Tag Archives: Melanie Robinson

WHAT SANTA DOES OTHER DAYS OF THE YEAR : NEWS FROM NUMBER 1 NORTH POLE

Roger Gimblett’s play is a lot of fun and a good family show in time for the festive season.

Walking into the theatre to collect the tickets everyone was in good spirits- Christmas decorations were up and the bar staff were wearing reindeer antlers and serving champagne.

WHAT SANTA DOES OTHER DAYS OF THE YEAR started with Alf the Elf played by a very energetic Puck like Tristan Black doing a bit of a comic spot.  His face appeared from out of the curtain and then he came out and started complaining about the guy in the bio box not lighting him properly. It was the start of a host of jokes including : ‘you behave and raise the curtains or it will be curtains for you’ and ‘the lighting man only took the job because it was light work’.  (Before moving on, just a note to say that Act 2 started in a similar vein with some byplay by Alf the Elf).

Alf the Elf went on to introduce all the characters taking part in the play. There was of-course Santa Claus played by a  endearing Doug Rumble. We find out what Santa does the other days of the year – prepare of-course. Get the presents ready. Reply to mail. Spend time with the family. All from his home at Number 1 North Pole. Garry Bates’ set of Santa’s living room was nicely laid out with including of-course a Christmas Tree, sofa and chairs, mailbox, a fireplace with a stocking hanging out and a stable door for the reindeer. Continue reading WHAT SANTA DOES OTHER DAYS OF THE YEAR : NEWS FROM NUMBER 1 NORTH POLE

THE ELEPHANT MAN: PLACED BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION

 

Production images: Chris Dunn

THE ELEPHANT MAN playing at PACT is a production which takes its responsibilities very seriously.  Avoiding any gratuitousness, it foregrounds the human spirit with respect for the material and a balance of storytelling and philosophy.  And a great deal of hard work for such a short season.  

Most people would know the story of Joseph Merrick, in this play named as John Merrick, known as The Elephant Man when he made a living being displayed in carnivals.  The 1981 film has a definitive performance by John Hurt as Merrick and Anthony Hopkins as his doctor Frederick Treves but the 1977 play by Bernard Pomerance has a different ethos.   Equally compassionate and compelling, the play is ultimately about the inability of science to be as great as religion. But it still relies on 2 important central performances. Continue reading THE ELEPHANT MAN: PLACED BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION

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