Tag Archives: Michael Scott-Mitchell

DIPLOMACY @ THE ENSEMBLE

This was a .great night of theatre brought to us by two of Australia’s theatrical legends.

The scenario. In  1944  at the Hotel Maurice, the Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling and the German General Dietrich von Cholitz meet in a life and death situation for the city of Paris. On abandoning Paris, Hitler has ordered its destruction. Raoul has one night to persuade the General to leave the landmark city standing.

What we see is a battle of wills between the two men. We feel every bit of the battle and the shifts that so delicately take place. At first there seems little chance for Nordling to win the General and on more than one occasion he is shown the door yet somehow he always manages to come back.  Thankfully, in the end, he wins the General over and Paris is saved.  Continue reading DIPLOMACY @ THE ENSEMBLE

Storm Boy @ Wharf 1 Sydney Theatre Company

Inset pic- Phil Dean Walford, Anthony Mayor and Otis Pavlovic . Featured pic- Anthony Mayor in STORM BOY. Production pics by Brett Boardman
Inset pic- Phil Dean Walford, Anthony Mayor and Otis Pavlovic . Featured pic- Anthony Mayor in STORM BOY. Production pics by Brett Boardman

STORM BOY, Colin Thiele’s classic tale of a boy, his father Hideaway Tom, his companion and mentor Fingerbone Bill and his beloved pelicans has never been far from our hearts. Over fifty years since the novel’s publication, Sydney theatre-goers presently have the opportunity to revisit Tom Holloway’s very fine stage adaptation which was first presented at the Sydney Theatre Company during August 2013.

John Sheedy once again directs and wins heartwarming performances from his cast: Rory Potter again is Storm Boy, Julian Garner as his Dad, Highway Tom, the wonderful Jimi Bani as Fingerbone Bill, and the delightful pelican puppet operators,- Anthony Mayor as Mr Percival and Phil Dean Walford as Mr Ponder and  Mr Pride.

The story’s central themes of man’s longing to be be in harmony with his environment and striving to deal with the losses that life inevitably brings are well conveyed.

His creative team excelled,- Michael Scott-Mitchell’s wonderful set features a whalebone structure on top of which the cast transverse as if they are on sand dunes, and then underneath is the humpy and an old dinghy.

Damien Cooper’s lighting conveys well the different times of day and also dramatically comes to life in the big storm sequence.

The pelican puppets, created by Annie Forbes and Tim Denton and puppetry director Peter Wilson are magical and are able to fly, waddle, peck, play, catch and click and clack about.

Kingsley Reeve’s impressive soundscape featured a simple piano score along with recordings of ocean, wind and bird sounds.

A joint Sydney Theatre Company and Barking Gecko Theatre Company production, this inviting, warm and charming production opened at Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company on the 25th April and is running until the 17th May. The production then goes on to play venues in Wollongong, Geelong, Canberra, Mandurah and Perth. 

 

 

Judith’s Best Sets For 2014

The cast of The God Of Hell
The cast of The God Of Hell

THE GOD OF HELL- great raised set in a tiny theatre- Designer Rodney Fisher. Playwright Sam Shepard. Producer- Mophead Productions. Venue- The Old Fitzroy Theatre

This was a cracker set.  Traditional flats used to create the vestibule, boot room and kitchen of a farmhouse.  Unusually, a raised stage was used in this venue and this took the tops of the flats close to the rafters with no tormentor.  This really added to the rural, barn effect as did the rustic floorboards. Continue reading Judith’s Best Sets For 2014

Switzerland

Sarah Peirse and Eamon Farren in Joanna Murray-Smith's SWITZERLAND. Pic Brett Boardman
Sarah Peirse and Eamon Farren in Joanna Murray-Smith’s SWITZERLAND. Pic Brett Boardmanis

I have just come home from seeing Switzerland. Joanne Murray Smith’s play is is as exotic, breath-taking and at times frosty as the great European  tourist destination.

This latest work is a bold, inspired flight of the imagination. A  great fan of American mystery writer Patricia Highsmith’s work, Murray-Smith has written a play in  her style and included her as the central character.

A masterful choice, as Highsmith makes for a great dramatic character. She was a very cantankerous, eccentric even bizarre woman who you can’t help but be drawn to. Continue reading Switzerland