Tag Archives: Ryan Hodson

ATYP : INTERSECTION : ARRIVAL @ THE STABLES THEATRE

 

The Australian Theatre For Young People (ATYP), the national youth theatre company,  is committed to commissioning and developing plays that young people aged between 10 and 26 can perform.

Each year a selection of 20 writers aged between 18 and  26 attend the National Studio at Bundanon near Nowra for a week long playwriting retreat led by some of the nation’s leading playwrights and dramaturgs. By the end of the week they must have written seven minute scenes for their cohort actors. ATYP then selects ten of these short plays for production. The end of this creative journey is a collection of plays with the umbrella title being INTERSECTION : ARRIVAL.

The performance we attended today at the Griffin Theatre was sent out live to high schools throughout the country.

It would be unfair nay impossible to cherry-pick a favourite play but what was pleasurable was the youthful exuberance of the cast who brought the playwrights’ words to life. The ensemble of twelve actors masterfully directed by Sophie Kelly met some particular challenges that had to be overcome. Because some of the actors had school and university commitments, the rehearsal times had to be limited ie 3 weeks. Furthermore, for the first two weeks  of rehearsals the scenes had to be blocked using tables. Scaffolding sets arrived a week before the performance necessitating a restaging of the play.

The ensemble cast ranged in ages  between 16 years old and 23 years old with their words capturing the rhythm of today’s youth  as well as the topics which engaged them. These included alienation, the desire to belong to a group of their peers, sexuality, masturbation and gender, body image, acute embarrassment, transgender and gay issues, and young love,to name but a few packed into the ten plays. Because the young actors could relate so easily to these topics they leapt into their roles with gusto. Many of the plays are layered with humour, cheekiness and optimism.

The set and costume designs by Tyler Hawkins, in particular I want to mention the two sets of scaffolding which were ‘danced around’ the stage, broken down and rebuilt to conjure up scenes on trains, a cinema, a school locker room, and a highway encounter with a dog, and a disco nightclub.

After the performance ended there was a Q and A with the cast. When asked what they derived most from being involved in the production, the cast  spoke of the level of professionalism demanded and obtained by ATYP. Cast and crew were punctual, the ATYP looked after their needs and they were able to concentrate on getting their performances right. One of the aims of today’s special matinee simulcast was to inspire and encourage  talented young actors to audition for future productions at the Australian Theatre for Young People.

Recommended, INTERSECTION: ARRIVAL will continue to play at  the Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross until 16th February, 2019.

 

Performers

Teodora Avrmovic

Salem Barratt-Brown

BeBe Bettencourt

Toby Blume

Marvin Adler

Ryan Hodson

Apsara Lindeman

Kelly Nguyen

Grace Stammas

Sophie Strykowski

Harry Winstone

Emma Wright

 

Director Sophie Kelly

Dramaturg : Jane Fitzgerald

Set and Costume Design : Tyler Hawkins

Lighting Designer : Martin Kinnane

Composer and Sound Designer : Chrysoulla Markoulli

 

YEN: THEATRE TO MESS YOU UP

This image: Ryan Hodson & Meg Clarke
Featured Image: Jeremi Campese
Production Images: Asparay Photographics

According to the program notes, director Lucy Clements was mesmerised ten minutes into watching Anna Jordan’s YEN when she saw it overseas last year.  Having seen her work before, one can understand why the pull was so strong to bring this show to Australia and why this gritty, uncompromising script would squat itself inside the intimacy of Kings Cross Theatre.

The production, from New Ghosts Theatre Company, has a visceral, raw unpleasantness that is expressed with the predictability of disillusion and errant hopelessness.  But putting poverty porn on stage is not enough reason to mount the show and hurl it at an audience.  What Clements does instead is to fuck with what one believes theatre should be, should show, and should say… brilliantly.

Bobby, 14, and his older brother, Hench who is 16, exist in shut-in filth where they watch graphic porn and play Call of Duty all day.  Only going out, one at a time because they need to share their only T shirt, to steal shit.  Their existence has its ups and downs of brotherly engagement and distance balanced out by shooting games and gynophobic observations and the dog that is  being caged, unloved, in their other room.  Their mother, Maggie, staggers through their lives occasionally, the generational tradition of absence also reflected in their Nan’s escape to parts unsure.  Enter a civilising influence, Jenny. Improvement? Probably more of the same is pre-ordained for these loveless boys. Continue reading YEN: THEATRE TO MESS YOU UP