Tag Archives: horror


Production Photography: Prudence Upton

HORROR playing at the Sydney Opera House is not a show that you want a reviewer telling you about.  It is a show which is almost impossible to write about without accidentally giving away spoilers.  So this here little piece of writing may well be a whole lot of nothing about a huge variety of something. For this is a genre buster of a production.

It is an homage to the horror film genre which has fascinated Swedish  Director Jakop Ahlbom since he was a boy.  The work is presented by his Netherlands based Jakop Ahlbom Company and from my perspective it isn’t just horror … but I’m not telling you what else it references due to my non-spoiler commitment.  I can say that I didn’t see any space western in it. Continue reading HORROR: HORROR: HORROR!


HORROR Jakop Ahlbom
Photo: Sanne Peper

Genre-defying and artistically-groundbreaking physical theatre work, HORROR will plunge audiences into a surreal world of fright and adrenaline when it premieres at the Sydney Opera House in August, before touring to Wollongong, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Created by renowned physical theatre maker and mastermind Jakop Ahlbom, HORROR is a spine-chilling homage to the classical film genre, using cinematic horror effects rarely seen in live theatre. Inspired by such aspects of the horror genre as black humour, slapstick and terrifyingly-surreal imagery, HORROR demonstrates Ahlbom’s unique talent for combining his expertise in cinematic editing techniques, stage magic and elaborate sequences of physical virtuosity. Continue reading GENRE DEFYING ‘HORROR’ FOR DRAMA THEATRE, SOH.


Do you believe in ghosts?

Regardless of your opinions on the paranormal, you’ll be glancing over your shoulder as you leave the theatre after The Sutherland Theatre Company’s upcoming production of the classic ghost story THE WOMAN IN BLACK.

Based on Susan Hill’s gothic horror novel of the same name, The Woman in Black is a gripping ghost story set in a dusty old theatre.

Arthur Kipps, a middle-aged solicitor, engages the services of a professional actor to help him re-enact a ghostly event that he experienced many years before at a deceased client’s old manor house in the English countryside. From the cluttered stage, Kipps begins to read his story: painfully, self-consciously and hesitantly at first, but gradually increasing in confidence.

The actor is enthusiastic and passionate, taking on the role of a young Kipps for the purpose of the performance. But as the two men delve deeper into the spine-chilling events that befell Kipps during his time at Eel Marsh House, the actor gradually realises that not all ghost stories are works of fiction.

In his second show with The Sutherland Theatre Company, Anthony White will play the reluctant storyteller Arthur Kipps.

Dirk Strachan-Thornton is to play the self-assured actor whom he hires to help bring his story to the stage.

Mallatratt’s adaption has been seen by millions of people worldwide and has been running on the West End for 27 years.

Director Belinda Balhatchet was drawn to the play’s use of simple theatrical techniques, rather than a detailed set, to bring the story to life.

“Nowadays, big budget productions can create almost anything on stage. Audiences don’t have to use their imagination as much as they used to because everything is created before them through lavish sets and huge casts. This show is the complete opposite. With a cast of two and an incredibly simple set, The Woman in Black relies on the talent of the cast and the imagination of the audience to create an atmosphere of tension and horror.”

Belinda knew that the Sutherland Memorial School of Arts was the perfect venue for the show.

“The School of Arts is a relatively small theatre in an old building. It fits the theme of the show perfectly, and the small size of the theatre puts the audience right in the middle of the action.”

THE WOMAN IN BLACK will be playing for a strictly limited season at the Sutherland Memorial School of Arts from May 26-28. Performance times are Friday 26 May @ 8pm, Saturday 27 May @ 2pm, Saturday 27 May @ 8pm, Sunday 28 May @ 2pm.

Tickets can be booked online via TryBooking: http://bit.ly/stcwomaninblack. Alternatively phone bookings can be made on 91507574.

For more about The Woman in Black, visit http://www.thesutherlandtheatrecompany.com.au/index.htm
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Freak Winds @ The Old Fitz

writer director star marshall napier
Marshall Napier, the very talented writer, director and star of Freak Winds

The first thing that strikes you as you enter the theatre space at the Old Fitz for the latest staging of Marshall Napier’s FREAK WINDS is Lisa Mimmocchi’s set, walls Tuscan red with rising damp, paint peeling and damp bubbling, depicting and anticipating the troubling to come.

This decrepit and decaying house is the habitat of Ernest, who may or not be a homicidal maniac. At the beginning of the show he appears to be a harmless and somewhat debilitated man dependent on a cheap Zimmer frame.

On a wild and freakishly windy evening, insurance salesman Henry Crumb literally blows into Ernest’s lair, determined to sell him a policy. When part of his pitch mentions children, Ernest’s bonhomie evaporates, he rushes from the room, and vomits.

Left alone, Henry spies a scrapbook which he discovers is full of cuttings about sinister events.

The keen sound of the sharpening of a knife emanates from the area Ernest has disappeared.

From a double doors built into the staircase burst a woman in a wheelchair. This is Myra, quick with an offer of massage for the hyper tense Crumb.

Anna Bamford as Myra swings from fragile victim to Ernest’s foul sluttish heir during the course of the second act, from prim paraplegic to skittish school uniformed fetishist and self-proclaimed sexual deviant.

Ben O’Toole as Henry Crumb has all the sweaty swagger of the cocksure salesman and energises his role with a charge that would short circuit the battery bunny.

Marshall Napier as Ernest has the benign menace of a mild mannered maniac, bespectacled beast on callipers, conjuring a Richard III, although we know he’s up for sportive tricks determined to prove his villainy.

FREAK WINDS is Australian Gothic , a grotesque and grandiose Guignal playing in the bowels of The Old Fitzroy through March