Tag Archives: Kings Cross Hotel

Puntila / Matti @ Kings Cross Theatre

Production photos by Rupert Reid.

“It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a clerk.” – Bertolt Brecht

This quote by German Modernist playwright Brecht is the opening description on MK Alpha’s page for Puntila/Matti, and perhaps the most apt and appropriate way to explain this show.

Set the audience up for an enjoyable, mindless night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross theatrical hub only to be immediately knocked down and disappointed. This show is not intended to be watched nor enjoyed like a regular performance.

Fourth-walls are broken, audience members personally called out, asked to perform on stage with the actors, coerced into very uncomfortable situations, and left unsure as to whether they are correctly following along. It’s a surprise if no one walks out during the show.

Puntila/Matti is an adaptation by Doppelgangster of Brecht’s play Mr Puntila and his Man Matti. Presented by MK-Alpha and Kings Cross Theatre, Puntila/Matti has been conceptualised by Tobias Manderson-Galvin, directing and performing alongside Grace Lauer and Antoniette Barbouttis.

The trio each have their own moments to bond with the audience but it is perhaps Manderson-Galvin that is trying to make the audience feel the least comfortable. Sitting next to, interrogating, and even kissing members of the audience, leaves an uneasy feeling throughout the entire show.

In Brecht’s eyes, this show would probably pass as using his famous styles and techniques common to his work. But would he enjoy it? For a play that was originally written in 1940 and first performed in 1948 probably not. However, this show is being performed in 2017 and is subverting the modern viewer. This is not a play designed to be enjoyed by all. It is experimental and aggressive, whilst maintaining a certain wit and comedic approach that will not be palatable to everyone.

Whether intentional or not, the fact that Puntila/Matti is being performed in Kings Cross is incredibly clever. An area once infamous for crime, drugs, and scandal, is slowly gentrifying. The environment is shifting from a once bustling nightlife hub to an expensive, high-rise area. The intersection between rich and poor is becoming more apparent in the suburb, particularly on the main strip. Puntila is an aristocratic land-owner and Matti is his servant. Theatre is more commonly enjoyed by those who can afford it, with Puntila/Matti attempting to shake all of us out of this bubble.

This is anti-theatre with a devilish comedic twist.

Puntila/Matti is on at The Kings Cross Theatre (inside The Kings Cross Hotel) from 25th September – 14th October on Monday – Saturday at 7:30pm. The show is approx 90 minutes with no interval.

Please note: Strong Language, Nudity, Loud Noises, Smoke. Over 18 is advised.

A Snowflake on the Tongue of Oberon @ Kings Cross Hotel

Cupid's Flower: the cause of all the trouble

The Sydney Fringe is a magic season for theatre lovers. It’s a busy time with so many chances to see new work and encounter artists and companies which will inform the course of the Sydney theatre scene. From what I saw at A SNOWFLAKE ON THE TONGUE OF OBERON, The Red Square Collective appears to be a thriving company with a bright future. According to the program there are 20 or so people working with this project and that is a solid bedrock for success. However, they have set themselves a hard task in bringing this particular work to the stage.

It is hundreds of years after the comic goings on of Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and there is a crisis in the woods. Oberon has fallen into a deep depression after Titania’s death and has frozen everything. Even though it’s been 20 years, Oberon shows no sign of improvement and Puck has had enough. Puck has become a ‘splintered elf’ and Robin Goodfellow, his dark alter ego, hatches a plan. Continue reading A Snowflake on the Tongue of Oberon @ Kings Cross Hotel

HEDDA AFTER HEDDA GABLER @ KINGS CROSS HOTEL

Christie New, Adam Marks, Alice Birbara, Charlie Jones and Victor Kalka
Christie New, Adam Marks, Alice Birbara, Charlie Jones and Victor Kalka

HEDDA after HEDDA GABLER is just wonderful. I loved it. It’s a slow, intense treatise on what theatre is … not for us the viewer but for the characters. The creations. The manifestations of imagination. The fleshed concepts pulled from a page and given presence. The actors don’t really exist, just the characters and the lives given them by the playwright. Continue reading HEDDA AFTER HEDDA GABLER @ KINGS CROSS HOTEL

THE SHAPE OF THINGS @ KINGS CROSS HOTEL

Left to right- Tina Jackson, Luke Holmes, Claudia Coy and James Manera in THE SHAPE OF THINGS
Left to right- Tina Jackson, Luke Holmes, Claudia Coy and James Manera in THE SHAPE OF THINGS

THE SHAPE OF THINGS by Neil LaBute is a modern classic. It is on the HSC syllabus, was made into a successful film in 2003 and was most recently revived in London in 2013. The current JST production, as part of the Sydney Fringe, is not intimated by the play’s pedigree. This is a back to basics production which takes a closer look at the personal dynamics and cruelties at the heart of the piece in an entertaining and engaging way.

Adam and Evelyn meet in tricky circumstances in a small college town museum. She, a visual arts student, objects to the figleaf over the ‘grapes’ of a classic statue. He, a part-time security guard and English major, approaches her with concern about the spray can she has in her hand. She is caustic and opinionated; he is diffident and somewhat blank. Continue reading THE SHAPE OF THINGS @ KINGS CROSS HOTEL

And Now To Bed @ The Kings Cross Hotel

Inset Pic- Richard Cornally and  Eleanor Stankiewicz. Featured Pic- Richard Cornally and Shauntelle Benjamin. Pics Zorica Purlija
Inset Pic- Richard Cornally and Eleanor Stankiewicz. Featured Pic- Richard Cornally and Shauntelle Benjamin. Pics Zorica Purlija

AND NOW TO BED is the third in the Table Talk Trilogy commissioned and produced by one of Sydney’s most enduring and entertaining theatre companies, Subtlenuance.

Director Paul Gilchrist chose seven actors and paired them each with a writer. The writer then took a story from the actor’s personal experience and crafted it into a theatrical tale. The only brief given was to explore the concept of sexuality.

That done, Gilchrist curated the individual stories into a cohesive show, giving it theatrical shape and form.

As the great writer, Raymond Carver said, you have to know what you’re doing when you turn your life’s stories into fiction. You have to be immensely daring, very skilled and imaginative and willing to tell. Continue reading And Now To Bed @ The Kings Cross Hotel

Lesbian Vampires Of Sodom @ The Kings Cross Hotel

Looking for another hit in the Mardi Gras line up? Lesbian Vampires of Sodom ticks all the boxes: it is hilarious and outrageously camp with great performances by the entire cast. When two very competitive female vampires cross paths, the fur looks set to fly. Starting in ancient Sodom, the jokes abound in the initial act where a young virgin is being prepared as a sacrifice for the Succubus. The play then fast forwards to the 1920s, where the vampires are both actresses who are vying for film roles (among other things). Mouth watering young lovelies are constantly a source of both lust and hunger for the vampires, though mostly hunger, with screamingly funny special effects. Their journey through time ends in Las Vegas, where Madeleine Astarte (Eliza Reilly) belts out a mean Cher number. Continue reading Lesbian Vampires Of Sodom @ The Kings Cross Hotel