SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN from Blackout Theatre Company is such an upbeat show. It’s about romance and nostalgia and sitting back and having it wash over you. It’s about rooting for the lovers and tapping your feet to the surprising number of well-known songs. Directors Cierwen Newell and John Hanna, apart from one spectacular technical intervention, have wisely avoided any attempt to change its innate character or modernise it. It fits right into its timeline, giving us a wonderful wistfulness and a delectable parade of scrumptious costumes. Added to which is a joyous cast and the most enjoyable hoofing I seen this year! I just loved the dancing in this show … loved it, loved it, loved it!
The talkies are coming and silent star, Don Lockwood and his onscreen squeeze, Lina Lamont are looking at a different world than the one that has made them the most loved lovers on the silver screen. Transition might be easy for him but, recorded or live, she grates like a can opener. Conspiracy arises as the execs decide to dub her voice and Kathy Selden, Don’s new and real-life love interest, is co-oped into the role. Don’s best mate, former vaudeville tap partner and now ambient pianist, Cosmo Brown, is on hand to help where he can. Continue reading SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN: HUGE PUDDLES OF ENJOYMENT→
WOLF LULLABY from Blackout Theatre Company has sadly finished its run but the quality of, and the work that has gone into, the production is one of the reasons why I am such a champion of this community theatre. This production was very thoughtfully constructed and acted, it brought a good sense of mystery and the themes were explored at no expense of the story. Just all round good theatre-going.
Written by Hilary Bell, WOLF LULLABY has a complex theme at its heart, are children capable of evil? In a small Tasmanian town, we meet 9 year old Lizzie who is obviously naughty and over active. It is after school and she is hanging out at her mother’s hairdressing salon, being annoying when Angela is giving a cut to Warren who is Lizzie’s dad. Though the parents are divorced they appear to remain on good terms. The only other character is Sergeant Ray Armstrong, the local copper and it falls to him to investigate the murder of a two and a half year old who is found in one of the local kids’ hangout. Lizzie, who has nightmares about a wolf, may be implicated in the toddler’s death. Continue reading WOLF LULLABY: BLACKOUT THEATRE’S USUAL HIGH QUALITY→
Blackout Theatre is kicking ass and taking names at Lend Lease Theatre in the Darling Quarter.
Add my name to the list: the list of supporters and advocates for this kick-ass community theatre and the list of audience members who absolutely loved DOGFIGHT on its opening night.
DOGFIGHT is a musical set in San Francisco, November 21st 1963 as the Vietnam War rages and Haight Ashbury is attracting the ‘love not hate’ unwashed . It was written with hindsight in the early part of the second decade of this century by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, known together as Pasek and Paul, who won the Golden Globe and have been nominated for an Oscar for LA LA LAND. It did not wow at the time.
Rarely have I wanted to encourage an audience to see a show as much as I want you to see RENT by Blackout Theatre Company playing at The Joan at Penrith. Rarely does an audience get the chance to see a Community Theatre thriving by virtue of dogged hard work and irrepressible enthusiasm. On its website Blackout suggests that after 15 years and 2 name changes (many theatre goers will recognize them as Blacktown Theatre Company) they are taking a fresh approach to Community Theatre.
RENT is a great example of grass roots theatre. It’s a big, engaging show with a huge cast and crew and if the rousing applause on Opening Night any indication, a community behind them. Though a harsh judge might find the production a little flawed, Blackout’s RENT is youthful and joyous and created with an energy that spills through the audience. Continue reading RENT @ THE JOAN SUTHERLAND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE PENRITH→
Recounting the tragic events of the Matthew Shepard murder, THE LARAMIE PROJECT tells a story dealing with issues of gay hate crimes, sexuality and the death penalty in rural America.
The senseless and vicious murder took place in Laramie, Wyoming in the States in 1998 and eight members of The Tectonic Theatre Company travelled to Laramie and conducted over two hundred hours of interviews with sixty local residents. From these interviews they crafted this play which expressed their views on the crime, on Laramie society, and on issues around the death penalty in America.