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→
As if their twenty year age gap wasn’t difficult enough, Matilda’s is fighting for space in Gabe’s life along with his constant companions, misery, writerly angst and booze. She’s not convinced he’s over with his ex girlfriend and publisher, Angela, who is used to picking up Gabe’s pieces.
If Gabe wants to get sober he’ll have to abandon his image as the tragic, self destructive writer drinking his way to oblivion. And if Angela’s really trying to let Gabe go, like her partner Tony needs her to, she needs to say goodbye to Gabe’s wretched cat that she is looking after.
Featured image – Ash Flanders and Megan Wilding in Lui’s new play. Production photography by Daniel Boud.
This is the new work by indigenous playwright Nakkiah Lui. It is a very different style of play to Black is the New White which was written in a naturalistic style. BLACKIE BLACKIE BROWN : THE TRADITIONAL OWNER OF DEATH is a sort of comic book come to life, a superhero revenge story which mixes live action theatre with stunning visuals and animation. The common feature to both plays is that Lui tackles serious subjects with a comic, satirical touch.
The storyline follows Dr Jacqueline Black who is an Aboriginal archaeologist working on a dig somewhere in the Australian bush. Uncovering a mass grave, she picks up a skull and is suddenly seized by a transcendent power.
Dr Black’s great-great-grandmother speaks to her from beyond the veil. She speaks of the white men who brutally massacred her family. She speaks of that sin being passed down through the generations. Dr Black tasks Jacqueline with exacting revenge – she must kill all 400 descendants of the men who murdered her ancestors. A cold-blooded vigilante is born: Blackie Blackie Brown, the traditional owner of death.Continue reading BLACKIE BLACKIE BROWN : THE TRADITIONAL OWNER OF DEATH→
I get this play! Young playwright Brooke Robinson has tackled a very worthy subject in a bold, confronting way.
The subject is flat sharing. Flat sharing is usually the domain of young people in between leaving the family home and settling down with a partner and creating a family of their own. It’s a time where often young people usually let their hair down, have parties, leave dishes in the sink overnight or for days on end….
With her play Robinson gives us a very different demographic. She imagines what it would be like now, in Sydney, for a frail, middle-aged person to be looking for share accommodation.
Robinson’s main character is Sandra, a woman in her fifties who has been undergoing cancer treatment. When the play starts we see her arriving home to a unit which she shares with a young couple. Sandra is looking forward to cooking dinner for them. She is greeted with the news that they are giving her notice. They have a friend who needs a place to stay. She is given two weeks to find a new place.Continue reading GOOD COOK. FRIENDLY. CLEAN. @ THE STABLES→
I loved this show. One of my favourites this year so far, in fact. But there is a secret to enjoying it. Luckily I had a crony with me who had seen it earlier in the week and he let me in on the trick just as I will clue you in. It’s a brilliant script but you have to buy into the story, the characters and the style… immediately. From the first umbrella ballet to when the rain stops falling. Do this and you will take it away with you. Myself, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
The story revolves around a series of characters who are obviously from different time periods and who must be somehow connected to Gabriel York who we meet in the first monologue. Gabriel left his wife and son many years ago. “The boy had a better chance without me.” He has just been contacted by Andrew who wants answers from his abandoning father. Continue reading When The Rain Stops Falling @ The New→
Suzie Miller’s play CARESS/ACHE, the current production at the Stables theatre, is a very special night at the theatre.
To ID it for you, Miller’s work features inter-weaving stories in the tradition of works like the late Robert Altman’s film, SHORT CUTS. A central ‘umbrella’ theme runs through all the stories; the power of affection, of touch, of connection.
Miller fills the play with some very big journeys which fully Involve the audience. Here are just a few of these stories:-
Bell Shakespeare has opened its 2015 season and its 25th anniversary year with AS YOU LIKE IT. As John Bell is retiring from the company he so successfully started in 1990, this production will be the last one co-directed with Bell and ongoing Artistic Director Peter Evans.
Bell and Evans open their program notes with, “Above the new Globe Theatre in 1599 stood the words, ‘Totus mundus agit histrionem’, which can be translated as ‘All the world’s a stage’, the monologue so beautifully delivered in the play by Bell’s restless and melancholic character, Jaques.
This motto seems to be reflected throughout the play, including the adaptable and minimalist set design by Michael Hankin, which, including 5,500 hanging flowers, could be set anywhere, anytime. Kate Aubrey’s radical costume design incorporates the 30s, 50s and 60s decades, further enhancing the timelessness of the world stage. Continue reading As You Like It @ The Playhouse→