Tag Archives: Simon Stephens

SYDNEY FROM 4 JULY: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

Image above: Joshua, Jenkins, Matt Wilman, Crystal Condie. Photo: BrinkhoffMögenburg
Banner image: Joshua Jenkins. Photo: BrinkhoffMögenburg-

The National Theatre of Great Britain’s acclaimed production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is the winner of 5 Tony Awards® and 7 Olivier Awards, including Best Play, Best Director and Best Design. Tony Award® winner Marianne Elliott (War Horse) directs this “triumphant” (Sunday Telegraph, UK) adaptation by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens who brings Mark Haddon’s internationally best-selling novel to thrilling life on stage. Continue reading SYDNEY FROM 4 JULY: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

DEAD CENTRE/SEA WALL @ OLD FITZ

Rosie Lockhart and Ben Pendergast give memorable performances in DEAD CENTRE/SEA WALL
Rosie Lockhart and Ben Pendergast give memorable performances in DEAD CENTRE/SEA WALL

There’s something special about the kind of theatre where the characters invite the audience into their worlds…where they share some of their life experiences which have gone some way in to shaping the kind of people that they are today. Particularly when it comes together as well, and as skilfully,  as it does with DEAD CENTRE/SEA WALL, companion monologue pieces written by two talented Australian playwrights.

Director Julian Meyrick has chosen a fitting way to present these two works. The approach is informal. There is no set to speak of. Both actors stay close to the centre of the tiny stage and spend time making eye contact with each of the theatregoers. They give assured performances in this campfire like style of presentation. Continue reading DEAD CENTRE/SEA WALL @ OLD FITZ

NT Live: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME (ENCORE SCREENINGS May 2014)

Lynn's reviewThe National Theatre Live program, is a groundbreaking initiative to capture and broadcast live theatre performances from Britain’s stages to cinemas worldwide. The highly anticipated first season of events, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren, was seen by over 150,000 people on 320 screens in 22 countries. In 2014 there are now 1,100 screens around the world.

The 2003 award-winning, children’s mystery novel written by Mark Haddon, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” revolves around Christopher, a fifteen year old boy, an intriguing but impatient genius who cannot bear to be touched, that has Behavioural Problems similar to high-functioning Aspergers Syndrome, who describes himself as “a mathematician with some behavioural difficulties”.

This stage version provides spectacular and innovative storytelling, as adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott (War Horse), and was designed to be performed on a small traverse stage, with the audience on all sides, and has a memorable musical score, that is perfectly suited to the narrative.

Christopher has an extraordinary brain, and whilst he is exceptional at maths, he is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. Because Christopher falls under suspicion of killing Mrs Shears’ dog Wellington, he becomes a private detective, to solve the mystery of the murder, by writing everything into his case book. However his detective work is forbidden by his dad. We become part of the internalised world of this very isolated boy, and we follow his forbidden detective work during  his journey to discover the whole truth; however Christopher manages to uncover secrets about his parents’ marriage and the community at large.

Luke Treadaway’s phenomenal performance as Christopher, especially when trying to navigate the sensory (visual and audible) overload of travelling on the London Underground, unassisted and for the first time, in its overcrowded peak-hour state, is just one of the many memorable visual experiences seen during the delightful and very visceral play. The play clearly shows that for children when alone, the world is actually a surreal and frightening place, and beautiful too. The imaginative adaptation of the book with its unique staging and memorable design is startling and original, and once seen is never forgotten.

Sean Gleason shines as his often anguished dad, and Niamh Cusack is perfect as his kindly teacher, plus comic and very talented supporting performances from the huge cast in multiple roles. The play was the winner of seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play.

National Theatre Live – Season Four (2012-2013), and first broadcast from 6th October 2012.

From 24th May 2014, there will be only three Premium Special Event Cinema encore screenings of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME  at 1:00pm Saturday, Sunday, Monday at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Cremorne .

Running time – 177 minutes including one interval.

http://www.sharmillfilms.com.au/?page_id=2197

Please note that a  2 disc DVD set of the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebrations is now available to import from the United Kingdom. Please check their official website for more details.

ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WORLD

Huw Higginson and Amanda Stephens-Lee in ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WORLD. PIc Rebecca Martin
Huw Higginson and Amanda Stephens-Lee in ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WORLD.
PIc Rebecca Martin

There’s a billboard for another show in Sydney that has the quote “if only every night in the theatre could be as good”. It’s a quote worth purloining for the Pantsguys Griffin Independent production of Simon Stephens’ ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WORLD.

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2005, the decade long wait for the play to reach our shores has been worth it with a finely hewn, polished production that befits the finely hewn, polished writing.

A family saga set in Stockport strewn over a 9 month period, it spills and sprawls over three generations of the Holmes family, grandparents Charlie and Ellen, parents Peter and Alice, and their sons, Alex and Christopher.

Synchronised like Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, the pyrotechnic display starts with firecracker Christopher, the youngest of the family exploding with adolescent exuberance over the imminent sleepover of older brother Alex’s new girlfriend, Sarah, sanctioned by the boys’ parents whose only proviso is that they “be careful”.

Christopher is sex obsessed hoping to catch sounds of squeaky springs or any other noises of his sibling’s sexual encounter. On meeting Sarah, he becomes infatuated with her, borrowing a fiver from his grand-dad to buy her a present. Continue reading ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WORLD