Tag Archives: Nikki Shiels


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



Production images: Patrick Boland

Yes, THEY DIVIDED THE SKY certainly re-woke the peasant in me.  And the lover and the historian and the right brain thinker who, over 70 minutes, collided full force with the old time believer.  It is a story for a modern age which immerses the present in the past with a face splash of what might have been.  What might be still if love, and politics, were not so transient.  Playing at Belvoir Downstairs as part of their 25A programming, this interpretation of  East German writer Christa Wolf’s revered and excoriated novel begins with laughter.

We meet Rita and Manfred at the beginning of their relationship.  She is girly and flirty and he is tongue tied and eager.  We will see their relationship grow as she takes up the Socialist call to teach and he remains rooted in the non-partisan world of science.  Even living in an attic in his parents’ house doesn’t alter the chemistry between them but circumstances will change in a moment as the wall goes up between East and West and the political chill sets in. Continue reading THEY DIVIDED THE SKY: A SCHISM OF LOVE AND POLITICS