Tag Archives: David Fleischer

DEATH OF A SALESMAN : IN THE HEAT OF WILLY’S NIGHT

Helen Thomson and J
Helen Thomson and Jacek Koman in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Arthur Millers’s ‘Death Of A Salesman’. Pic Prudence Upton

I should state my preference in theatre straight away. I love works of Sturm and Drang, those works with plenty of dramatic  action and high emotionalism. It is with this preference in mind that the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Arthur Miller’s classic 1949 play DEATH OF THE SALESMAN was a good fit.

For weary, middle-aged  travelling salesman Willy Loman  the great American Dream, that success and happiness can be achieved by any American who is a regular, hard working person, has always been out of reach.

Miller’s play starts with Willy Loman’s world already starting to crumble around him. He has worked all his adult life as a travelling salesman and at his peak he was was successful. During this time he married his sweetheart and raised two boys.

Willy has comes across lean times. His company has taken him off salary and he is now working on commission only. His wife Linda is struggling to make ends meet. The couple still haven’t finished paying off the mortgage.

Linda pressures him to talk to his boss to put him back on salary and ask him if he could be given a job in New York, that he was getting too old to travel  around. Continue reading DEATH OF A SALESMAN : IN THE HEAT OF WILLY’S NIGHT

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF : SEARING DRAMA @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

In Tennessee Williams CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Big Daddy is dying but he doesn’t know it yet. It is his birthday. Big Mama is in the dark. Brick is at the bottom of a  bottle. But Brick’s wife Maggie is alive, desperately alive, and dancing like a cat on a hot tin roof. We meet the fabled family when lies are rife, tensions are boiling over and their future is at stake.

Kip Williams production serves Williams’ epic drama well. He leads a great creative team who dynamically set up the world for the actors to work in, and they respond by giving strong  performances.

Hugo Weaving has a darkly masculine energy as the formidable, imposing Big Daddy. Weaving makes his first appearance at the  very tail of Act 1. Big Daddy is the patriarch of the family who everyone lies in fear of. He has had a health scare and thought that his reign might be over but the results seem to be positive so he is back being the boss again. The main thing that he wants is to get Brick’s (his favourite son) life back on track again. Big Daddy and Brick have one hell of an extended, prolonged scene together with sparks flying back and forth. Continue reading CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF : SEARING DRAMA @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

ROMEO AND JULIET (STC)

Dylan Young and Eryn Jean Norvill plays the star crossed lovers. Pic Lisa Tomasetti
Dylan Young and Eryn Jean Norvill plays the star crossed lovers. Pic Lisa Tomasetti

With Kip Williams’s current production of R and J audiences get  a bold, brash and powerful reworking of the Bard’s star crossed lovers tale.

Everything is big and dramatic and  vivid as…one suspect that he was more than a little encouraged by Bazmark’s film to do something similar in a theatrical vein.

Plenty of dollars have been spent on the set and staging,- David Fleischer- which features multiple revolves and ‘boxed’ sets, and the costumes- Anna Lise Phillips as Juliet’s mother comes out in a lavish, extreme pink dress- everywhere there is opulence…extravagance.

Alan John’s, together with Nate Edmonson’s, soundscape works in well with the narrative, mixing cutting edge music bytes with orchestral tones.

Williams’s production, with lighting man Nicholas Rayment’s work, is visually stunning. Williams’s staging is excellent. The scene where Juliet is at the deep back of the theatre in just the barest of lighting, as she waits for Romeo’s appearance is mesmeric.

As is Eamon Farren as he makes his dramatic entrance, full of bravado, that kicks off the second half.

As the star crossed lovers, Eryn Jean Norvill and Dylan Young shine brightly. During the show they have to make some direct audiences from the front centre of the stage and they do so confidently and with eloquent phrasing.

Others to stand out in the cast include some highly experienced performers,- Colin Moody as Juliet’s Dad, Julie Forsyth as her Nurse and Mitchell Butel as the Friar.

Highly recommended, this Sydney Theatre Company production runs at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House until November 2. It is a long night, running over two and a half hours, but worth every minute.