“Dante Alighieri, exiled from his home in Florence, a fugitive from justice, followed a road in 1302 that took him first to the labyrinths of hell then up the healing mountain of purgatory, and finally to paradise. He found a vision and a language that made him immortal.” (Harriet Rubin, Dante In Love).
The journey from infernal to heavenly worlds perennially inspires authors.
In MY LIFE: YOU’RE SOAKING IN IT Robina Beard demonstrates her signature charm and playfulness as she dips her hands into the sparkly, bubbly memories of a theatrical life well-lived. From ballet school auditions to breakdowns out bush, celebrity encounters to twenty years as Madge on ‘that Palmolive ad’, Robina delights as she skips from one fond memory to the next. Her intimate monologue is interspersed with snatches of song and dance plus perky piano pieces from the talented Greg Crease. A thoroughly enjoyable pas de deux down memory lane.
This piece was written by Robina Beard, based on her autobiography, and was co-directed by Robina Beard and Geoffrey Sykes.
In VIEW FROM A BLACONY Katrina Maskell delivers a quirky and appealing performance as the girl from Newtown who uproots herself and journeys to the deserted wilderness of a high rise apartment in the inner west. As she muses on the ups and downs of living in a seemingly uninhabited, white-walled world, far from the peeling paint and daily dramas of a Newtown shared house, she gradually finds her feet – and a few neighbours – in this vertical, pristine habitat. Unfortunately, due to illness prior to the show, we didn’t get the best of Katrina’s voice at this preview performance – so the songs at the piano were less engaging than the spoken word sections. Nonetheless the work captures with perceptive humour the urban unease of an inner city dweller venturing into the sky-scraping ‘villages’ of the future.
This piece was written and directed by Geoffrey Sykes
This double bill will play the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta on February 1st 2020
Louise Charman-James- Freelance writer and singer based in the Illawarra.
As my quite extensive Tap Gallery theatre experiences goes, the hybrid, experimental piece WALK IN BEAUTY ranks as one of the most daring, engrossing productions.
In a mesmerising one hour performance involving twelve very distinctive scenes, statuesque, elegant dancer Alysha Firbank works the tiniest of stages to convey Geoffrey Sykes’s esoteric piece charting the human journey, in particular the female journey, from the primordial right up to some imaginings of what the future may hold. She is supported/backed up by the full range of multi-media.
Behind Firbank through her performance, Sykes splashes onto a silk curtain a vast, diverse range of images, featuring some great spectacular nature shots and including many print images of the work of South Australian printmaker Janet Ayliffe.
The work is interspersed with voice overs by Sydney actor Susie Lindemann reading from extracts from literature and religious texts from time memorial.
An atmospheric score is provided by Tomoni Takahashi, complemented by some song recordings by Branden Christine.
Thank you to the WALK IN BEAUTY team for, as the great Van Morrison song goes, bringing audiences A SENSE OF WONDER, in particular at the achievements of our species from very humble beginnings.
Sadly this playscript production only played a very brief season, playing for four performances at the Tap between the 28th and the 31st August.
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