Operatic in its emotions , searingly intense , this is a gripping intimate production of Richard Benyon’s play that under Kim Hardwick’s direction glows. THE SHIFTING HEART is set in Collingwood in Melbourne at Christmas time 1956, and while it could be regarded as a period piece is still extremely relevant today . It is an analysis of racism and its victims , of how migrants/refugees are viewed as ‘other ‘ .There is the haunting sense of displacement yet also a longing to belong and be accepted.
This play, written by actor Michael Cristoffer, had its premiere on Broadway in March 1977. It went on to win that year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as taking out the Tony Award for Best Play.
Cristoffer’s play cuts deep. Its subject is that old dreaded subject which us humans have so much trouble dealing with – the impermanence of life and its fragility. And of-course, what goes hand in hand with this – the terrible losses that we suffer along the way.
THE SHADOW BOX is well suited to be performed ar such an intimate venue.
The play takes place over twenty four hours, in three separate cottages on the grounds of a large hospital, in the United States. Within the three cabins are three patients – Joe, Brian and Felicity, who are each to live with their respective families at the final stage of their life, as their treatment has been discontinued. Continue reading THE SHADOW BOX @ THE OLD FITZ→
With his new play UNHOLY GHOSTS Campion Decent has made a a brave call. He has gone the way of some of the great dramatists by putting his dysfunctional family of origin, up there, on centre stage, for all to see.
Eugene O’Neill could not bear to see his nightmarish autobiographical work, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, performed whilst he was alive. His masterwork first saw the light of day when it was first published three years after his death. Actually O’Neill wanted the public to wait 25 years after his demise however his wife, realising the enormity of this work, arranged for its earlier release date.
The playwright was there on opening night to see his work premiere. What an experience for him to go through- so raw on one hand, on the other cathartic, to see James Lugton play himself so well, and his Unholy Ghosts, his late parents, brought so vividly to life, by two of our finest actors, Robert Alexander and Anna Volska
They had made life very difficult for him. His right wing, antagonistic father never accepted his son’s homosexuality. His actress mother was a self obsessed, hard living lush.
Then there was his younger sister who died tragically young in suspicious circumstances. We never get to meet her on stage but she is another ghost that haunts this play, and Decent’s life.
At the end of the performance the cast were greeted with very enthusiastic applause. Decent joined the cast on stage for their final curtain call.
He had survived the night! A night of strong drama but the ending spoiled it for me …I don’t believe in happily ever after especially when it comes to families of any description…
My view…Over to you!
White Box Theatre’s production, directed by Kym Hardwick, of UNHOLY GHOSTS plays the SBW Stables Theatre until 20th September.
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