To break the chains that turn flesh rancid and to breach the fetters that bind the heart, takes the gall and grit that only a freak of Shakespearean audacity can ignite without being consumed in the brazen fire of Art.
Very few have what it takes to throw off the well tried practice of well worn kudos and established norms and come out triumphant. Among the rare, happy few is choreographer Shaun Parker.
With the tagline ‘Think More: Feel More’ Seymour Centre has announced for 2019 with a diverse range of shows.
Beginning with lots on during Mardi Gras when the venue will play host as Mardi Gras Central. 12 nights of wild and wonderful queer performance, theatre, music, dance, circus, cabaret and burlesque from world-class local and international artists. Continue reading SEYMOUR CENTRE ANNOUNCES FOR 2019→
What happens behind the scenes at major points in world history? Are the men who are world leaders discussing sport and are their wives discussing catering? In Peta Tait’s play, ELEANOR AND MARY ALICE, we discover that these are some of the peripheral elements of world events 70 years ago. Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Alice Evatt, respectively the wives of the President of the United States and of the Minister for External Affairs, met several times and this play presents one meeting in Sydney during World War II and a second meeting in Paris in 1948. They discuss modern art, writing, speech making, morale boosting, diplomacy, refugees and the burden of catering.
The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is 10th December 2018. ELEANOR AND MARY ALICE celebrates and examines this significant occasion. Peta Tait’s play is both an intimate exploration of the relationship of these two fascinating women and a wider look at equality, refugees, the roles of women and world history.
Sarah McNeill plays Eleanor and nicely captures her as a privileged patrician. Petra Kalive has a complex character to portray and strikes a good balance as she explores Mary Alice’s artistic and painting background and her Australian homeliness and her role as a politician’s wife.
A highlight of the performance is the cello playing of Adi Sappir. The music supports the text and adds wonderful atmosphere and commentary to the drama. Adi’s singing is fascinating and adds to the evening’s sublime music. She sits on stage with her cello and the dramatic lighting makes a striking image.
Director Deborah Leiser-Moore draws excellent intimate performances from Sarah McNeill & Petra Kalive. She mostly has them right in the middle of the room between the two halves of the audience. The two halves of the audience are facing each other. We feel like we are listening in to private conversations. The disadvantage of this format is one has to twist around to see the images projected on a side wall. The projections are mostly of paintings being discussed and are partially obscured by the audience.
ELEANOR AND MARY ALICE reminds us of the origins of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As human rights are deteriorating in Australia and around the world this Declaration should not be taken for granted. ELEANOR AND MARY ALICE has a brief run at the Seymour Centre until 8th December. Other events that reflect on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are a public address on ‘The Decline of Human Rights Protection in Australia’ by Gillian Triggs on 9th December and a public forum on ‘The Next 70 Years’ at the University of Sydney on 10th December.
EAR TO THE EDGE OF TIME by Alana Valentine is inspired by true events. A young radio astronomer who makes a universe-shifting discovery, only for her work to be claimed by her older, male, supervisor. As she wrestles with her frustration and the potential consequences of speaking out, the decision about whether she should go public is suddenly and irrevocably taken out of her hands.
Sydney Arts Guide had the opportunity to speak with one of the stars, Gabrielle Scawthorn, who has just had rave reviews for her work in IRONBOUND. (SAG Review)
SAG: Thank you for stepping out of rehearsal to chat with our readers. You’ve just come off a very big show and straight into this one, you must have been busy with rehearsal and prep and a show on the boards.
GABRIELLE: ( laughing) Yes I was. Which I haven’t done in quite a while. I’ve done it a couple of times before but this is the first time in about 3 years. There is a skill to it! It is a different ball game entirely, kind of taking one hat off and putting the other on with an hour or so turnaround.
SAG: I bet there is. Was the KXT dressing room littered with astrophysics books?
GABRIELLE: No, no it wasn’t. The guys made fun of me because the dressing room is very small and the lovely boys I did the show with were all very, very caring and so on the first day that I came in they said ‘ how are rehearsals. Tell me all about it ?’
After presenting critically acclaimed sell-out productions of Sunday in the Park with George & Merrily We Roll Along, and prior to their November production of Michael John LaChiusa & George C. Wolfe’s The Wild Party, Little Triangle will present A LITTLE CABARET with 7 emerging Australian performers this September for 3 nights only as part of the 2018 Sydney Fringe.
The Seymour Centre is thrilled to present the critically acclaimed, smash-hit darling of the 2017 Sydney Festival, WHICH WAY HOME, in the Reginald Theatre this July as part of the show’s national tour and The Seymour Centre’s 2018 season.
Tash and her Dad are going on a trip. It’s a long way from the wide streets and big old houses of Tash’s childhood. Two Black faces in a very white suburb. Dad still thinks he’s the king-of-cool, but he’s an old fella now, it’s time for Tash to take him home. Home to country, where the sky is higher and the world goes on forever. Which Way Home is a road-trip comedy 80,000 years in the making.
Infused with humour and heart, WHICH WAY HOME draws on writer Katie Beckett’s own memories of growing up with her single Aboriginal father. “I have had a lot of wonderfully strong and emotionally in tune, generous men around me growing up and I was wondering why don’t I see [them] represented on stage, on TV, on film? said Katie Beckett, who wrote WHICH WAY HOME for her father and to celebrate the good, strong Aboriginal men of our nation. Continue reading ILBIJERRI – NATIONAL TOUR OF ‘WHICH WAY HOME’ FOR SEYMOUR CENTRE→
Notwithstanding the lack of choc tops, THE FLICK, playing at the Seymour Centre, needs a jumbo popcorn sized buy-in from the audience. This is not a production for everyone. Written by Annie Baker, the play won the Pulitzer in 2014 and yet is it notorious for people leaving at interval.
With many very clever, very funny lines the naturalistic language reflects real-life speech rhythms, especially while distracted. An audience must make the decision to accept the glacial, but human, pace of the narrative in order to embrace the themes. I was unable to do that, nor did my companion and my friends were escapees at interval the night before. The production elements are excellent, the acting terrific, there’s lots for the movie buff, so much to appreciate. Yet … Continue reading GOING TO ‘THE FLICK’ ? TAKE SNACKS.→
Under the direction of Hayden Tonazzi, Sydney University’s musical society MUSE is taking on the two-time Tony Award-winning musical, PARADE. Written by the acclaimed pairing of Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry, PARADE is based on true events that inspired the formation of the Anti-Defamation League and deals with social themes that are extremely relevant to today’s political climate – racism, injustice, and the dangers of a community that gives in to xenophobia. Continue reading MUSE Presents: PARADE→
Question. Is it disrespectful to the artists not to want to search for deep meaning after seeing a show? I came away from GIVE ME YOUR LOVE with a desire to just sit with it awhile. Not to search, but simply to allow the impact to wash through under-consciousness. No intellectual rigour applied after the viewing, no empathetic after-engagement and definitely no mulling, considering or metaphor questing.
I mean, I get it. You have to know what your box is before you can get out of your box and my friend wanted to get stuck into that deep and meaningful at the after-party. Not me. It’s truth in advertising. GIVE ME YOUR LOVE did just that. It gave me love, warmth, insight, laughs and most surprisingly, a story. Like …gave it to me … whole.
There’s a man on stage, he’s partially in a moving box marked ‘Shoes’. He’s wounded, he’s in a box yet we can see the suffering. There are people outside the larger box into which Zach has put himself by virtue of a door chain. Those people want to help. Carol, his wife, offers to find a new way of seeing by getting her own box and his son, Ieuan, is trapped outside the larger box as his hand reaches through the slightly cracked door with a possible treatment.
Ridiculusmus (co-artistic directors and performers David Woods and Jon Haynes) is a multi-award winning UK theatre company. They are known for inventive ways of presenting complex ideas and this production tackles MDMA (Ecstasy )assisted therapy for PTSD. That’s how Ieuan hopes to help.
The show is part of THE BIG ANXIETY FESTIVAL which is an initiative of UNSW in association with the Black Dog Institute to question and re-imagine 21st century mental health. Woods and Haynes are investigating innovative approaches to mental health through three works. This production being the second after THE ERADICATION OF SCHIZOPHRENIA IN WESTERN LAPLAND.
Before holding up a hand to my friend’s de-briefing we had a bit of an argument. I think the actor (Woods) inside the box is a puppetmaster, to my friend he is a suit-operator. He stomps like a Teletubbie when disconcerted but he holds hands up to box face when alarmed. Overthinking it now. It’s remarkable whole body acting in any event, yet Hayes’ Ieuan is the pure wonderey of voice and mime.
Best to take the strobe/ loud noise warnings seriously in this production, I had actual double vision and ringing ears after one of the alienation sequences yet I was absolutely undeterred from the narrative. It’s compelling and complex storytelling with silence and stillness in places, quick fire comic responses in others, hilarious breaking of the fourth wall and huge warlike hits of pathos and sadness.
Like all therapeutic experiences though, there can sometimes be something that gives you pause. I struggled when the reason for Zach’s PTSD was revealed. It probably wasn’t the truth, there had been a few versions but it was said and it was without examination. And it made me uncomfortable because it felt disrespectful. So it is my hope that the emotional, visceral content of GIVE ME YOUR LOVE will weave a kind of enlightenment as it sits undisturbed within me. If not, I will poke it with a stick and see if my own restrictive cardboard walls implode.
All art is dangerous and to be an artist can cost you your sanity and your life. Is art meant to serve society, or is it a vehicle to serve the arrogance of the artist? Or, can it be either or both?!
This intense, explosive production by Sport For Jove, luminously directed by Damien Ryan, is disturbing and powerful yet also at times lyrical and poetic.
In some ways the plays feels like a cross between a play by Tom Stoppard and Vaclav Havel , sharp and witty , wordy with piercing use of language.
First published in 1981 , in thirteen scenes over two acts , NO END OF BLAME roams over six decades of the 20th Century , from 1918 to the mid 1970’s , across various locations in Europe, and the play pits a passionate, provocative pair of artists, one a painter, Igor, the other a cartoonist, Bela ,against the forces of censorship and insidious state control that corrupt and stifle the human right to freedom of thought and freedom of speech. Continue reading SPORT FOR JOVE PRESENTS ‘NO END OF BLAME’ @ THE SEYMOUR CENTRE→
Patricia Cornelius’s fast-paced play SHIT is a compelling sixty minute theatre experience, charting the lives, of three very tough young women, Billy, Bobby and Sam. As abandoned children, these three marginalised girls found themselves moving hopelessly from one abusive foster home to the next.
They believe in different things :- one believes that unconditional love can only be found by birthing a child who will always love her. Another had a baby when twelve years and they have become friends for life.