The 2019 Sydney Festival has started with a bang and one of the major events is the Australian premiere of La Passion de Simone . Written by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, with a libretto in French by Amin Maaloufit it is presented at Carriageworks by Sydney Chamber Opera in association with The Song Company.
Musically and visually superb, it is a powerful and hypnotic production.Directed by Imara Savage it looks at the life of Simone Weil , who was an intellectual, Marxist and pacifist, philosopher, political activist and mystic whose despair at the course of world events led her to starve herself and pass away in 1943 aged just 34. Weil died of tuberculosis after weakening herself by fasting in sympathy with the starving people of France, having spent the preceding decade travelling through Nazi Germany and revolutionary Spain in an attempt to understand the causes and nature of oppressive régimes.
After involvement in the Spanish Civil War, Weil, a secular Jew, converted to Christianity, fleeing France with her family during World War II and working with the French Resistance from London.
The show is based in the Passion Play tradition with episodes of Weil’s life linked to the Stations of the Cross. One scene includes how she worked for a while in a factory among the oppressed workers then rejected the robotic, virtually forced labour. Continue reading LA PASSION DE SIMONE @ CARRIAGEWORKS→
Joan stands still and watches as the men in front of her discuss her. Though unmoving, the lights glare off Joan’s armour and we know she sees them, these men who construct their plot and lay plans against her. Seldom will she have complete autonomy here, seldom can she act on her own without convincing some man to give her what is required and, finally, these men will encircle and end her. This is a SAINT JOAN for a modern audience. Directed by Imara Savage with text from Shaw and Savage and Emme Hoy and an implosive performance from Sarah Snook, this St Joan is understandable, relevant and, whatever your belief system, driven by forces invisible. Continue reading SAINT JOAN: AN EXHORTATION TO BE INSPIRING→
What setting is best to poke fun at other’s misfortunes? Why, a three course dinner party, of course!
Moira Buffini’s contemporary play, Dinner, is wickedly comedic as it is tragic. Centring around host Paige Janssen, the night is to celebrate her husband’s successful new pop-philosophy book being published, entitled Beyond Belief. Guests include an artist, a scientist, a journalist, a politician who cannot attend, and one uninvited stranger. The party is lead by Paige through a series of strange meals, with conversations turning uncomfortably personal. There seems to be no pleasant way this night can end. Continue reading Sharpen your knives for ‘Dinner’ @ Sydney Theatre Company→
This new production of Andrew Bovell’s brilliant debut comedy AFTER DINNER makes a perfect fit for the wonderful Sydney summer that we are having.
I strongly recommend a visit to the Wharf, one of Sydney’s finest theatre venues, enjoying a wine before the show and taking in the lovely view of Sydney harbour from the balcony, and then heading into the theatre to see five of Sydney’s finest thespians playing very well drawn characters and presenting a night at the theatre imbued with humour and pathos.
The time period is the nineteen eighties, the setting is the dining room of an RSL club. The play shifts action between two tables as they wait for the local band to fire up, which only takes place very late in the proceedings. Continue reading After Dinner @ The Wharf→
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