Tag Archives: Harriet Dyer

FEYDEAU FARCE GETS LOTS OF LAUGHS @ THE OPERA HOUSE

French farce at its best via Georges Feydeau’s A FLEA IN MY EAR is currently entertaining audiences at the Sydney Opera House.

Feydeau take us into the world of the the sophisticated, promiscuous French middle class who, on one hand, are doing some serious bed hopping and, on the other hand, are trying to catch their partners out with their infidelities.

The tagline for this Sydney Theatre  Company production  is ‘Let the famously french fun begin’ and that exactly describes how director Simon Phillips and adaptor Andrew Upton’s play it for the romp that it is – for lots of laughs and with great energy. The style is irreverent, in  particular in the ‘digs’ it has at the dour, solemn approach that some theatremakers have. As one characters says at one time, ‘It’s just a play’…Yes, that it might be, but it sure makes for good entertainment.

The  cast is outstanding, their timing and finesse around what is at times a tricky stage impeccable. Favourite performances came from Harry Greenwood  as the harassed, fraught Camille Chandebise and Harriet Dyer as  Raymonde Chandebise.

Production values are excellent. This is the perfect play for a revolve set and Gabriela Tylevsova’s ornate set works a treat as does her exquisite period costumes.

Highly recommended, FLEA IN MY EAR is playing the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House until 17th December.

Featured photo – Harry Greenwood and David Woods in Sydney Theatre Company’s A Flea in Her Ear. © Brett Boardman.

Ruben Guthrie

Ruben Guthrie attends Alcoholics Anonymous. Is AA ready for him?!
Ruben Guthrie attends Alcoholics Anonymous. Is AA ready for him?!

I need a drink. I’ve just seen RUBEN GUTHRIE, the film version of the sensationally successful stage play by Brendan Cowell, and I need a drink. Or do I?!

Written and directed by the playwright, RUBEN GUTHRIE comes with a triple A rating: Alcohol abuse. Australia. Advertising.

Ruben Guthrie is a campaign king, a creative with a string of Clios and super satisfied clients. The world is his oyster and he fuels that success with excess- caviar, Veuve Clicquot and cocaine. Continue reading Ruben Guthrie

TRAVELLING NORTH

Bryan Brown makes a welcome return to the theatre in the Sydney Theatre Company's current revival of David Williamson's TRAVELLING NORTH
Bryan Brown makes a welcome return to mainstream theatre as Frank in the Sydney Theatre Company’s current revival of David Williamson’s TRAVELLING NORTH

David Williamson’s play TRAVELLING  NORTH is now 35 years old. Many people will know this piece from the film adaptation which starred the late Leo McKern as the larrakin, left wing, classical music loving Aussie, Frank.  For the current Sydney Theatre Company revival, directed by STC’s Artistic Director Andrew Upton , Bryan Brown is well cast in the role.

Playing opposite Brown is  Alison Whyte  as Francis. What a fine performance she puts in, especially considering how she came in late in the rehearsal period after Greta Scacchi pulled out due to a back injury. She is a warm, confident performer and came across as being well suited to the role of this good natured, warm hearted woman.

A recently formed couple and newly retired, Frank and Frances decide to make  a sea change and leave their Melbourne digs and move up to North Queensland where  the weather is warmer and  the people are  friendlier.  What starts out as a great idea becomes infinitely more complicated when Frank’s health takes  a serious turn for the worse, his heart starts going on him, and Francis’s grownup children put pressure on her to return. The best laid plans of a happy retirement begin to fall apart….

Williamson puts in a lot of light touches, particularly his trademark witty lines, into what is a  bit of a sad tale. Plenty of humour is generated out of the encounters  that  Frank has with the local medic, Saul, really well played by Russell Kiefel, as Frank  tries to get to the bottom of  his condition. It becomes tricky to work out who the Doctor is, and who is the patient!

Another great  source of humour is the character of their newly acquired nerdy neighbour, Freddy. This was another fine comic performance, delivered by Andrew Tighe. Tighe had the audience in hysterics with every entrance, dressed  in short shorts and  appearing at the most inappropriate of times.

Harriet Dyer came across strongly in the role of Frances’s needy, bitchy daughter, Helen, whose husband leaves her. Frank displays little sympathy for Helen, ‘you can’t blame him for leaving, after being married for five years to that tongue’!

There’s so  much to like about TRAVELLING NORTH.  The play still works a treat.  Upton ‘s production disappointed in one main  way. This was  in the staging- in the set design. There was nothing in the design to convey the lure, natural beauty and sensuality of life in the tropics, which had so much to do with Frank and Frances leaving their Melbourne  home and comfort zone. The sparse set basically comprised different levels of platforms. So disappointing…

This current revival of TRAVELLING NORTH plays Wharf 1, the Sydney Theatre Company, until the 22nd March, 2014.