All the good scriptwriting theory says that conflict is always at the heart of every good drama. Let it be said that there was plenty of conflict and heat in this production. This play explores one of history’s great rivalries. A battle of wits, blood and broken hearts, reinvented for the stage – the iconic tale of Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth 1 of England.
Following an uprising, Mary has fled Scotland, gone to England and has been imprisoned by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth. The Queen her Imprisoned because Mary is younger, more beloved, and has her own claim to the throne.
What setting is best to poke fun at other’s misfortunes? Why, a three course dinner party, of course!
Moira Buffini’s contemporary play, Dinner, is wickedly comedic as it is tragic. Centring around host Paige Janssen, the night is to celebrate her husband’s successful new pop-philosophy book being published, entitled Beyond Belief. Guests include an artist, a scientist, a journalist, a politician who cannot attend, and one uninvited stranger. The party is lead by Paige through a series of strange meals, with conversations turning uncomfortably personal. There seems to be no pleasant way this night can end. Continue reading Sharpen your knives for ‘Dinner’ @ Sydney Theatre Company→
Perhaps those of us who crave intimacy in our theatre going prefer a small story… a family, a young man adrift. Those of us who choose challenge and ideas beyond our smallness might want the immersion of symbols and history… place and a codified seeking of understandings.
THE INCREDIBLE HERE AND NOW has just completed a successful season for the National Theatre of Parramatta at Riverside Theatre. It was the perfect blend of human story and world view. Warm and funny and human and thought-provoking.
We meet Michael before the show starts as he sits and writes on his laptop. This year 10 student is the chronicler of his family. He is our guide and speaks directly to the audience to explain, point stuff out and give his adolescent view on close to home events. He scribbles his life on a small flip page notepad.
He’s in the shadow of his older brother Dominic who is adored and indulged by his mother. His black sheep Auntie Leena also adores and indulges ‘The Dom’ but her compassion for Michael is equally limitless. It’s a bit hard to see where Michael fits into the existence around him until we meet his grandfather. Pops isn’t doing too well at the end of a life lived in one place but in him we see the man that the boy might become after the catastrophic central event of the text. There is big picture storyteller and keeper of worlds to be nurtured in Michael. Continue reading THE INCREDIBLE HERE AND NOW : FELICITY CASTAGNA’S NOVEL COMES TO THE STAGE→
Fraught mother and daughter relationships have been a rich source of material for scriptwriters for a very long time. Many will recall the multi-Academy Award winning Terms of Endearment featuring Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger.
Prominent British playwright April De Angelis dives into this very deep well with her play JUMPY. A hit when it was first performed on the West End in 2011, the script is currently in the process of being developed into a mainstream television series.