Tag Archives: Drew Fairley


Merrigong Theatre Company has  announced a major reboot of its MERRIGONG Artists’ Program for 2020, with an injection of more than $40,000 into new projects from independent artists. This reboot comes in response to the COVID-19 crisis and its effect on employment opportunities for performing artists, and is in addition to a range of existing independent artist support that was originally announced for MERRIGONG in 2020. 

Merrigong’s Artistic Director / CEO Simon Hinton said “Our industry has been very badly affected by the closure of our venues, and while we are very grateful that the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program has allowed Merrigong to keep all of our permanent staff (albeit reduced to 80% of their normal hours) and many of our casual operational staff employed, most artists in our industry do not qualify for this assistance due to the project nature of their employment.”  Continue reading MERRIGONG THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $40,000 IN FUNDING FOR ARTISTS

Prehistoric Aquarium @ Carriageworks

Erth_Prehisoric Aquarium.Kronosaur + kids

Erth and their puppets are back! Having been several times to visit Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo, we were looking forward to the latest incarnation.

Our host Drew- casually interacts with his audience as they settle. The target group, the younger audience, are encouraged to sit on the carpet area at the front before a ‘live’ giant screen that takes us into the prehistoric aquarium world.

Drew disarms and makes new friends. He is brightly coloured and his demeanour of the informal is also linked to his lack of real knowledge. Then as the show begins he is interrupted by Catherine the resident marine biologist to secure the facts. This attempt at layering the information is quite effective. Continue reading Prehistoric Aquarium @ Carriageworks

Fresh Antics’ LOCKED OUT

(left to right) Mikaela Atallah, Jessica Pantano, Nicola Darcy and Michelle Sverdloff
Inset pic- (left to right) Mikaela Atallah, Jessica Pantano, Nicola Darcy and Michelle Sverdloff. Featured pic- Jessica Pantano and Nicola Darcy in LOCKED OUT

A visit to the Allen House Rehabilitation Clinic is an amusing and entertaining experience. The clinic staff welcomes us and informs us that the Prime Minister will be arriving shortly and we are left to wander around the clinic observing the lame and predictable craft activities and diversional therapies provided for the patients. Fortunately a patient shows the way downstairs and assures us we will have more fun there, away from the nurses. Downstairs, the slightly delusional Frankie (Nicola Darcy) welcomes us to her political campaign launch with the perfectly reasonable platform of happiness and smiles.

Continue reading Fresh Antics’ LOCKED OUT

Deathtrap @ Eternity Playhouse

photos by helen white
Production photos by Helen White

Devilishly dramatic and fiendishly funny, DEATHTRAP is a sure fire entertainment for those who like their fireside thrillers.

Written in the late Seventies by Ira Levin who should be quite apt at matters diabolical, being the author of Rosemary’s Baby, Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s production sets the situation in that era which gives it a cosy nostalgia, being the time of typewriters, carbon paper and Xerox machines.

DEATHTRAP is a play within a play and plays fast and close with the conventions of the mystery whodunit associated most immediately with Agatha Christie.

The very title alludes somewhat to the long running phenomenon that is The Mousetrap, although DEATHTRAP is a much more sophisticated example of the genre more akin to Anthony Schaffer’s Sleuth, which gets a mention, once or twice, in self-referential drollery.

This production headlines Andrew McFarlane as the playwright, Sidney Bruhl, a celebrated scribe on the brink of bankruptcy, both material and intellectual.

As a master of the mystery play, he is confronted by upstart new kid on the theatrical  blockbuster block, Clifford Anderson, played with dash by Timothy Dashwood, and the double temptation of perfect plagiarism facilitated by the perfect murder become palpable.

This applecart of chicanery is capsized by a clairvoyant from the land of clogs, a deliciously comedic turn from Georgina Symes.

Giving sensational support to this brio trio, is Sophie Gregg as Sidney’s slighted spouse and Drew Fairley as Sidney’s slippery solicitor.

Michael Hankin’s set is a triumph of Seventies chic, a stone den with flued fireplace and a trophy wall, a veritable arsenal of antique armaments.

Verity Hampson’s lighting design is adept and Katren Wood’s costume design nails the tans, beiges, and tawnies of the time.

Composer and sound designer Marty Jamieson totals the timbre and timing of the piece and the whole comic carnage caper is capped by Jo Turner’s cantering to a gallop direction.

Sharp shocks, twists and turns, GBH and ESP – this DEATHTRAP is worth getting caught in.

DEATHTRAP is  playing the Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst until the 10th May. Performance times Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 5pm.

Bad Day Insurance

This little gem is a very original, rather absurd comedy, but with darker undertones of tragic lost love and a life spent ‘living in the past’.

The two actors Lisa Chappell as Esther, who also wrote the piece, and Sarah Hytner as Mavis, complement each other beautifully as two elderly characters trapped day and night in a futuristic call centre for Bad Day Insurance…waiting for ‘something’.

The play starts with a series of short calls by clients. The scenarios are extremely funny, and the audience can well relate to many of the injustices in life, plus there is some cruel advice given out as to how to avoid similar claims in future. Unlike most insurance companies the women go out of their way to ensure the client gets a payout for the unfortunate incidents, of their lives even if every claim receives the same payout. As they say to each client, “thank you for calling Bad Day Insurance where it pays to have a bad day.”

Continue reading Bad Day Insurance