As they say in the play “it must be the magic of theatre or something”. Indeed it must to bring audiences out to this revisiting of a classic queer work which is run over 2 nights and in one of the smallest venues in town. The hours fly by though, on seraph wings, as director Dino Dimitriadis chips off the period redundancies of ANGELS IN AMERICA without disturbing the density and flights of filmy fabric which bring the age of AIDS to the Old Fitz Theatre.
Premiering in 1991, ANGELS IN AMERICA by Tony Kushner is set in 1985 and hindsight is unkind to the America that was. Is? This production foregrounds current issues which still demand action and due attention paid. Gay men might be on PrEP but infections are rising, Israel and Palestine remain flashpoints, Perestroika somehow gave us Putin and a Republican is again in the White House. Plus, fridge fluorocarbons have less chlorine but denial is not slowing the warmth. Having experienced the nearly 7 hours of this production, I can say that the themes are still relevant but more importantly, the storytelling is exciting, intimate and conceptualised to entertain and engage. It’s an achievement all round. Continue reading ANGELS IN AMERICA: ALOFT WITH THE LOST, EARTHBOUND WITH DESPAIR→
Despite the subject matter, THE MAN IN THE ATTIC playing at Eternity Theatre is not an angry offering but it is definitely not a conciliatory watch either. It speaks in its own voice, directly to us. Perhaps for some of the audience last night this play meant a great deal but my experience was decidedly Brechtian. The play spoke of wicked things and, rational thought engaged, I was deciding what I would do.
It is late in the war in Northern Germany when Anna Moller finds a man at death’s door in a forest near her home. With her husband, Hermann they take him to their attic, steal his wallet and nail the trapdoor shut. When Daniel wakes he is in a precarious situation as the Moller’s have discovered he is a Jew. Conflict arises with Anna wanting to keep him safe and Hermann not willing to risk it. When they discover that Daniel has a skill that they can use in the bartering economy of the dying state, Hermann becomes an entrepreneur in the Black Market. Nosy neighbour Frau Giesling is also in for a cut. When the war ends there is even more scope for Hermann to make money from Daniel’s work and the pair decide not to tell Daniel the truth. Continue reading THE MAN IN THE ATTIC: THOUGHT PROVOKING THEATRE→
For the past five years Shalom and director Moira Blumenthal have co-produced a quality work of theatre for ever hungry Sydney theatre audiences. In 2014 it was Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation of Chaim Potok’s novel ‘The Chosen’ which played a theatre set up within Shalom College’s Educational Centre. In 2015 it was Arthur Feinsod’s ‘Coming to see Aunt Sophie’ at the Fig Tree Theatre UNSW. In 2016 it was ‘My Name is Asher Lev’, another stage adaptation by Aaron Posner of a Chaim Potok novel which played the Eternity Playhouse. Last year it was South African playwright Victor Gordon’s ‘You will not play Wagner’ again at the Eternity.
This year, in an exciting development, the offering is the Australian premiere of a play by an internationally acclaimed Australian playwright whose work isn’t performed enough in his home country. The play is ‘The Man in the Attic’ by Timothy Daly. Daly’s play has a fascinating scenario inspired by true events. A Jewish man is hidden by a German couple during the latter days of the Nazi regime. (Historical records indicate that over 11,000 Jews were hidden in attics, cellars and basements during the Second World War). Continue reading MOIRA BLUMENTHAL CHATS ABOUT ‘THE MAN IN THE ATTIC’→
Simply put, I never get to use “trashy” as an honorific. Trashy or tacky or flashy. Until now. Here we go … THE BODYBAG. It’s playing at the Sydney Opera House and kneel before me Trevor Ashley and cast as I dub your production deliciously trashy, graciously garish, faaabulously flashy and expertly tacky. THE BODYBAG, which has nothing to do with, or endorsed by, any other famous work of art or cinema or television etc, is all this and more. The more is an elegance of craft, skill and talent but that’s boring, let’s talk about the meretricious. Continue reading THE BODYBAG THE PANTO: OUR TREV PIMPS UP THE OPERA HOUSE→
Multi-award winning superstar Rachel Marinade (Trevor Ashley) is one of the most successful entertainers ever to have come runner-up on Australian Idol*. But after a spate of creepy “fan mail” it’s clear that Rachel needs protection. Not only that, after being charged in local court for holding a fake driver’s license, she also needs transport. Continue reading NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING FAMOUS: THE BODYBAG!→
MIRACLE CITY was first produced in Sydney in 1996 and after brief, bright flame of 4 weeks flickered out as the creative forces behind it moved on. Written by the late Nick Enright with music from Max Lambert (who is Musical Director for this production), the original director was Gale Edwards. Did I see Edwards and original cast member Genevieve Lemon in the crowd tonight? This production was spoken of in legendary terms yet it was interesting to note there were plenty of excitable tweets coming from opening night audience members repeating the precept that MIRACLE CITY was previously ‘undiscovered’. Continue reading MIRACLE CITY @ THE STUDIO, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE→
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