FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS by Allan Ball is a highly entertaining play cleverly weaving comedy with serious discussions of social and moral issues.
Five bridesmaids with little in common accept antipathy for the bride and dreadful, absurd purple dresses and hats, gather together in a bedroom to avoid the wedding reception.
Here, each with their own reasons for escaping the proceedings, has the chance to reveal more of themselves, their past, their beliefs, prejudices and hopes. Aided by the effects of alcohol some very funny incidents occur as relationships and issues in society are explored in some very witty dialogue. Continue reading Five Women Wearing The Same Dress→
Brother Daniel is captured looking away from us with a slight smile at some unseen event. His face is young, handsome, charismatic and his yellow scarf of freedom stands out against his khakis. The poster for BROTHER DANIEL introduces the man with whom we will spend the next two hours. But this is not the man we meet.
When this new work opens, the titular character is a broken thing. The iconographic photo of him as a revolutionary leader is there onstage, above the bible. It is at the bedside in the small hotel when a visitor is shown to her room but the real man is collapsed on the floor of the stark, bloody cell. He has been there since the audience began filtering into the small space. Continue reading Brother Daniel→
As my quite extensive Tap Gallery theatre experiences goes, the hybrid, experimental piece WALK IN BEAUTY ranks as one of the most daring, engrossing productions.
In a mesmerising one hour performance involving twelve very distinctive scenes, statuesque, elegant dancer Alysha Firbank works the tiniest of stages to convey Geoffrey Sykes’s esoteric piece charting the human journey, in particular the female journey, from the primordial right up to some imaginings of what the future may hold. She is supported/backed up by the full range of multi-media.
Behind Firbank through her performance, Sykes splashes onto a silk curtain a vast, diverse range of images, featuring some great spectacular nature shots and including many print images of the work of South Australian printmaker Janet Ayliffe.
The work is interspersed with voice overs by Sydney actor Susie Lindemann reading from extracts from literature and religious texts from time memorial.
An atmospheric score is provided by Tomoni Takahashi, complemented by some song recordings by Branden Christine.
Thank you to the WALK IN BEAUTY team for, as the great Van Morrison song goes, bringing audiences A SENSE OF WONDER, in particular at the achievements of our species from very humble beginnings.
Sadly this playscript production only played a very brief season, playing for four performances at the Tap between the 28th and the 31st August.
Outhouse Theatre Company began by exporting Australian theatre to New York. Now they’re importing American theatre to Sydney.
Their inaugural production, Joel Drake Johnson’s FOUR PLACES, is a good one for the intimate confines of Tap Gallery Upstairs Theatre, where a simple revolve by designer Tom Bannerman allows the small space to morph from motor car to restaurant and rest room fairly seamlessly.
The set-up is simple – siblings Ellen and Warren are taking their mother, Peggy, to lunch at her favourite eatery. It’s something daughter and mother do regularly, a weekly respite for Peggy from her care of her ailing husband, but the son’s attendance is unusual.
The unusualness is heightened when it is revealed that Warren, a teacher, is playing truant, while insisting to Peggy that he is enjoying a pupil free day.
The fib is a portent of a darker subterfuge, as the still waters of middle class family life are stirred by suspicion and the sediment of the past surfaces to cloud the present. Continue reading Four Places→
Gabriel McCarthy was a recent winner of Short + Sweet Sydney, and is now presenting his intensely personal one-man show SOMETHING TO BE DONE, that effortlessly communicates every part of his multi-faceted story, without ever needing to say a word., though with the use of very effective soundscape.
Here is an extremely agile and energetic performer, constantly taking giant leaps, and easily leading audiences on his flights of imagination. Gabriel is an actor of enormous skill, who can make a wink, a look, a movement, a pause, mean so much. Theatre is a shared experience, open to so many interpretations, all depending on one’s own experiences, and this performer easily brings forth laughter from the audience.
The show evolves from Gabriel’s initial pupae/chrysalis state to then take us on a thrilling and often very comical journey. This is his life’s journey of life, performed in the very intimate space upstairs at TAP Gallery.
The show reminds one of old films like ‘When Comedy Was King’, back to the time when there were title cards on films, before sound on film became “The Talkies” and quickly ushered in the end of the great Vaudeville Comedians.
A Gabatwa Studios production, Gabriel P McCarthy’s SOMETHING TO BE DONE is playing eight shows this week at the upstairs theatre at the Tap Gallery, Palmer Street, Darlinghurst:- Tuesdays to Sundays at 7.30pm as well as weekend matinees at 3pm and finishes this Sunday.
Cat Martin as She/Her and Michael Cullen as He/Him star in this strong Australian drama
Onstage as we enter, in everyday clothes, they break down the ‘fourth wall ‘ and portray a creative couple struggling to come to terms with the loss of their small son, Tom, by frenziedly burying themselves in work.
Brave New Word Theatre Company continues to produce fresh and new Australian plays with its latest show DANCING NAKED IN THE BACKYARD.
Written by C.J. Naylor, the script, as with previous shows, was experimented and improvised on by Naylor and the actors, with director Travis Kecek then preparing the final shape of the play. This process gives the cast and crew a deeper connection to their theatre piece.
Artistic director Luke Holmes says, “There are plays I love, there are roles I’d give almost anything to play…but there’s nothing quite like working on something completely new, and watching it change, evolve and finally be staged.”
Paul Gilchrist comes up with a clever situation for his new play ROCKET MAN.
Daniel Hunter and Sylvia Keays play two young, attractive single people, Neil and Veronica, who meet at a party and have a hot night of sex together at Veronica’s apartment (impressive set design by Rachel Scane). The play starts with them waking up the morning after, feeling great and still wanting more action. Maybe this could be the start of something beautiful, the relationship that both have been looking for?!
Not bloody likely- as George Bernard Shaw would have said- after the sexy strangers start finding out a bit about each other. Veronica jumps out of bed, apologising to Neil…she can’t lie in…she’s got an audition to go to… for the role of Lady Macbeth. Neil starts to mock her, he can’t stand actors and hates the theatre. Veronica is aghast. She then asks Neil what does he do. ‘I’m an astronaut’, he retorts. His answer throws Veronica..puts seeds of doubt into her mind…have I just spent the night with a loopy guy?! A match made in sexual heaven looks set for a short life span on planet earth.
No, the playwright does not end up delivering a variation of the ‘Looking for Mr Goodbar’ scenario…We end up with a complicated, intense play, delving into the difficult lives young people lead these days. Gilchrist throws into the plot mix, Veronica’s flatmate, critical curse, Claudia, played by Alyssan Russell, and her boyfriend, Justin, performed by Stephen Wilkinson, who just happens to have known Neil from high school days.
Gilchrist helms the play himself. The show plays straight through and the cast perform well.
My verdict. I wanted to like ROCKET MAN more. The narrative felt like it petered off, with the black-out being a little welcome. Maybe as a short, sharp piece this play would have worked better. The one level in which ROCKET MAN worked well was as a dialogue, a debate, about theatre…the importance of…the relevance…the craft…There was humour..insight…insider references…perhaps a few of the jokes a little too snide and self indulgent.
Subtlenuance’s production of Paul Gilchrist’s ROCKET MAN opened at the Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst on Thursday July 4 and runs until Sunday July 14, 2013.
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