Tag Archives: Josh McConville

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF : SEARING DRAMA @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

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

Sydney Theatre Company Announces Patrick White Playwrighting Awards

Back row- STC Artistic Director Andrew Upton, Playwright Debra Thomas. Front row- STC Literary Manager Polly Rowe, Playwright Kate Mulvany. Pic by Hon Boey
Back row- STC Artistic Director Andrew Upton, Playwright Debra Thomas. Front row- STC Literary Manager Polly Rowe, Playwright Kate Mulvany. Pic by Hon Boey

Kate Mulvany is the new Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellow and Debra Thomas has won the 2014 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award Kate Mulvany has been announced as the latest recipient of STC’s Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellowship at a special event held at The Wharf last Friday, 22nd May.

Now in its fifth year, the Fellowship is a position for an established playwright whose work has been produced professionally in Australia within the last four years. Mulvany receives $25,000 in recognition of her body of work and previous artistic achievements. As well as including a commission from STC which she will develop during the year-long tenure, the Fellowship provides opportunities for her to share her skills with other playwrights and artists. Continue reading Sydney Theatre Company Announces Patrick White Playwrighting Awards

After Dinner @ The Wharf

After Dinner
Anita Hegh and Rebecca Massey in Andrew Bovell’s AFTER DINNER.Pics Brett Boardman

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

A dazzling Cyrano

Inset Pic- Eryn Jean Norvill and Josh McConville. Featured Pic- Julia Zemiro and Richard Roxburgh. Pics Brett Boardman

French playwright Edmond Rostand’s CYRANO DE BERGERAC (1897) is one of the all time, great works of World Theatre. Prestigious theatre companies love to have a crack at it, and give audiences a night to remember.

The great plays have exacting standards,- the bar is raised to its highest level in all regards. Particularly, revivals require actors of the highest calibre to perform the main roles, otherwise the production will simply fall away and audiences will go away feeling shortchanged.

The good news is that the Sydney Theatre Company’s new production, directed by Artistic Director Andrew Upton, meets this absolute imperative with its quartet of four fine leading players, – Richard Roxburgh, Eryn Jean Norvill, Chris Ryan and Josh McConville

Richard Roxburgh steps into the coveted shoes of the great swordsman and poet, Cyrano with verve panache. He is every bit the passionate, charismatic, perfectionistic, deeply moralistic, heart-breaking swordsman and poet.

Eryn Jean Norvill plays the part of Cyrano’s flame and muse, Roxane. Eryn has a large arc to transverse through the play, from being a superficial girl-woman to a mature, more considerate woman.

Chris Ryan is convincing as Christian, a young, hedonistic man who thinks about things with much more depth after his friendship with Cyrano.

Josh McConville displays great stage presence as the prickly, cruel Count de Guiche who learns to be more humane as the play unfolds.

These main players are well supported by a cast that includes Bruce Spence and Julia  Zemiro.

The show is cleverly staged by director Andrew Upton along with his designers, Alice Babidge and Renee Mulder. Good use is made of the large Sydney Theatre stage.

The main stage is flanked stage left, right and rear with raised catwalk for the players to transverse, when needed. The area is used very flexibly,- with the use, for the first three Acts, of a raised stage, on wheels.

Act 1 features a  proscenium arched theatre with red curtains in the centre. (The play begins at the theatre in the Hotel Burgundy). In  Act 2, the stage is rotated about 45 degrees into the the patisserie setting. The third Act sees the raised stage being rotated some 180 degrees to become the famous balcony setting at Roxane’s home. In Act 4, the raised stage is removed, and the stage becomes the battlefield setting at Arras. Finally, in Act 5, we are at a convent outside Paris.

Babidge and Mulder’s great period costumes, Damien Cooper’s superb lighting, and Paul Charlier’s atmospheric soundscape, featuring short pieces of music, recorded sounds, and some chanting, work well.

A Sydney Theatre Company production, adapted and directed by Andrew Upton from the original translation by Marion Potts, Edmond Rostand’s CYRANO DE BERGERAC opened at the Sydney Theatre, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay on Saturday  15th November and is playing until Saturday 20th December, 2014.

THE INFINITE MAN

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September and October is the season to visit your local cinema to experience an excellent time-travel science fiction film, shot entirely on location in Woomera and on Weeroona Island in South Australia, as written and directed by Hugh Sullivan. Fairly challenging entertainment that cleverly tweaks your brain and holds your attention, because you need to remember everything that you see and everything that you hear during its 85 minutes duration.

THE INFINITE MAN covers one whole year in the topsy-turvy lives of the three characters; starting from the romantic anniversary celebration of the lovers, Josh McConville (Dean) and Hannah Marshall (Lana) with things suddenly changing as a result of the unexpected arrival of her very sleazy ex-lover, Alex Dimitriades (Terry) at their vacation spot.

Continue reading THE INFINITE MAN