Tag Archives: Carmen Duncan

ANYTHING GOES @ THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Anything-Goes-inset-Claire-Lyon-Todd-McKenney-Carmen-Duncan-Bartholomew-John-and-Alex-Rathgeber-in-Anything-Goes-c-Jeff-Busby.jpg
Anything-Goes-inset-Claire-Lyon-Todd-McKenney-Carmen-Duncan-Bartholomew-John-and-Alex-Rathgeber-in-Anything-Goes-c-Jeff-Busby.jpg

Everything goes like a dream in this latest production of the celebrated Broadway musical.

Dean Bryant directs and Andrew Hallsworth choreographs  with Caroline O’Connor and Todd McKenney, two legends of Australian music  theatre, headlining the cast supported by some thirty talented and vibrant performers.

The story to ANYTHING GOES concerns the madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy Number 13 Moonface Martin aid Billy in his quest to win Hope. Continue reading ANYTHING GOES @ THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

The Credaux Canvas @ The Reginald

Carmen Duncan delivers a memorable performance as
Carmen Duncan delivers a memorable performance as the elegant art dealer Tess

Sex. Lies. Art. How far would you go to achieve your dreams?

A blistering contemporary tale of love, twisted morals , deception and intrigue, Keith Bunin’s (The World Over, The Busy World  Is Hushed) THE CREDAUX CANVAS originally premiered in 2001.  This  excellent revival, directed by Ross McGregor,  blazes intimately forth from the Reginald at the Seymour Centre.

The play is in four scenes, somewhat cinematic in style, and features a biting, witty script. The work brings to mind other plays about the art world, Yasmina Reza’s Art and David Williamsons Up For Grabs?

Those of us who have been to art school are at home with the ‘art speak’ critique and analysis of paintings necessarily part of this show. Other theatre patrons may struggle a little. Continue reading The Credaux Canvas @ The Reginald

A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED

A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED. Pic James Morgan
Debra Lawrence as Letitia Blacklock in Christie’s
A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED. Pic James Morgan

I doubt you will pick  this whodunit. This is an excellent production of ‘a good old fashioned’ classic murder mystery as crafted by the Queen of Crime Dame Agatha Christie  in ‘the golden era’ .  It is oh so utterly British , a genteel  village murder mystery.

The original book was first published in 1950. A Murder Is Announced takes place in the village of Chipping Cleghorn and is set in Letitia’s house, Little Paddocks. It is a Friday 13th October and a murder is announced in the local paper. With Dame Agatha’s meticulous , convoluted  plotting there are plenty of red herrings , disguises, fake identities,  – is anyone really who they claim to be? – unexpected twists , long lost relatives , lots of suspects. And the motive behind it all is greed, lots and lots of money … or , at least possibly … (Letiticia will apparently inherit a fortune from the mysterious unseen millionaires, the Goedlers, who she used to work for). Or will she?! Cui bono?, as the saying is  .

Linda Bewick’s drawing room set, (two rooms actually – and why is one door sealed?) is wonderfully realised. Suzy Strout’s marvellous costumes and styling, (for Letitia and  Julia especially) and  the well-crafted lighting, sound and music (Matt Cox, David Tonion and Max Lambert) – all meld to create a clearly  illustrated world where the characters come across authentically.

Director Darren Yap with his excellent cast of eleven has got it just right and it is great to see some challenging roles for women. There are eerie blackouts and explosions and at a couple of points audible gasps and other reactions from the audience which nowadays is somewhat unusual .The tension of the piece is well developed and carried over both acts.

Debra Lawrance as the apparently threatened Letitia Blacklock is marvellous, all exquisite twinset and pearls and cool, calm elegance with a ‘stiff upper lip’. But what deep, dark secrets is she hiding ?Another  major role is that of Deirdre Rubenstein as Bunny , Letita’s friend and companion,  who is slightly mad – or is she?!

Others in the cast include Robert Grubb as the seemingly inept ,  rather craggy Inspector Cradock in a terrific performance. Carmen Duncan is elegant but rather highly strung and nervous as Mrs Swettenham and James Beck is imposing as her  author son Edmund.

The bright, energetic young things,- Libby Munro,( Phillipa)  Nathaniel Middleton ( Patrick)  and Elizabeth Sebben ( Julia) are delectably enigmatic  in their various roles. Victoria Haralabidou has much fun totally stealing the show as Mitzi, Letitia’s rather surly and strange parlour maid and cook, in a strong performance featuring great comic timing.

Miss Marple herself, quiet either in a corner knitting or energetically re-enacting scene- of- the- crime movements, is brilliantly played by Judi Farr who is perfect in the role. As Miss Marple she is a gentle, gracious and unassuming  busy body yet also has an agile and incisive mind.

If you like Agatha Christie (or Midsomer Murders) treat yourself and go see this terrific production.  Running time is 2 hours 20 mins including one interval.

A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED – a Miss Marple Mystery, is playing the Sydney Theatre until October 27 and then moves to the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne playing there from October 30 to December 4, 2013.