Tag Archives: Nick Schlieper

TOM STOPPARD’S ‘THE REAL THING’ @ THE DRAMA THEATRE

The   subject of British playwright Tom Stoppard’s THE REAL THING  is love and the difficult terrain of the human heart.  Written in 1982 it was a  change in style for Stoppard who usually wrote very cerebral works .

In THE REAL THING Henry is married to Charlotte, whilst Annie is married to Max. But its Henry and Annie who have fallen passionately in . love. For Henry the main character, the question is has  Henry found love, is it the real thing?!

There’s also a sub plot which involves Annie who has taken up the cause of  Brodie an imprisoned Scottish soldier who has written a script which she wants to produce. Henry doesn’t offer any help , He thinks it is shite!  Continue reading TOM STOPPARD’S ‘THE REAL THING’ @ THE DRAMA THEATRE

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF : SEARING DRAMA @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

In Tennessee Williams CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Big Daddy is dying but he doesn’t know it yet. It is his birthday. Big Mama is in the dark. Brick is at the bottom of a  bottle. But Brick’s wife Maggie is alive, desperately alive, and dancing like a cat on a hot tin roof. We meet the fabled family when lies are rife, tensions are boiling over and their future is at stake.

Kip Williams production serves Williams’ epic drama well. He leads a great creative team who dynamically set up the world for the actors to work in, and they respond by giving strong  performances.

Hugo Weaving has a darkly masculine energy as the formidable, imposing Big Daddy. Weaving makes his first appearance at the  very tail of Act 1. Big Daddy is the patriarch of the family who everyone lies in fear of. He has had a health scare and thought that his reign might be over but the results seem to be positive so he is back being the boss again. The main thing that he wants is to get Brick’s (his favourite son) life back on track again. Big Daddy and Brick have one hell of an extended, prolonged scene together with sparks flying back and forth. Continue reading CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF : SEARING DRAMA @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

MOSQUITOES @ THE DRAMA THEATRE

In British playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s MOSQUITOES Alice is a scientist working towards an important new discovery. Jenny  is her sister, and believes any conspiracy she reads on the internet. They couldn’t be more different. So, when tragedy forces them together, the impact has unexpected consequences.

It’s 2008 and Alice’s team of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider are searching for the Higgs Boson, stitching together the fabric of the cosmos. But at home, Alice’s family is falling apart at the seams. ‘It’s a story of facts and feelings, of resilience and decay, of particle physics and sibling rivalry, that reaches to the edges of time and space without ever losing touch with its very human heart’.

This was a compelling night in the theatre,  ‘a perfectly focused family drama woven together with big questions about the universe and our very existence’.                     Continue reading MOSQUITOES @ THE DRAMA THEATRE

A CHEERY SOUL @ THE DRAMA THEATRE

‘All the lonely people

Where do they all come from?

All the lonely people

Where do they all belong?’

Eleanor Rigby

Patrick White’s classic play A CHEERY SOUL is the Sydney Theatre Company current production at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. White has described this play, set in 1963 in the make believe suburb of Sarsparilla as ‘exploring the destructive power of good’.

Sarah Peirse is versatile but seamless as the ever cheerful but dreaded Miss Docker with her  obsessive, clumsy acts of Christian kindness. Her mania to do incessant good irritates all and sundry.  At the start of the play she is forced to leave home and must rely on the charity of those who know her. Mr and Mrs Custance welcome her into their home but she soon grates on their nerves. One scene has her making a humble cup of tea turn into a kitchen tornado experience. She spills three teaspoons of sugar, loose tea leaves and milk, and then offers to clean things up but actually doesn’t do it leaving Mrs Custance to clean up the mess, In the end, Mr and Mrs Custance ask her to leave because she is unbearable to live with.

In her main role Anita Hegh is wonderful as the very conservative, saccharine,  nervy Mrs Constance. Anthony Taufa, in his primary role, is her gruff, set upon husband.

Miss Docker’s next stop  is the Sundown Home for Old People- a very depressing nursing home. The patients have their cliques and Miss Docker’s reputation precedes her. She tries to ingratiate herself with one of the main women there, a  Mrs Lillie, well played by Tara Morice, whose husband has recently died. Mrs Lillie wants very little to do with Miss Docker, which is further indicated at her husband’s funeral. Miss Docker steps out of the car for a  brief time, and what follows is that the funeral car leaves her behind and she has to walk wearily home alone. Continue reading A CHEERY SOUL @ THE DRAMA THEATRE

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