Tag Archives: Emma Jackson

JESUS WANTS ME FOR A SUNBEAM : UPSTAIRS @ BELVOIR STREET

The subject of Steve Rodgers play, adapted from the novel by Peter Goldsworthy, is not Jesus. The subject is family, how devoted we are to it and how we will give everything to it.

Linda and Rick Pollard are a happy couple. They have two children, Ben and the younger child, Wol. Life is going smoothly.

The couple try and protect Ben and Wol from the harsher realities of life. They want them to be ‘bathed’ in love. They even banish the tv from their house as an unnecessary distraction from .the peaceful environment they are determined to live in.

Then one day, their girl Wol takes ill. They take her to the Doctor. The Doc organises a battery of tests. The results come back. Wol has leukaemia.

The perfect Pollard family world is rocked. The family goes into damage control. It isn’t helped when, in one scene, Wol completely ‘loses it’ and  screams out that she doesn’t want to be alone, she doesn’t want to die.

Darren Yap very sensitively directs this production and wins good performances from his cast. Matthew Whittet plays the idealistic  Nick. Liam Nunan is Ben who just wants to see his sister get better. Grace Truman gives a touching performance as Wol.

Valerie Bader doubles up as Grandma and Doctor Eve. Mark Lee plays Grandpa and the local priest.

My performance of the night was Emma Jackson’s as the very gritty, earthy mother, Linda.

Emma Vine’s compact set and costume design worked well as did  Max Lambert’s soundscape, underscoring the action.

A touching, sensitively wrought drama,  JESUS WANTS ME FOR A SUNBEAM plays upstairs at Belvoir Street Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills until Sunday 8th March, 2020.

Featured image : Matthew Whittet and Emma Jackson in ‘Jesus wants me for a sunbeam’. Pic by Brett Boardman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JESUS WANTS ME FOR A SUNBEAM. GO.

Production Photography: Noni Carroll Photography

JESUS WANTS ME FOR A SUNBEAM is an extraordinarily moving night at the theatre, with performances emotionally pitched to the narrative movements of the work, accessible writing which strikes at the heart and a multilayered thematic examination of a very difficult subject.   But there is an underlying reality to this National Theatre of Parramatta production: it’s not about what happens in the room.  It is about issues that will haunt the watcher’s sleeping and it’s about what the play begs of us, empathy inside the judgements and assumptions when a story hits the headlines.

In one room in a family home we meet the Pollards, a tight knit somewhat unusual family.  They have been so, we understand, from the time Linda and Rick met.  With the perfect family unit of an older boy, Ben, and a younger daughter, Emma known as Wol, the parents are very aware of the perils in life.  In a presumption of protectiveness they have closed themselves off without withdrawing completely.  Especially not from Linda’s parents, and Grandma and Grandpa are frequent visitors.  And witnesses.

Because something has happened here and Ben, now grown, is trying to work out why.  Through his eyes and the reminiscences of his father, the audience is slowly made aware of what has been sacrificed in the name of the children.  It is never as it seems, this play, and such is quality of the writing from Steve Rodgers (adapted from the Peter Goldsworthy novella)  that the narrative carries consistency of line yet is unpretentiously mysterious.  The characters are completely understandable and the moral questions are enriched by this engagement. Continue reading JESUS WANTS ME FOR A SUNBEAM. GO.

SUZIE MILLER’S ‘SUNSET STRIP’ @ THE STABLES

 

Featured photo – Simon Lyndon and Georgina Symes. Pic Patrick Boland.

From time to time, a play comes along that fits perfectly well in the psyche – enabling us to relax, enjoy, compare, empathise, sympathise, laugh and brood.

SUNSET STRIP, Suzie Miller’s latest play, empowers its audience. We know that we are not alone and mutual hope is the elixir of well-being.

It is a play about challenge, hope and families struggling with their imperfections whilst maintaining a deep sense of belonging and an unbreakable bond

Miller says of her play, “I wanted it to reflect how we bumble through life with all sorts of challenges, some of which will never be fixed or cured, but which we take on board and battle along with. There are also many funny and darkly ironic moments that come about even when we live with ‘everything going wrong’. I wanted to celebrate this because it is something we have all known and have experienced.” Continue reading SUZIE MILLER’S ‘SUNSET STRIP’ @ THE STABLES

FOOD

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FOOD is a magnificent collaboration between Force Majeure and Belvoir St and was originally seen downstairs at Belvoir in 2012. The script has been devised by co director actor/playwright Steve Rodgers.(Warning there are at times lots of strong language) .The result is a glorious fusion of physical theatre, straight drama and dance.

Champion’s choreography includes everyday movement, and fragile, tender, intimate gestures incorporating orchestrated incidental movement in slow-mo: imagined vignettes; thoughts expressed, physically, aloud; gestures of tender, gentle touch the characters wish they could lavish on each other, if only it felt safe, permissible and possible to do so. Champion has gone for intense nuance rather than a theatrical-choreographic combination , yet she also features a small solo or interactive sequence in which the characters express their innermost authentic feelings, as they transcend the roles that they have been cast in.

Continue reading FOOD