Operatic in its emotions , searingly intense , this is a gripping intimate production of Richard Benyon’s play that under Kim Hardwick’s direction glows. THE SHIFTING HEART is set in Collingwood in Melbourne at Christmas time 1956, and while it could be regarded as a period piece is still extremely relevant today . It is an analysis of racism and its victims , of how migrants/refugees are viewed as ‘other ‘ .There is the haunting sense of displacement yet also a longing to belong and be accepted.
“Some love too little, some too long/Some sell, and others buy/Some do the deed with many tears/And some without a sigh/ For each man kills the thing he loves/Yet each man does not die.” – Oscar Wilde: The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
Sensitively directed by Iain Sinclair this production by Red Line Productions of David Hare’s play THE JUDAS KISS would have to be one of the best shows on in town at the moment.
This compelling production is part of the Mardi Gras Festival and looks at the tragic fall of the great author Oscar Wilde.
The play was written in 1998 and Neil Armfield directed a landmark version at Belvoir in 1999 and more recently an overseas production starring Rupert Everett as Wilde.
Hare is regarded as one of the great contemporary British playwrights writers and it is a huge pleasure to hear his magnificent use of language and observe the confident, secure construction of his play.
In the tiny intimate theatre it is as if we are a fly on the wall observing events. Act 1 is set on the 5th of April, 1895, in a room of the Cadogan Hotel in London, the night on which Wilde must decide whether to stay in England, and face imprisonment, or flee.
The Cadogan Hotel, set is plush red velvet curtains, lamps, chairs and tables and crowded with paintings (pick out the Whistlers and St. Sebastian).
After interval, Act 2 is set two years later, on the 3rd December, 1897, after Wilde’s release from prison, in the Villa Guidice at Posillipo, near Naples. This set is minimalist featuring a white backdrop , a chair and a white slab on which Galileo reclines as we enter.
In the opening sequence of THE HOUSE OF RAMON IGLESIA a mother lights the incense for the small, crowded, ever-present house altar. The audience has been warned about its use. The smell is strong and pungent. But the wafts rising from the well-used smoker soon dissipate. This is much the way I felt about the production. So many solid things about the enjoyable and well conceptualised show but little to take home.
This is a family drama. Ramon has brought his clan from Puerto Rico for the good life in America, landing in Long Island in the 1960s. It is now 1980. He has a disaffected wife who refuses to learn English and a janitorial job in a school which doesn’t help his alcoholism or his diabetes. He has three sons. They are different, yet all three have more aspiration and self-belief than he has. Continue reading The House of Ramon Iglesia @ The Old Fitz→
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