Tag Archives: Danielle King

THE MAN IN THE ATTIC: THOUGHT PROVOKING THEATRE

Production photography: Blumenthal Photography

Despite the subject matter, THE MAN IN THE ATTIC playing at Eternity Theatre is not an angry offering but it is definitely not a conciliatory watch either.  It speaks in its own voice, directly to us.  Perhaps for some of the audience last night this play meant a great deal but my experience was decidedly Brechtian.  The play spoke of wicked things and, rational thought engaged, I was deciding what I would do.

It is late in the war in Northern Germany when Anna Moller finds a man at death’s door in a forest near her home.  With her husband, Hermann they take him to their attic, steal his wallet and nail the trapdoor shut. When Daniel wakes he is in a precarious situation as the Moller’s have discovered he is a Jew.  Conflict arises with Anna wanting to keep him safe and Hermann not willing to risk it.  When they discover that Daniel has a skill that they can use in the bartering economy of the dying state, Hermann becomes an entrepreneur in the Black Market.  Nosy neighbour Frau Giesling is also in for a cut. When the war ends there is even more scope for Hermann to make money from Daniel’s work and the pair decide not to tell Daniel the truth. Continue reading THE MAN IN THE ATTIC: THOUGHT PROVOKING THEATRE

MOIRA BLUMENTHAL CHATS ABOUT ‘THE MAN IN THE ATTIC’

Moira Blumenthal

For the past five years Shalom  and director Moira Blumenthal have co-produced a quality work of theatre for ever hungry Sydney theatre audiences. In 2014 it was Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation of Chaim Potok’s novel ‘The Chosen’ which played a theatre set up within Shalom College’s Educational Centre. In 2015 it was Arthur Feinsod’s ‘Coming to see Aunt Sophie’ at the Fig Tree Theatre UNSW. In 2016 it was ‘My Name is Asher Lev’, another stage adaptation by Aaron Posner of a Chaim Potok novel which played the Eternity Playhouse. Last year  it was South African playwright Victor Gordon’s ‘You will not play Wagner’ again at the Eternity.

This year, in an exciting development, the offering is the Australian premiere of a play by an internationally acclaimed Australian playwright whose work isn’t performed enough in his home country. The play is ‘The Man in the Attic’ by Timothy Daly. Daly’s play has a fascinating scenario inspired by true events. A  Jewish man is hidden by a German couple during the latter days of the Nazi regime. (Historical records indicate that over 11,000 Jews were hidden in attics, cellars and basements during the Second World War). Continue reading MOIRA BLUMENTHAL CHATS ABOUT ‘THE MAN IN THE ATTIC’

NIGHT SLOWS DOWN: WELL MAY WE SAY NEVER

 

NIGHT SLOWS DOWN
Don’t Look Away and Bakehouse TC
Images: Ross Waldron

Draw three curved lines.  Move them in infinite space.  Random and pointless yet purposeful and with motivation unchanged.  Eventually these three lines will fall near each other and create a shape that the human brain can complete.  Probably a broken circle.

NIGHT SLOWS DOWN has three protagonists.  Their lines cross as they are propelled by their own motivation but the audience will not see the shape complete until the final scene.  By Phillip James Rouse, the play was written as world politics shifted and fears around the theocratic, racist, elitist rise of the right grew.  And it is chilling.  Drawn breath, head shaking dialogue and how dare they viewing. Continue reading NIGHT SLOWS DOWN: WELL MAY WE SAY NEVER

SPORT FOR JOVE PRESENTS ‘NO END OF BLAME’ @ THE SEYMOUR CENTRE

All art is dangerous and to be an artist can cost you your sanity and your life. Is art meant to serve society, or is it a vehicle to serve the arrogance of the artist? Or, can it be either or both?!

This intense, explosive production by Sport For Jove,  luminously directed by Damien Ryan, is disturbing and powerful yet also at times lyrical and poetic.

In some ways the plays feels like a cross between a play by Tom Stoppard and Vaclav Havel , sharp and witty , wordy with piercing use of language.

First published in 1981 , in thirteen scenes over two acts , NO END OF BLAME roams over six decades of the 20th Century , from 1918 to the mid 1970’s , across various locations in Europe, and the play pits a passionate, provocative pair of artists, one a painter, Igor, the other a cartoonist, Bela ,against the forces of censorship and insidious state control that corrupt and stifle the human right to freedom of thought and freedom of speech. Continue reading SPORT FOR JOVE PRESENTS ‘NO END OF BLAME’ @ THE SEYMOUR CENTRE

SPORT FOR JOVE PRESENTS MICHAEL GOW’S AWAY @ REGINALD THEATRE SEYMOUR CENTRE

Away-main

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the first production of this landmark Australian play. While Sport For Jove’s production, as co- directed by Damien Ryan and Samantha Young, has some terrific segments, it  a little uneven, mainly in the first half, where the acting, at times, seemed a little forced. 

The staging was excellent – Lucilla Smith’s set design was very impressive – lyrical and simple, featuring a stage partially raked and there was a very effective use of light drapes which were sometimes tied back.

Ben Brockman’s lighting was vibrantly atmospheric. The storm scene towards the end of the first act was very well done, and a little reminiscent of Philippe Genty in style.
Continue reading SPORT FOR JOVE PRESENTS MICHAEL GOW’S AWAY @ REGINALD THEATRE SEYMOUR CENTRE

SPORT FOR JOVE PRESENTS TAMING OF THE SHREW @ THE YORK THEATRE, SEYMOUR CENTRE

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Sport for Jove’s wonderful version of Shakespeare’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is a delicious version of this quite challenging play that had the audience in stitches at times. It has been adapted and transposed by director Damien Ryan to Italy in the 1920’s in the silent film industry with sly digs at the Australian film industry of the time. It is full of exuberant energy and performed with enormous zest.

Damien Ryan’s direction leads to a thought provoking production which questions how the play can be read from a feminist perspective and is delicately aware and nuanced in its approaches to gender politics but doesn’t really provide answers as such , leaving the audience undecided .

Anna Gardiner’s set is rather sparse but with multiple small props and a ladder that is rolled in, out or reversed allowing for many fluid scene changes and retaining the feel of a film production  lot .With Sian James-Holland’s evocative lighting, and the use of projected, early cinema style film, the production is a visual feast.

The casting is superb with fine ensemble performances and wonderful work from the leads.

Seemingly the complete opposite to Katharine, Lizzie Schebesta shines as beautiful starlet Bianca who eventually reveals her hidden claws. On the surface, softer and far more the gracious , ideal woman she is as powerful as her sister. Schebesta impresses with her comic timing and graceful agility.

Danielle King as Katherina is brilliantly spitfire and spiky, at times almost feral, and , especially at first, rude and uncouth and delighting to annoy. She breaks convention and seeks to speak her mind and be independent in order to preserve her personal integrity but the dominant patriarchal society insists she does otherwise.

Angela Bauer is enchanting as the alluring Vincentia, prima donna movie star .

Baptista Minola here bossily, solidly played by Robert Alexander is a movie director with two eligible daughters: movie starlet Bianca (Lizzie Schebesta) and the fiery, explosive aviatrix Katharina (Danielle King). Baptista seems more concerned about his daughter’s financial security than their general well being.

The queue for Bianca’s hand includes matinee idols Gremio (Barry French) and Hortensio (Terry Karabelas) and, by proxy, a student, Lucentio (Christopher Stalley), who has his sister Tania (Eloise Winestock) impersonate him while he is in disguise as Bianca’s German governess.

Dashing Terry Karabelas as the vainglorious Hortensio is in fine form and revels in channeling his inner Errol Flynn.

Tall, blonde Christopher Stalley and Eloise Winestock have enormous fun as the scheming cross dressing siblings, Lucentio , (desperately in love with Bianca ) and Tania . Lucentio when in disguise as Bianca’s German governess Fraulein Gretchen is in the awkward situation of being the only character on stage who isn’t able to speak German!

James Lugton plays Petruchio, a dashing naval  officer who seeks to ensure his financial future by marrying Katherina. His cruel taming methods almost amount to torture but he is a generally reasonable man who has to use unreasonable methods to get what he wants. The horrendous honeymoon is played aboard Petruchio’s ship, which suffers much rolling!, and then on land.

I enjoyed the neat visual twist that Katharina wears elegant black at her wedding, and it is Petruchio who has the spectacular entrance with a train. In  a nice touch Petruchio enters shirtless, trailing a parachute.

The highly controversial speech by Katharina that ends the play, and that theoretically shows her vanquished spirit, is here presented with a troubled, questioning tone and laughs are orchestrated with the concluding projected film.

Petruchio’s servants here become his crew and sing a wonderful sea shanty and there is much fun with the rolling of the ship . Michael Cullen as Grumio , Petruchio’s valet and George Kemp as Biondello, in particular, show off their great comic timing and slapstick skills.

This Sport For Jove  production is full of exuberant, boisterous energy with plenty of slapstick and silent film melodrama thrown into the mix.

The jokes hurtle along and Ryan and the cast do a magnificent job of maintaining the blistering pace in this bold production.

Running time allow 3 hours 15 minutes including one interval.

Sport for Jove’s production of TAMING OF THE SHREW is playing the York Theatre, the  Seymour Centre until May 28.

http://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/the-taming-of-the-shrew/