Tag Archives: Sydney Independent Theatre Company

SITCO to leave Old Fitz

In happier days- Garry Pasfield (middle), the proprietor of the Old Fitzroy Hotel, with Co-Artistic Directors of the Old Fitz theatre, David Jeffrey and Julie Baz. Pic Emily Watson
Happier times- Garry Pasfield (middle), the proprietor of the Old Fitzroy Hotel, with Co-Artistic Directors of the Sydney Independent Theatre Company, David Jeffrey and Julie Baz. Pic Emily Watson

Co-Artistic Directors of the Sydney Independent Theatre Company (SITCO), David Jeffrey and Julie Baz, have announced that they will be ending their residency at the Old Fitzroy Theatre at the end of this year.

On the announcement on their Facebook page they thanked Robert Allan, SITCO’s Artistic Associate for his contributions, along with the many independent theatre practitioners who they have worked in tandem with to program and stage over 30 productions.

Their thanks also extends to the many staff and locals at the Old Fitz who they have been so helpful including Kristine and Mike Ballard, Cherilyn Price, Richard Hilliar, Katy Green Loughrey, Larry Kelly, Dino Dimitriadis and the Arts Platform.

Most importantly, they thank the many theatregoers around Sydney who have come to see one or indeed many of the shows performed at the theatre.

Theatregoers still have the opportunity to visit the venue till the end of the year.

Currently playing is Red Line Productions, in association with Strange Duck Productions’, HOWIE THE ROOKIE by Mark O’Rowe- (review on the site by Richard Cotter). HOWIE THE ROOKIE is followed by Fly on the Wall Theatre’s production of Alex Broun’s NOVEMBER SPAWNED A MONSTER and Copanirvana Theatre Co’s V.D. by Pete Malicki.

The final production of the year will be a SITCO production, in association with Talk Faster Productions and Harlos Production’s, Kieran Carroll and Angelika Fremd’s THE LES ROBINSON STORY & BELLE OF THE CROSS.

SITCO is keen to grow on the experience gained at the Old Fitz and is looking in to setting up a new independent theatre venue, something which the Sydney theatre scene could well do with.Here’s hoping!

Four Dogs And A Bone

Sonny Vrebac and Melinda Dransfield in John Patrick Shanley 's FOUR DOGS AND A BONE. Pic Katy Green-Loughrey
Sonny Vrebac and Melinda Dransfield in FOUR DOGS AND A BONE. Pic Katy Green-Loughrey

American playwright John Patrick Shanley’s play FOUR DOGS AND A BONE (1993) is theatrical take on a filmic confection.  There are only four scenes in the play, four characters and the bone of the title is the unnamed film in which they are all involved.

We are introduced to an evidently West Coast airhead actress, Brenda (Melinda Dransfield) discussing her current film with the producer, Bradley (Sonny Vrebac).  Brenda’s famous step brother is one of the main topics of conversation.  What he and his friends can do for the film.  Brenda name drops a famous family friend with whom she has script consulted and she has copious notes on how to fix the movie.  Brenda and Bradley agree that the best solution is to reduce the role played by Collette (Amanda Collins).  Collette meanwhile has engineered a drunken meeting with Victor, (Paul Gerrard) the writer.  He has just lost his mother and is depressed, loveless and verklempt.  Collette and Victor agree that the best solution is to reduce the role played by Brenda.  Continue reading Four Dogs And A Bone

AN ORDINARY PERSON

Pic Katy Green Loughrey
Pic Katy Green Loughrey

This world premiere serves up a mighty tranche de vie which is colourful yet concise. This hectic relationships drama is also easily identifiable as being set in Sydney. Robert Allan’s work explores the ramifications of wrongly healed damage in our lives and the chain reactions it will start.

A clever script blend of conversation and poetry, effective triptych-like set and collective command of theatrical devices protect the piece’s two relationship fables from ever slipping into soap opera status.

Delayed exposition and half-mysteries set the two pairs of characters and crowd on a roller coaster race between hope and hurt. The savage climaxes surrounding the intersection of the stories glow with a rainbow of non-cliché outcomes, including the very uncomfortable and controversial.

The fine cast is finely directed, with all actors emerging as talented survivors of the play’s parallel storytelling. The two contrasting situations of domestic stress are imbued at times with engagingly current comic moments.

Forced hope from worlds expertly evoked on each side of the stage blend only in the play’s final moments. Mismanaged suffering at its breaking point also fuels explosive results, well performed by the ensemble.

Special mention goes to Carla Nirella’s direct and interactive monologues throughout as the struggling girlfriend Fiona. These candid moments are exquisitely engaging and well layered.

Also skilfully bitter-sweet in its execution is Cherilyn Price’s portrayal without costume change of her character, Aggie. She is equally penetrating and measured depicting a fourteen year old child-prodigy victim as she is an adult dealing with multiple tragedies.

This substantial two-act play’s yo-yo focus with overlapping entries and exits suffers no risk of being difficult to follow at length. The material tempts the audience rather than tiring it.

Become a social juror at this intimate city venue’s premiere of AN ORDINARY PERSON and you will witness the efforts of the Sydney Independent Theatre Company’s (SITCO) suitably contrasted troupe of morality players. Believable human struggles in a new guise will resonate for some time after.

AN ORDINARY PERSON plays the Old Fitzroy Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo, corner Cathedral Street, until November 16, playing Tuesdays to Sundays. Bookings- www.sitco.net.au or 1300307264.

 

 

FRIDAY

Gertraud Ingeborg  is one of the stars of FRIDAY. Pic Katy Green Loughrey
Gertraud Ingeborg is one of the stars of FRIDAY. Pic Katy Green Loughrey

Peter Hayes’ character, the Minister for Transport, admits in an early scene that his little rant about, err, whatever it was, came straight from Hansard and this play at the Old Fitzroy Theatre certainly rings true. It is sometimes funny and moves along at a pace. Unfortunately, especially at this point in time, politics are so boring and, in my humble opinion, a bomb threat or actual ghosts were needed to make this piece truly exciting. There were three ”Heh”s, and one “Ha.” But only one big laugh from the audience all night! I also didn’t see the need for the Prologue or Epilogue. Sometimes I feel you need to trust the audience to “get it”!

I love the space at the Old Fitz. It’s intimate and steeply raked, making audiences feel very close to the action. I liked the set design, especially the elevator effect.

If an actor’s focus is on remembering his lines, he’ll probably forget them – and he may as well.  But with that momentary glitch out of the way, the rest of the performances went swimmingly with characters coming and going through this ‘fishbowl’ expose of life in the corridors of power. There were obviously going to be stand outs in a cast of thirteen and the wealth of experience that director, Julie Baz has managed to assemble for this witty and often truthful presentation.

Worth mentioning are Peter Hayes as the Minister for Transport, Gertraud Ingeborg as the Premier and a cleaner (I always like it when you have to check the program to be sure!), David Ritchie as the Leader of the Opposition, a Journalist and Public, (although on Friday night something strange happened with his vocal character trait as the Journo!?) and Adrian Barnes’ rich characterisation of Mr Edgerton providing welcome colour. As I said, experience will out!

All in all it’s worth a look; if only as a reflection of the current political circus.

A Sydney Independent Theatre Company production directed by Julie Baz, Daniela Giorgi’s FRIDAY is playing at the Old Fitzroy Theatre until Saturday August 31, 2013.