Director Peter Evans has set this latest HAMLET in the 1960’s . The only indicators that it is the 1960’s are the clothes, large ‘space age’ lamps, a cocktail serving tray and a shag carpet.
I don’t know why Evans has set the play in the 1960’s because as I recall that decade, it was a great period of hope and optimism.. I. could not detect any of these qualities in this production. Quite the opposite.
According to the program notes, director Lucy Clements was mesmerised ten minutes into watching Anna Jordan’s YEN when she saw it overseas last year. Having seen her work before, one can understand why the pull was so strong to bring this show to Australia and why this gritty, uncompromising script would squat itself inside the intimacy of Kings Cross Theatre.
The production, from New Ghosts Theatre Company, has a visceral, raw unpleasantness that is expressed with the predictability of disillusion and errant hopelessness. But putting poverty porn on stage is not enough reason to mount the show and hurl it at an audience. What Clements does instead is to fuck with what one believes theatre should be, should show, and should say… brilliantly.
Bobby, 14, and his older brother, Hench who is 16, exist in shut-in filth where they watch graphic porn and play Call of Duty all day. Only going out, one at a time because they need to share their only T shirt, to steal shit. Their existence has its ups and downs of brotherly engagement and distance balanced out by shooting games and gynophobic observations and the dog that is being caged, unloved, in their other room. Their mother, Maggie, staggers through their lives occasionally, the generational tradition of absence also reflected in their Nan’s escape to parts unsure. Enter a civilising influence, Jenny. Improvement? Probably more of the same is pre-ordained for these loveless boys. Continue reading YEN: THEATRE TO MESS YOU UP→
“I’m Bobbie. As in Bobbie Dazzler, my Nan says, although I don’t know who that is. And this is my brother Hench. He’s got a face for radio.”
YEN poignantly explores a childhood lived without boundaries and the consequences of being forced to grow up on your own.
Hench is 16, Bobbie is 14. They’re home alone in Feltham with their dog Taliban; playing PlayStation, streaming porn, watching the world go by. Sometimes their mum Maggie visits, usually with empty pockets and empty promises.
Then Jenny shows up.
New Ghosts Theatre Company in association with KXT bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company present the Australian premiere of Anna Jordan‘s ground-breaking YEN from the 27th September – 13th October 2018 at Kings Cross Theatre.
Production photography by Rupert Reid Photography.
Darkness edges the two figures who appear before us. The shadowy stage lights have crept up to wash the tiny downstage area with a yellow tinged late afternoon falling. They are hard to make out these two schoolkids with their bored skatepark slouching. The effort of peering seems to blur them more.
They will pull us, disturbed and fearful for them, into their fragile, adolescent lives in ninety minutes of engrossing theatre yet the playwright, director and cast of MOTH (atyp) conspire to be unreliable narrators. Claryssa and Sebastian will never really take shape. They will flutter just beyond our understanding and will beat their wings wildly to warn us away. At the end of the play, as these creations melt back into darkness and we emerge blinking into the light, we are slow and panicky in our anxiety for the young people around us and the world we are leaving them. Continue reading MOTH : FRAGILE ADOLESCENT LIVES EXPOSED IN DECLAN GREENE’S NEW PLAY→
‘It’s a horror movie right there on my tv/ And it’s shockin’ me right out of my brain/ It’s bound to get you in/Get right under your skin/Hit you right on the chin/ It’s a horror movie and it’s blown a fuse/ It’s a horror movie/It’s the six thirty news.’ (Skyhooks from the album ‘Living In the Seventies’ 1974).
Australian playwright Daniel Evans play reworks Sophocles classic play into a contemporary setting.
We have an Oedipus who lives in the outer suburbs. Well he did, but as the play’s title states, he has left town, moved on after his dysfunctional world comes apart and he himself implodes.
The stage action takes place after his exit. The style of the play is non-naturalistic; four actors take to the stage and tell us that they will re-enact Oedipus’ story from go to woe by donning various characters caught up in the various situations. By doing so they endeavour to get behind the sensational news, and not only piece together what happened, but to make sense of the horror of it all.Continue reading DANIEL EVANS ‘OEDIPUS DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE’ @ ATYP STUDIO 1→
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