, director and star of Freak Winds

The first thing that strikes you as you enter the theatre space at the Old Fitz for the latest staging of Marshall Napier’s FREAK WINDS is Lisa Mimmocchi’s set, walls Tuscan red with rising damp, paint peeling and damp bubbling, depicting and anticipating the troubling to come.

This decrepit and decaying house is the habitat of Ernest, who may or not be a homicidal maniac. At the beginning of the show he appears to be a harmless and somewhat debilitated man dependent on a cheap Zimmer frame.

On a wild and freakishly windy evening, insurance salesman Henry Crumb literally blows into Ernest’s lair, determined to sell him a policy. When part of his pitch mentions children, Ernest’s bonhomie evaporates, he rushes from the room, and vomits.

Left alone, Henry spies a scrapbook which he discovers is full of cuttings about sinister events.

The keen sound of the sharpening of a knife emanates from the area Ernest has disappeared.

From a double doors built into the staircase burst a woman in a wheelchair. This is Myra, quick with an offer of massage for the hyper tense Crumb.

Anna Bamford as Myra swings from fragile victim to Ernest’s foul sluttish heir during the course of the second act, from prim paraplegic to skittish school uniformed fetishist and self-proclaimed sexual deviant.

Ben O’Toole as Henry Crumb has all the sweaty swagger of the cocksure salesman and energises his role with a charge that would short circuit the battery bunny.

Marshall Napier as Ernest has the benign menace of a mild mannered maniac, bespectacled beast on callipers, conjuring a Richard III, although we know he’s up for sportive tricks determined to prove his villainy.

FREAK WINDS is Australian Gothic , a grotesque and grandiose Guignal playing in the bowels of The Old Fitzroy through March



THE WATER DIVINER, an epic Australian historical action drama written by Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight, is opening in Australian cinemas this Boxing Day and represents Russell Crowe’s directorial debut.

In World War I, the Gallipoli Campaign, was an awful and notably failed offensive by the Allies, and took place on the Gallipoli Peninsula for eight months from 25 April 1915. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek word “Καλλίπολις” (Kallipolis), meaning “Beautiful City”, and where the Anzac Legend began. Anzac Day every 25th of April, commemorates the date of that military landing at Gallipoli, and remains the most significant day for Australian and New Zealand commemoration of our military casualties and our veterans from all wars. Continue reading THE WATER DIVINER