Tag Archives: Sarah Ruhl

EURYDICE BY SARAH RUHL FOR OLD FITZ

 

Featured image credit: John Marmaras. Cast member: Ebony Vagulans.

Mad March Hare Theatre Co., in association with Red Line Productions presents the Sydney Premiere of EURYDICE.  Written by Sarah Ruhl this play re-imagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine.

Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the Underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. With contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists, and breathtaking visual effects, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story.

Claudia Barrie​ ​(You Got Older, Dry Land, Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo) ​ directs an ensemble cast featuring ​Ebony Vagulans ​as Eurydice, ​Lincoln Vickery ​as Orpheus, ​Jamie Oxenbould​ as Eurydice’s Father, Nicholas Papademetriou​ as Lord of the Underworld and ​Alex Malone,​ ​Ariadne Sgouros​ and ​Megan Wilding​ as the Stones.

EURYDICE from Mad March Hare Theatre Co., [Facebook] in association with Red Line Productions [Facebook] playing at the Old Fitz Theatre, November 15 – December 15.

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.