There’s a favourite Cat Stevens song that goes ‘Oh baby, it’s a wild world/you can’t get by just upon a smile, girl’. The song was going around in my head more than little as I watched this latest David Williamson play, THE BIG TIME.
The great man’s subject is the entertainment industry, a world which he has inhabited for nigh on fifty years. How true Williamson’s program note is when he says, ‘I know that in the industry that creates fictional drama, that real life drama can be intense.’
Williamson is an ever astute observer of relationships and this is the engine which drives THE BIG TIME. We see the very fractured relationship of Celia and Vicki, two girls who went through NIDA together and whose careers have taken them off in very different directions.
Vicki is doing a lots of independent theatre gifs, whilst Celia has had a long standing role in a soapie, or as she calls it ‘a continuing drama series’. Whenever the girls meet for a cuppa Vicki baits Celia to leave the soapie and do some serious acting. After all, she was the star student at NIDA. Celia is a little torn, she would like to venture out but she loves the regular pay cheque she receives.Continue reading THE BIG TIME : OH BABY, THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY IS A WILD WORLD→
Mad March Hare Theatre Co., in association with Red Line Productions presents the Sydney Premiere of EURYDICE. Written by Sarah Ruhl this play re-imagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine.
Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the Underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. With contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists, and breathtaking visual effects, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story.
Claudia Barrie (You Got Older, Dry Land, Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo) directs an ensemble cast featuring Ebony Vagulans as Eurydice, Lincoln Vickery as Orpheus, Jamie Oxenbould as Eurydice’s Father, Nicholas Papademetriou as Lord of the Underworld and Alex Malone, Ariadne Sgouros and Megan Wilding as the Stones.
The program for YOU GOT OLDER speaks of love and grief but, for me, the richest part of the work is about courage. When someone, and their family, suddenly joins ‘cancer club’ nothing stays as it was. It’s the courage not to be bowed by the experience, physical, emotional and spiritual. The courage to let some things slide and let some get away and take some on full tilt. It might not feel like bravery at the time but for so many us, it is being able to continue a tradition with undiminished joy, not broken down by the overwhelming grief of loss. That’s where we do honour, when we come to together to dance like no-one else is watching. And this family has done it twice.
Mae is home. In Wenatchee, driving distance to Seattle. She has the luxury of being with her widowed Dad as he takes on his battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer because she has been dumped, and fired, by her boyfriend boss. When Dad goes in for an aggressive treatment the other siblings gather. Jenny, little sister, Mathew, middle brother and Hannah, older sister. The play, though, is really the story of Mae and Dad. And Mae’s psychosexual debasement fantasy intruder-cowboy who seems to be appearing to her, waking and sleeping. There’s a real-life man too, local and available, Mac. And he and Mae have tit-for-tat fetishes which may well make them ideal for each other. Continue reading YOU GOT OLDER: GRACE AND COURAGE TO INSPIRE→
Andrea is stung by a wasp in the neck and her mother tells her this is the wasp’s way of telling her she loves her. This is an early drama in Andrea’s life and one of many lies that Andrea is told by her mother, by other relatives, by her friends and by her lovers.
Phillip Ridley’s harrowing play of grief and the impact of post traumatic stress is given the full on, in your face treatment, under Claudia Barrie’s direction. The play opens with loud heavy guitar sounds before a stark, all white room is suddenly and intensely illuminated. A single figure is screaming and begging for his life. The stage goes black. Continue reading Shivered @ The Pact Theatre→
Mad March Hare Theatre’s production at The Old Fitzroy Theatre makes for a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment. Playwright Jonathan Gavin’s script has rich and rapid fire dialogue. The play features seven women and is the story of their friendships.
A MOMENT ON THE LIPS opens with a party where the seven characters display that there is some discord within the group. The drama then backtracks and fills in how the relationships and friendships have ebbed and flowed over the years to reach their current status. The characters reveal themselves in different ways but essentially this was constrained and trivial until an event happened when the veneer of being polite or superficial was dropped and a type of cathartic cleansing takes place.
Top Girls often have to take hits and make sacrifices to get to the top of their profession. One only has to look at Julia Gillard and her path to the top and her recent demise, which happened around the same time as the New Theatre’s current revival of Caryl Churchill’s classic 1982 play.
Alice Livingstone’s production serves Churchill’s groundbreaking play. Gina Rose Drew’s set and costume design works wonderfully well. The three main characters are tremendous. Julia Billington plays the lead character, ambitious Marlene who has won the top job at her recruitment agency aptly named ‘Top Girls , Claudia Barrie plays her anxious teenage daughter Angie, and Sarah Aubrey played her much down to earth sister Joyce who has raised Angie as if her own child. Angie knows nothing of this arrangement but begins to suspect. The leads are given good support by the ensemble that includes Cheryl Ward, Bishanyia Vincent, Ainslie McGlynn and Maeve Macgregor.
Livingstone’s clear transitions are a feature, switching from the play’s famous opening Act, set in an upmarket restaurant, where Marlene encounters and talks to eccentric, powerful women from the past about the challenges of being fesity, independent women in their particular generation, to Act 2 where the scenes are played out within Joyce’s home and Marlene’s workplace.
Recommended, Alice Livingstone’s revival of Caryl Churchill’s TOP GIRLS opened at the New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown on Thursday July 11 and runs until Saturday August 3, 2013.
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