Tag Archives: Pamela Rabe


This image: Sarah Peirse and Pamela Rabe in Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne Theatre Company’s Production of THE CHILDREN © Jeff Busby
Featured image: Sarah Peirse and William Zappa in Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne
Theatre Company’s Production of THE CHILDREN © Jeff Busby

THE CHILDREN by Lucy Kirkwood opens with 3 still scenes.  Each of the three characters, singly. Each alone.  Each in their own world.  Throughout the show each, at some stage, will command the intimate, warm space in a cottage surrounded by sea.  This is where Hazel comforts her inner self, where her husband Robin comes home to nest and be taken care of  and where interloper Rose relives the bloom moments of a youth long gone.  Each individual with the potential to put aside their history in search of a future for the children: Miller-like, all the children. Continue reading THE CHILDREN: POWER ,PHYSICS AND THE TRIANGLE.

April De Angelis’ Jumpy @ The Drama Theatre

Inset pic- Brenna Harding and Jane Turner. Featured pic- Pics by Brett Boardman

Fraught mother and daughter relationships have  been a rich source of material for scriptwriters for a very long time. Many will recall the multi-Academy Award winning Terms of Endearment featuring Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger.

Prominent British playwright April De Angelis dives into this very deep well with her play JUMPY. A hit when it was first performed on the West End in 2011,  the script is currently in the process of being developed into a mainstream television series.

Sydney theatregoers currently have the opportunity to  see this very clever play’s Australian premiere production at the Sydney Opera House. Continue reading April De Angelis’ Jumpy @ The Drama Theatre

The Glass Menagerie at Belvoir

Rose Riley and  Harry Greenwood in THE GLASS MENAGERIE. Pic Brett Boardman
Rose Riley and Harry Greenwood in THE GLASS MENAGERIE. Pic Brett Boardman

For any student with a passion for drama, be it for the stage or for the screen, Tennessee Williams’ THE GLASS MENAGERIE makes for highly recommended viewing.

Great drama is about deep connection and this is what one gets with this play Williams wrote in the key of sorrow as he looks back on his life growing up in his struggling Southern family.

First performed in Chicago in 1944, THE GLASS MENAGERIE is the play that established Williams brilliant career.

Continue reading The Glass Menagerie at Belvoir

In the Next Room or the vibrator play


Jackie McKenzie listens at the closed door

Prominent contemporary American playwright Sarah Ruhl chose a great subject, a quirky, little known medical sidelight from history, for her new play ‘In the Next Room or the vibrator play’ and out of it has created a tremendous, often hilarious play from it.  

In the late 19th century, some modern thinking physicians were trialling women who were suffering from hysteria by using a new electronic invention, the vibrator!  Ruhl has one such a Doctor as the protagonist in her play. Dr Givings (David Roberts) has created a separate room in his family home for his surgery. The play opens with the Doctor taking on a new patient, Sabrina Daldry (Helen Thomson). Together with her husband Mr Daldry (Marshall Napier) she comes to the surgery, complaining of  hysteria and a lack of satisfaction in her marriage. The treatment begins and after the initial shock Sabrina is soon rushing back for more!

Ruhl’s play turns on the fact that Dr Givings has kept his wife Catherine (Jacqueline McKenzie) in the dark about his new treatment technique.  A young mother who spends most of her time at home, Catherine notices how Sabrina and her husband’s other female patients come out of her husband’s treatment room muh chirpier than when they went in! Her curiousity is pricked, what actually happens in the next room?!  She starts prodding some of his patients, what actually happens in there?! Sabrina is a bit cagey about it but one day, when her husband is out on an errand, they manage to get access and his secret world is revealed!

‘In The Next Room’ works beautifully as high pitched comedy of sexual mores. This play’s  achievement is also that it works, just as well, as a poignant study of a  marriage that has lost its way, of a wife who is deeply lonely and miserable, and of a husband who is totally self and career focused.

Pamela Rabe crafts a very satisfying Australian premiere production. Tracy Grant Lord set and costume design places us beautifully in the Victorian  era. The performances are a treat. Jackie McKenzie plays the waif like, neglected wife beautifully. David Roberts impresses as the emotionally disconnected husband. Mandy McElhinney is hilarious as the good Doctor’s deadpan faced assistant. Helen Thomson shines, giving a great comic performance as the ‘born again’ Sabrina. Marshall Napier plays her archly conservative husband. Josh McConville plays Dr Givings first male patient to receive the new treatment and his scenes are hilarious.

 A great night out, Pamela Rabe’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s play ‘In The Next Room or the vibrator play’ opened at the Drama theatre, Sydney Opera House on Friday 11th February and plays until Saturday 2nd April, 2011.