Tag Archives: Maggie Dence

ANGELS IN AMERICA: ALOFT WITH THE LOST, EARTHBOUND WITH DESPAIR

Production images: Robert Catto

As they say in the play “it must be the magic of theatre or something”.  Indeed it must to bring audiences out to this revisiting of a classic queer work which is run over 2 nights and in one of the smallest venues in town.  The hours fly by though, on seraph wings, as director Dino Dimitriadis chips off the period redundancies of ANGELS IN AMERICA without disturbing the density and flights of filmy fabric which bring the age of AIDS to the Old Fitz Theatre.

Premiering in 1991, ANGELS IN AMERICA by Tony Kushner is set in 1985 and hindsight is unkind to the America that was.  Is?  This production foregrounds current issues which still demand action and due attention paid.  Gay men might be on PrEP but infections are rising, Israel and Palestine remain flashpoints, Perestroika somehow gave us Putin and a Republican is again in the White House.  Plus, fridge fluorocarbons have less chlorine but denial is not slowing the warmth.  Having experienced the nearly 7 hours of this production, I can say that the themes are still relevant but more importantly, the storytelling is exciting, intimate and conceptualised to entertain and engage.  It’s an achievement all round. Continue reading ANGELS IN AMERICA: ALOFT WITH THE LOST, EARTHBOUND WITH DESPAIR

MARJORIE PRIME AT ENSEMBLE: HOW WE COPE WITH FEAR AND LOSS

This image: Lucy Bell, Richard Sydenham.
Featured image: Maggie Dence, Jake Speer and Lucy Bell.                                                                                  Production photos by Lisa Tomasetti

Today, as we look into the future, we are sharing the increasingly sophisticated technologies involving artificial intelligence and robots.  Could they be therapeutic?  Are they truly capable of equaling or out-smarting human intelligence?  Will they ever comprehend human emotion?

Talented American playwright, Jordan Harrison, wrote his play MARJORIE PRIME to question these ideas of artificial intelligence.  First produced in LA in 2014, it was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  The film adaptation premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, starring John Hamm, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins.  Harrison also wrote three seasons of the Netflix drama, ‘Orange Is The New Black’. Continue reading MARJORIE PRIME AT ENSEMBLE: HOW WE COPE WITH FEAR AND LOSS

Seventeen @ Belvoir Street

Seventeen- inset
Two legends of the Australian theatre as well as being great friends, John Gaden and Peter Carroll. Production photography by Brett Boardman

Theatremakers are often adventurous people. They try to come up with a new slants, new approaches to their subjects, to make the theatrical experience brighter, bolder and more interesting. One has to admire their risk taking, their courage, though the results of this experimentation can be quite varied.

For his new play SEVENTEEN, Matthew Whittet has chosen a subject that, over time,  has been popular for dramatists to explore, the experiences of young people on the verge/the cusp of adulthood. Through the play we follow the adventures/experiences of a group of teenagers as they celebrate their first night of freedom after twelve long years of schooling. A lot ‘goes down’ before the sun rises. Continue reading Seventeen @ Belvoir Street