Tag Archives: Mark Banks

A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ The Genesians

Jack McMahon as Demetrius and Catherine Davies as Helena. Photography by Mark Banks
Jack McMahon as Demetrius and Catherine Davies as Helena. Photography by Mark Banks

At first glance over the program and cast list for this production, the feint-hearted traditionalist could be excused for having some concerns. Shakespeare’s classic is now to be seen through Australian eyes, with ‘Beach Bums’ and ‘Hippies’ replacing the Players and Fairies.

However such fears are short lived. Any potential cringing is replaced with sheer enjoyment. Debbie Smith’s beautifully bright beach-to bush set and well-directed cast burst off the stage making us quickly at home. The reworking succeeds and the increased humour is performed with slick precision along the way. Continue reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ The Genesians

Brother Daniel

The cast of BROTHER DANIEL. Pic Mark Banks
The cast of BROTHER DANIEL. Pic Mark Banks

Brother Daniel is captured looking away from us with a slight smile at some unseen event.  His face is young, handsome, charismatic and his yellow scarf of freedom stands out against his khakis. The poster for BROTHER DANIEL introduces the man with whom we will spend the next two hours.  But this is not the man we meet.

When this new work opens, the titular character is a broken thing.  The iconographic photo of him as a revolutionary leader is there onstage, above the bible.  It is at the bedside in the small hotel when a visitor is shown to her room but the real man is collapsed on the floor of the stark, bloody cell.  He has been there since the audience began filtering into the small space. Continue reading Brother Daniel

HOTEL SORRENTO

Sarah Purdue as Hilary, Melanie Robinson as Meg, and Gemma Munro as Pippa as the three sisters in Hannie Rayson's HOTEL SORRENTO. Pic Mark Banks
Sarah Purdue as Hilary, Melanie Robinson as Meg, and Gemma Munro as Pippa as the three sisters in Hannie Rayson’s HOTEL SORRENTO. Pic Mark Banks

‘Melancholy’ is the title of Meg’s autobiographical novel that has brought her fame and a tilt at the Booker Prize, and which sets the sparks flying within her family in leading Australian playwright Hannie Rayson’s 1990 play, HOTEL SORRENTO. It is also a good word to describe the tone of Rayson’s play which has a Chekhovian feel to it, that deep sense of time passing, and the inevitability of the winds of change sweeping away everything in its path.

HOTEL SORRENTO charts an emotional reunion between two sisters, Meg (Melanie Robertson) and Pippa (Gemma Munro) who have been living overseas, Meg in London, Pippa in New York, and their elder sister, Hilary (Sarah Purdue) who has been the carer of their frail father, Wal (Barry Moray) and is also the mother of a sweet ten year old boy, Troy (Oliver Beard). The reunion is held at the family home in the pretty, sleepy Victorian seaside town of Sorrento situated on the Mornington Peninsula.

Continue reading HOTEL SORRENTO