Tag Archives: James Wright

The Credaux Canvas @ The Reginald

Carmen Duncan delivers a memorable performance as
Carmen Duncan delivers a memorable performance as the elegant art dealer Tess

Sex. Lies. Art. How far would you go to achieve your dreams?

A blistering contemporary tale of love, twisted morals , deception and intrigue, Keith Bunin’s (The World Over, The Busy World  Is Hushed) THE CREDAUX CANVAS originally premiered in 2001.  This  excellent revival, directed by Ross McGregor,  blazes intimately forth from the Reginald at the Seymour Centre.

The play is in four scenes, somewhat cinematic in style, and features a biting, witty script. The work brings to mind other plays about the art world, Yasmina Reza’s Art and David Williamsons Up For Grabs?

Those of us who have been to art school are at home with the ‘art speak’ critique and analysis of paintings necessarily part of this show. Other theatre patrons may struggle a little. Continue reading The Credaux Canvas @ The Reginald

RELATIVE MERITS

 RELATIVE MERITS-001

The current production of RELATIVE MERITS is a play about football that everyone should see.  Set in 1989, and first produced at the Stables Theatre in 1993, this twentieth anniversary revival explores homophobia, AIDS and family values at a time when many Australians were first coming to grips with these important issues. However, while this production is clearly set in 1989, the play still speaks loudly and clearly to a contemporary audience. While we have certainly come a long way since 1989, RELATIVE MERITS still has a compelling message for an audience in 2013; surely the current strident opposition to marriage equality is indicative of how many of these attitudes remain unchanged.

This production, starring Jeff Teale as Adam, the homosexual football hero and James Wright as his confused, homophobic brother Clay, explores the very close relationship between the two brothers and brings deep understanding of how their heavily Catholic background has influenced them. Their mother, who never appears on stage, is a powerful representation of the bigotry which still exists in many organised religions, and contributes to our understanding of Adam’s public denial of his homosexuality as well as Clay’s homophobia. Adam’s mourning for his partner is very moving, and Clay’s growing understanding that his love for his brother transcends his earlier prejudice is life affirming.

This production takes place on a very small stage, but the staging choices made by director, Les Solomon, are very effective. Both actors move easily through the audience, thus breaking the fourth wall, which immediately forges a closer connection between the audience and the characters. Clay’s anguish in the hospital scene is powerful, and his unrestrained joy at Mardi Gras is infectious. The fight scene between Adam and Clay is very well executed given the limited space available.

Barry Lowe has written an excellent play which still speaks convincingly to a contemporary audience. This is a didactic piece, but it works so well because it challenges stereotypes and requires the audience to engage with the characters in a very personal way, so that we become intensely involved in their story. Don’t miss this excellent production!

RELATIVE MERITS is playing at the King Street Theatre, corner King and Bray Streets, Newtown for a strictly limited season, Friday and Saturday nights at 10pm and Sundays at 7pm.