In Tennessee Williams CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Big Daddy is dying but he doesn’t know it yet. It is his birthday. Big Mama is in the dark. Brick is at the bottom of a bottle. But Brick’s wife Maggie is alive, desperately alive, and dancing like a cat on a hot tin roof. We meet the fabled family when lies are rife, tensions are boiling over and their future is at stake.
Kip Williams production serves Williams’ epic drama well. He leads a great creative team who dynamically set up the world for the actors to work in, and they respond by giving strong performances.
Hugo Weaving has a darkly masculine energy as the formidable, imposing Big Daddy. Weaving makes his first appearance at the very tail of Act 1. Big Daddy is the patriarch of the family who everyone lies in fear of. He has had a health scare and thought that his reign might be over but the results seem to be positive so he is back being the boss again. The main thing that he wants is to get Brick’s (his favourite son) life back on track again. Big Daddy and Brick have one hell of an extended, prolonged scene together with sparks flying back and forth.Continue reading CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF : SEARING DRAMA @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE→
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.
It has been the season for launches and Sydney’s flagship theatre company, the Sydney Theatre Company, has now chimed in with the announcement of its 2017 season.
Sydney Theatre Company’s Executive Director Patrick McIntyre started proceedings and then handed over to interim Artistic Director Kip Williams announced next years’ program to a packed gathering at the Bar at the End of the Wharf on Thursday night.
Williams has curated an intriguing program which is bound to attract a healthy cross-section of theatregoers. There are some exciting and bold choices.
There have not been enough stories coming from our Asian communities that have made it our stages. This makes the STC’s decision to program Disapol Savetsila’s play AUSTRALIAN GRAFFITI cause for much celebration as indeed was witnessed by the delighted reactions of Lee Lin Chin and her friends when Williams made the announcement.
The Sydney Theatre Company developed Savetsila’s play in conjunction with Asian Australian arts company Performance 4a and Playwriting Australia and will be directed by Paige Rattray. The play, commissioned by the STC, has been described as exploring ‘the migrant experience from the inside out.” A Thai family who open up a Thai restaurant in a small country town face a crisis when their place of business is vandalised by graffiti. How cam they survive such a personal and cultural insult?!
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker PJ Hogan, along with his wife Jocelyn Moorehouse were on hand to hear the announcement that Hogan’s breakthrough film is coming back as a stage play, what’s more a musical. Hogan has come up with a new book for the musical and brings Muriel and her friends up to the present day. Simon Phillips will direct and the music and lyrics come via award winning singer-songwriters Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall.
Williams will direct three productions during the year including a Caryl Churchill play CLOUD NINE which will star one of our finest young actors, Harry Greenwood. A big fan of Churchill’s work, Williams believes audiences will engage deeply with this work which explores how our need as human beings need to give ourselves specific identities limits our ability to achieve true authenticity.
There will be a fresh revival of Michael Gow’s classic AWAY, directed by brilliant young director Matthew Lutton and starring Heather Mitchell, and a new adaptation by Andrew Upton of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece THREE SISTERS, again directed by Williams, starring one of Australia’s brightest young actresses, Eryn Jean Norvill.
The years’ international production will be the Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 with a stage adaptation by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan. Sydney audiences will see the original production as directed by Icke and Macmillan but with a new Australian cast.
At the gathering Williams also announced that Imara Savage has been appointed as the STC’s new Resident Director taking over from Sarah Goodes who has moved across to the Melbourne Theatre Company. Savage will direct two plays in 2017, Colm Toibin’s THE TESTAMENT OF MARY starring Alison Whyte and Moira Bufini’s DINNER with a cast including Bruce Spence and Brandon Burke.
FURY, the new play at Sydney Theatre Company’s (STC) Wharf 1 Theatre, is a new work by prominent Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. The STC’s Artistic Director Andrew Upton commissioned the play from Murray-Smith, with the proviso being that it be a family drama.
In her Writer’s Note for the program, Murray-Smith revealed something of her creative process. ‘My starting point was the question- How do the children of radicals define themselves against the backdrop of their parents’ ideological convictions?’.