Tag Archives: The Tap Gallery Darlinghurst

TRIUNE

TRIUNE2

“What if you found yourself standing in a room with your past and future self?  What if they’re not happy with what they learn?”

This idea has inspired TRIUNE, the latest theatre piece by James Culbert, Simon T Gleeson and Luke Holmes, their second play for the Brave New World Theatre Company, following their debut play, BODY LANGUAGE, earlier this year.  These three writers perform well together on stage.  As actors, they all have a strong and mutual understanding of the script and subtext.

The imaginary, almost Sci-Fi theme of TRIUNE is one we would all be tempted to confront if we were able to and this clever play keeps the audience involved for its 60 minute duration.

We meet Sam, alone and unhappy with his life.  Instead of following his creative path, he has obliged his father by taking a safe and socially acceptable job in the finance world.  After leaving his job, losing his fiancé Penny and his old house at age 25, he turns to drugs and a miserable existence.

An 18 year old boy named Sam appears out of nowhere, followed later by a 33 year old man named Sam.  We meet Sam’s younger and older selves who, after four months, become very close.

25 year old Sam has met a new woman, Julie, who has changed his life for the better, however, younger Sam insists that he re-connect with Penny, which results in older Sam ending up alone, with neither Penny nor Julie.

Lighting changes represent the time differences, so the play moves from the past to the present and future.  The need for clarity and coherence within the story is a fulfilling challenge for the audience and one that keeps us on our toes.

Charlie Hanson has a strong and appealing presence as Penny.

The production team have chosen the downstairs, art gallery space as opposed to the upstairs theatre at the Tap Gallery, which is fabulous for this play.  It enhances the dreamy, sci-fi nature of the story as we are surrounded by paintings in a comfortable ‘lounge-room’ setting.  The eclectic collection of posters on Sam’s wall is a clever addition to the set design.

It is great to see the Brave New World Company producing and performing original Australian theatre.  Creative team member and director, Nick Radinoff, has refined the energy and pace of the play, as well as working with the writers/performers to highlight the humour, irony and sadness.

TRIUNE plays the Tap Gallery in Darlinghurst from Tuesday 26th November until Saturday December 7 at 8pm.

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

Mark Lee plays Shylock in Steve Hopley's revival of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
Mark Lee plays Shylock in Steve Hopley’s revival of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

According to the “Athens” Merchant of Venice website, “Shakespeare and Anti-Semitism: The Question of Shylock,” there are two views on the plays alleged anti-Semitism. First, the text presented strong evidence of Shakespeare’s purpose to portray Shylock as an “inhuman” villain “whose diabolical cunning” was “bent on gratifying a satanic lust for Christian flesh” (Athens 1).

Conversely, many people also feel that the play exposes shortcomings equally in Christians as well as Jews. It could however be surmised that Elizabethan audiences were anti- Semitic. Remember, it was just 300 years earlier, in 1290, when Jewish people were expelled from England

Actor Mark Lee, playing Shylock in the current Sydney Shakespeare Company’s Production asserted that traditionally children were employed to throw fruit at the character and indeed this show doesn’t pull punches. (“Shall we not REVENGE” indeed!) When the moment arrived, a black hood and straight razor reminiscent of some terrorist ritual on a victim strapped to a chair, needed only a camera to be a scene from countless movies on the subject.

On to this production. Considering my high expectations, (THE MERCHANT OF VENICE was my first introduction to Shakespeare in school and like many other dreamers, Shylock the character of choice to play),  and the arduous task of rehearsing around the cast’s working lives,  I was very pleasantly surprised at a very polished and entertaining production.

Special plaudits to Mark Lee for a very finely balanced and tuned Shylock heading an ensemble of talented and creative artists. Noteworthy are Steven Hopley as Lancelot (also happened to direct the production. Don’t you hate inordinately talented people?!), Andrew Thomson as Salerio and the Duke, and Lizzie Schebesta as Portia.

Do yourselves a favour and find your way to this one.

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE is playing at the Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst until Saturday August 24, 2013.