Tag Archives: Naomi Livingstone

SCARECROW: BESPOKE THEATRICALITY CREEPS AT BLOOD MOON THEATRE

Romney Stanton in SCARECROW

SCARECROW is a terrific choice for presenting at the  Sydney Fringe and for producing at Blood Moon Theatre.  Written by prolific American playwright Don Nigro, it is textually designed to be bare, claustrophobic, with the focus on character and relationships.  As directed by Naomi Livingstone and Deborah Jones, this offering is bespoke to the tiny stage and has a brilliant performance at its heart.

We meet Rose and her daughter Cally.  Never going out and probably feigning her illness, Rose has always had Cally to herself in the tiny house on the edge of a cornfield but the daughter is ripe for manipulation and sexual predation.  Enter Nick.  Shadowy and experienced in influencing pliable, inexperienced, naive young women, his agenda apparently reaches beyond just sex with the eager Cally, past the field’s scarecrow into the house itself. Continue reading SCARECROW: BESPOKE THEATRICALITY CREEPS AT BLOOD MOON THEATRE

THE ANGELICA COMPLEX @ KINGS CROSS THEATRE

The Angelica Complex

So I sit here at the laptop completely out of my depth. It doesn’t happen often but when it hits I feel useless. Last night’s show THE ANGELICA COMPLEX playing as part of Invisible Circus at King’s Cross Theatre has my writer’s brain in a mess. To explain the complexity: this show was not for me. More accurately perhaps, I was not for it. It was not a show that I took to, or enjoyed or would want to see again but for some readers it will be required attendance. I am sending my BFF to it on Saturday.

THE ANGELICA COMPLEX is about motherhood. The protagonist is Angelica and we learn quickly that she is somewhere for ‘punishment’ or ‘respite’ and it has something to do with her baby. And that the answers lie hidden inside herself. There are 3 selves there in fact. Angelica speaks directly to us of her experiences and we see her in closeup facilitated by the live camera feed operator, plus we hear an inner voice in the opera singing of another figure on the stage.

It has been my experience when supporting friends tackling motherhood that it is an all-encompassing, vocational event and this show is exactly that. With what I understand to be postpartum depression as the structure, it unrelentingly explores the theme, early on through the cynicism of received perfection and later in a microcosm of narrative when it’s just Angelica and her baby. Continue reading THE ANGELICA COMPLEX @ KINGS CROSS THEATRE

Two Peas Theatre Company presents David Mamet’s EDMOND @ Old 505 Theatre

Oleg Pupovac as Edmond and Naomi Livingstone as Glenna
Oleg Pupovac as Edmond and Naomi Livingstone as Glenna in Two Peas Theatre Company’s production of EDMOND

On their Facebook page, Two Peas, the production company behind EDMOND playing at Old 505 theatre, have called the Sydney independent theatre “you inconsistent thing you” and bemoan their current low ticket sales for the season. And they are right. You can build it but they still might not come. I am going to try encouraging you to go to this production, mainly because of what they have built.

The title character, Edmond has an unplanned encounter with a fortune teller who sees him as being in the wrong place. For some reason a series of inner workings begin to move inside him. He leaves his wife, ranges around the city in search of sex at the cheapest price, and assaults or kills almost everyone he meets. He is both driven and apathetic, and purposeful yet blown by circumstances. Edmond thinks that he is free because the middle aged businessman he was just up and left. Continue reading Two Peas Theatre Company presents David Mamet’s EDMOND @ Old 505 Theatre

ELECTRA

Dominic McDonald, Cat Martin, Naomi Livingstone and Amy Scott in ELECTRA
Dominic McDonald, Nicole Wineberg, Naomi Livingstone and Amy Scott in ELECTRA

There is no let-up in Richard Hillier’s dark , intense revival of Sophocles’ ELECTRA. As we walk down the narrow hallway to the theatre we are confronted, on either side, with women  dressed in black robes moaning against the walls. After the late arrivals have finally taken their seats, the show begins with a fully combustible Electra (Amy Scott) vowing to take revenge on her mother Clytemnestra (Cat Martin) for having slain her father. Electra’s main hope is that her baby brother Orestes (Nathaniel Scotcher), now a grown man, will return from far away, where she has hidden him, to help her to exact a bloody, merciless revenge.

ELECTRA is a challenging experience to  sit through as the action steadily escalates to its bloody climax…especially in what is essentially a very tiny theatre space. The set is bare, apart from the walls and floor marked with black and grey flecks. Deft stage lighting saw the actors cast long shadows against the walls. The play’s most gruesome actions took place off stage, a choice that worked well.

Rose Maher, Naomi Livingstone and Emily Elise played the three Women of Argos. Sympathetic to Electra’s cause, they also commentated on the action, giving very physical performances and even sometimes supplying a bit of a soundtrack- such as when they flailed their arms against the walls to mimic the sound of galloping horses.

The main performances were strong. Amy Scott is a fierce, explosive Electra, Cat Martin is a spiteful and vindictive Clytemnestra, Nicole Wineberg is Electra’s more hesitant sister, Chrysothemis, and Orestes is a very virile Orestes. Dominic McDonald played the dual roles of Aegisthus, a little understated, and the Messenger.

This take no prisoners revenge drama hurtled straight through for an unrelenting hour and twenty minutes.

No White Elephant’s production of Sophocles’ ELECTRA opened at the Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst  on Wednesday 5th June and runs until  Saturday June 15, 2013.