Tag Archives: Michael Whalley

44 SEX ACTS IN ONE WEEK : A PROVOCATIVE ROM-COM

Up Late with Belvoir and Moonshine & Tits Productions are pleased to present the premiere of ‘44 Sex Acts in One Week’, an apocalyptic rom-com created in extraordinary times. Premiering from 16 – 20 December at Belvoir  St Theatre, the play is part gig, part radio-play and part stab in the dark, in a subversive and  joyful response to the madness that was 2020.  

Bringing together two of Australia’s most loved comediennes, Green Room Award-winner Rebecca Massey  (ABC’s Utopia) and Sydney Theatre Award-winner Sheridan Harbridge (Griffin Theatre Company’s Prima Facie),  the comedic duo star alongside a cast of some of the country’s finest theatre talent including Keith Robinson  (Belvoir’s Twelfth Night), Priscilla Doueihy (IFC Films’ Babyteeth) and Michael Whalley (Belvoir’s Hir). 

Clickbait blogger Celina Valderrama has just been given the assignment from hell: do and review every item in a  new book entitled ‘ 44 Sex Acts That Will Change Your Life’ by Friday. With no other partner available, Celina  is forced to turn to her nemesis, the holier than thou eco-activist and office mail boy, Alab Delusa.  As the  unwilling couple embark on a race against time through the world of kink, will the friction between them unleash  the wild we’re all trying to keep at bay? Can this book make the world a better place?  Continue reading 44 SEX ACTS IN ONE WEEK : A PROVOCATIVE ROM-COM

TINY REMARKABLE BRAMBLE @ KINGS CROSS THEATRE

Tiny Little Bramble

It starts with an intrigue. We can see who but what is the issue and why? Intriguing beginning yes but this is not mystery theatre. This is the theatre of chaos writ large in a small space. I loved TINY REMARKABLE BRAMBLE and I “wasn’t even hammered so I have no excuse!”

Alice (Geraldine Viswanathan) is a bedbound, self-absorbed, ennui ridden, depressive when we meet her. Not hilarious so far, right? Sparklingly comic BFF Sonny (Catherine Terracini) is trying to talk her into … going somewhere? feeling something? remembering somehow? And not really succeeding. This is a very reluctant protagonist who will eventually rouse enough to go somewhere somehow for something. It gets a bit weird and crazy after that.

There is a Brigadier of something nameless (Thomas Campbell), a sot called Vino (Lucy Suze Taylor ), Douglas a chemist we think because he has a lab coat (Michael Whalley ) and Pipkin (Contessa Treffone)who might be a girl in a bubble. They are preparing for a talent quest perhaps. A blending back into Alice’s wounded and split psyche perhaps? A break from their societally allocated role? Theories abound but I reckon I will hazard a guess. I have seen enough preparing Theatresports teams to stick my neck out here. Continue reading TINY REMARKABLE BRAMBLE @ KINGS CROSS THEATRE

Cock @ The Old Fitz

Inset- Michael Whalley and Matilda Ridgway. Featured- Matt Minto and Michael Whaley. Pics Tim Levy
Inset- Michael Whalley and Matilda Ridgway. Featured- Matt Minto and Michael Whaley. Pics Tim Levy

Torn between two lovers, cock shocked and cunt struck, John is at odds with his old boyfriend and new girlfriend and with himself in Redline’s robust, ribald and bollocking production of COCK by Mike Bartlett.

Played in the round on an unadorned white walled and floored set, the play wheels, weaves and winds through the windmill of John’s indecisive mind as he tries to weigh up which way he will go – back to his male lover with all its history or forward with his newfound fondness for vaginal sex and a future view of breeding fecundity.

His homosexual partner has somewhat infantilised John, speaking in familial terms, alluding to fraternity in their relationship, although the dynamic of the relationship leans more to the paternal, with the boyfriend patently patronising.

Continue reading Cock @ The Old Fitz

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

John Worthing (Michael Whalley) and Gwendolyn Fairfax (Paige Gardiner) court and spark.
John Worthing (Michael Whalley) and Gwendolyn Fairfax (Paige Gardiner) court and spark.

‘I always take my diary with me when I go on trains.  I need something sensational to read’.

Oscar Wilde’s 1895  play THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST saw one of the wittiest people who ever lived at the height of his powers. It is quite simply a comic masterpiece. The humour is irrepressible, like the writer himself, who even on his deathbed, had the final say, ‘Either the curtains go, or I go’.

Satire was Wilde’s forte, his penchant for mocking the pretentiousness and preciousness of society’s ways. In EARNEST, Wilde has come up with a wonderful caricature of a society woman in the role of Lady Bracknell. Andrew Benson gives a fine comic performance as the good Lady in the current Burley Theatre Company revival, directed by Brandon Hartignago. Hartignago’s choice to have a man play Bracknell is not such an unusual choice, years ago Geoffrey Rush played the part with great success.

Michael Whalley as John Worthing and Kurt Phelan as  Algernon Moncrieff make an entertaining duo as the two young friends/scallywags/scoundrels who both, quite separately, have come up with the strategy of creating out of town people, in John’s case his wayward brother Earnest….Algernon his invalid Uncle Bunbury, whom the visit when the life becomes too ‘curly’ and they need to get away.

As cunning as these two men are, they both have soft spots for the fairer  sex. Paige Gardiner as Gwendolyn Fairfax and Katie McDonald as Cecily Cardew are the very attractive objects of their affection, and in a way they match their male counterparts in their use of feminine wiles.

Rounding out the cast Tamblyn Henderson and Ana Maria Belo showed some nice comic touches in servant/maid roles.

Director Brandon Martignago, who resets the play in the present day, delivers a bright, brassy, fast paced, very playful production. There are some interesting choices; the first scene, set in Algernon’s living room, is played out in front of a stage-wide curtain, in a very small space at the front of the stage, that the actors did well to transverse without doing any damage. For the second scene, in effect the curtain opens, to a great, wide reveal, of the garden in John Worthing’s country manor house. There are some nice touches by set designer Mason Browne, peacock chairs, tufted grass, the back wall is covered with Martinique wallpaper depicting a lush garden scene. Browne also designed the bold, character driven costumes.

My favourite scene? There are too many in this play. It’s like asking what’s my favourite Oscar Wilde quote- have you heard this one?-  ‘I can resist everything except temptation’. Ok…I will go for the scene where Algernon turns up at his friend’s county estate, and the shock on John Worthing’s face, and the ensuing comic chaos that it causes.

Recommended, Brandon Hartignago’s revival of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST plays at the Reginald Theatre at the Seymour Centre until August 3, 2013.