Reviews

Rio Saki and Other Falling Debris

By Shaun Charles. Australian Theatre for Young People. Atyp Studio, The Wharf, Walsh Bay. (NSW). Directed by Fraser Corfield. Until September 18.

How would people behave if an asteroid was heading for earth and the planet faced obliteration? This is the prospect facing the characters in Rio Saki and Other Falling Debris. All are young adults on the cusp of life’s great adventure but have just days to live. Outside there is so much murder and mayhem that emergency services has gone AWOL. All that appears open is the ‘essential service’ of a pub.

Earth and Sky

Bangarra Dance Theatre. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide (Sept 8 - 11). IPAC, Woolongong (Sept 16 – 18). The Arts Centre, Melbourne (Sept 24 – Oct 2).

Established in 1989, Bangarra Dance Theatre is a company that “embraces, celebrates and respects Australia’s indigenous peoples and their culture.” Their latest production, Of Earth and Sky, is another great testament to that vision.

Lady Windermere’s Fan

By Oscar Wilde. Canberra Repertory Society. Theatre 3, Acton, Canberra. 10-25 September, 2010. Director: Tony Turner.

Oscar Wilde famously thought he knew how to use wit to get by in a suffocating and hypocritical moral era. In this classic, he uses his experience to set up poor Lady Windermere, in her naïveté initially the most morally rigid of the characters, to fall foul of her own strictures.

If, as … and Stranger in the Corridor.

Two short plays by Mammad Aidani. Directed and Designed by Lloyd Jones. La Mama Theatre, Melbourne until September 19.

For people who like their theatre about refugees making new lives for themselves in Australia to be mostly variations on the theme of how ‘they’ can be more like ‘us’, then Mr Aidani’s powerfully brutal ode to the despair associated with a disintegrating mind desperate for comfortingly familiar reference points is not going to be your chai latté.

NaGL

By Lech Mackiewicz. Auto Da Fe and mr.tomchuk. Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst (NSW). 30 August – 25 September.

Hallucinogenic theatre?

One of those weird, surreal dreams, which reflect your life, as refracted through an absurdist prism, or distorted in a Luna Park mirror? Pictures hang upside down on the walls.

Polish / Australian playwright Lech Mackiewicz’s latest play projects an anarchic, fragmented, metaphoric vision of Australian society.

The play is called NaGL – an acronym for ‘not a good look’ - meaning, according to the program: to describe something as unacceptable, foul, disastrous, inappropriate, or awkward.

A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie.

Eltham Little Theatre. Director: Mick Poor. September 2 – 18.

ELT chose Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced for the winter season. Just the sort of play to suit the cold miserable season. A well set stage and appropriate costuming suited the era, with Miss Marple dressed just as one would imagine.

Growing Up

National Youth Theatre Company. Carriageworks. Aug 31st - Sept 5th

Fresh, young, innovative dramatic work presented by National Youth Theatre Company (NYTC), headed up by actor/director Lindsay Farris, who also possesses a solid dollop of creative entrepreneurialism, who has turned a vision and mission into a reality in only three months.

4 Faces of Love

Slide, 41 Oxford St, Sydney. Wednesday nights in September, October and November.

Dinner Theatre is alive and kicking at Slide in Sydney’s Oxford Street, in an integrated evening of four short plays, with a specially themed three-course degustation meal and cocktails.

The intimate venue, an art deco former banking chamber, is a delightful piece of architectural recycling. The food, three courses (with optional dessert), is excellent.

The City by Martin Crimp.

Directed by Adena Jacobs. Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Melbourne until 25 September.

There’s a stunning moment in Ms Jacobs’ adventurous, counter-intuitive direction of Mr Crimp’s edgy, tense, efficient if unremarkable elegy to inner-urban, fringe-dwelling fatalism for the Red Stitch Actors Theatre. When Clair (the captivating Fiona Macleod) has returned from a conference in Lisbon, she has gone straight upstairs to bed. A bright red alarm clock rings incessantly, bringing her downstairs to resume her tranquillised existence of manufactured empathy with her world and, particularly, her husband Christopher (a fearless Dion Mills).

Harbinger

Brink Productions - Space Theatre (S.A.) Aug 27 – Sept 11, 2010

The beauty of assembling a stellar cast is that it doesn’t matter how good or bad the writing is the actors will always carry the piece. All the more beautiful is when Brink productions not only assemble the perfect cast, but develop a perfect piece of writing as their accompaniment.

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