Reviews

The Perils of Purity Pimble

Eltham Little Theatre. Directors: Kellie and Ian Tweeddale. Saturday November 11 – December 4, 2011

Eltham Little Theatre’s annual Music Hall was another enjoyable evening’s entertainment. Utilizing a melodrama by Joan Dalgleish, again there was no MC but we did have songs to sing along with and a few bawdy jokes.

God’s Ear

By Jenny Schwartz. Seymour Centre and Pursued by a Bear. The Reginald, Seymour Centre (NSW). November 12 – December 3, 2011.

Jenny Schwartz’s play God’s Ear deals with the pain, distress and emptiness of that is felt by a parent in the wake of the loss of a child. Conversations between partners, friends and relatives become stilted, repetitive and almost meaningless until they descend into an absurdist tapestry of clichés.

Games in the Backyard

By Edna Mazya. ATYP Studio 1 (NSW). November 17 – December 3, 2011.

Chains, a bare floor and dark shadows set the stark scene for this gut wrenching drama by Israeli playwright Edna Mazya. As the lights come up, lawyers stand still, fixing the audience, their initial interrogation establishing immediate tension. The lights go down; the characters transform; the music changes; a swing falls; and we are taken from a court room to a playground on a kibbutz where a fourteen year old girl is beguiled, teased, taunted and eventually raped by a group of teenage boys.

The Giraffe’s Uncle.

By Kieran Carroll. Type Faster Productions. King Street Theatre (was Newtown Theatre) (NSW). November 17 – 27, 2011.

The character of Les Robinson is interesting, but knowing that he was a real living breathing human being inhabiting Sydney not too long ago makes him absolutely fascinating.

Gross and Klein (Big and Small)

By Botho Strauss, translated by Martin Crimp. Sydney Theatre Company. Sydney Theatre. Director: Benedict Andrews. November 19 – December 23, 2011, then touring Europe.

The audience gets more than their money’s worth from Cate Blanchett as the troubled lead character Lotte Stein. In the course of three hours she presents a kaleidoscope of motion and emotion; a spinning diamond shining different shades of light and feeling across the stage.

One minute she is dancing and tearing around, waving her arms wildly. The next she has collapsed to the floor. We see her fight, have a piece of wood smashed over her head and bleed in intimate places.  

Fractions

By Marcel Dorney. Queensland Theatre Company & HotHouse Theatre . Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. 14 November -10 December 2011

This is a splendid play, brilliantly written, and destined for literary greatness.

Queensland Premier’s award winner, it will polarise audiences: if they like to be challenged they’ll love it (in scope it resembles The Crucible); those who seek light entertainment won’t.

Muslim terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre marked the start of this century; Christian zealots’ destruction of the Library of Alexandria, then seat of the world’s learning, took place 1600 years earlier.

Gasping

By Ben Elton. Directed by Helen Tonkin. Cast: Richard Cox, Alan Faulkner, Julia Kennedy-Scott, Natalie Rees, Samantha Roylance and Oliver Wenn. The New Theatre (NSW). November 16 – December 10, 2011.

From the prodigious, poison pen of Ben Elton comes this biting satire about the greed and soullessness of the corporate world. Looking back on the irresponsible advertising strategies behind such products as cigarettes and motor vehicles, coupled with the ironic popularity of bottled water - Gasping envisions a world where the quality of the very air we breathe has acquired a newfound mystique and marketability - and a very high price-tag.

Crossing Delancey

By Susan Sandler. The 1812 Theatre (Vic). Director: Christine Grant. November 10 – December 10, 2011.

Crossing Delancey, a romantic comedy about Isabelle, who works in a New York Bookshop, the men in her life, her grandmother, and a matchmaker, plays out on an effective three section set, representing a kitchen, a park and the bookshop where Isabelle works.

Becky Lee handled the role of Isabelle well, in a warm engaging performance, sharing a good rapport with Patricia McCracken as her grandmother Bubbie. The only fault, minor in respect of the story, was Becky’s initial outfit, which was far too bland for a contemporary New York girl in her own apartment.

Feast Festival 2011

Daniel G Taylor reviews events at Adelaide's Feast Festival

Red Light Songs of Lust, Love and Death

By Eric Kuhlmann

Feast Hub – The Lounge

15  - 18 November 2011

Eric Kuhlmann is a distinctive performer: a bear with a husky voice and a guitar, who writes original songs about his life.

In Red Light Songs of Lust, Love and Death, Kuhlmann sings mostly self-written original songs, with the occasional cover (such as Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer”) when it suits.

Bad Blood Blues

By Paul Sirett. Manilla Street Productions (VIC). Director: Chris Parker. Producer: Karen Jemison. Stage Design: Andrew Bellchambers. Lighting Design: Scott Allan. The Loft Theatre, Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne. 11-26 November, 2011.

The opening night audience of the confronting and thought-provoking play Bad Blood Blueswere greeted with gentle sounds of African singing and guitar as they filtered through the Loft Theatre with their complimentary cocktail, a “Gin Jack Shack Attack”, featured later in the play.

The music, performed live on stage by Malawian-born musician David Marama, wafted over the set: a 1990s battered, no-frills medical office with clinical lighting, white floor, and the bare office essentials.

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