Monday, 23 July 2012

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Belvoir's Death of a Salesman

A total rave for this brilliant performance
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
BY ARTHUR MILLER
BELVOIR, JULY 2012
Thunderous applause screams of ‘Bravo!’, and a standing ovation for this shattering, powerful performance at Belvoir. Although written over sixty years ago, this play is as fresh as if it was written last week.  
This is a much anticipated performance with Colin Friels in the landmark role of Willy Loman, and he gives an incredible, volcanic performance. While set in America, the show is played with the cast’s natural Australian accents, another point that helps the audience totally relate to the play. Stone’s production is slightly abridged with a white mid 1990’s Ford Falcon in a black void as the only set. The various characters lounge around or sit on it, roll on it, emerge from it, sit in it in despair or anxiously waiting. Stone’s direction and staging is sometimes quite cinematic in effect, for example, the extended opening scene between Linda and Willy, where it is performed in dark close up in the front of the car.
Colin Friels as Willy Loman is in magnificent form. Is Willy sliding into mental illness/senility? Wild eyed, in some ways childlike, and regressing to memories of ‘the good old days’, sometimes raving and spitting, Willy has an obsessive mantra about how he never really did amount to much, despite all the gift of the gab that crucially now seems to have deserted him. At sixty, Willy Loman is tired. A typical Aussie battler, he is a travelling salesman (of what specifically we aren’t told) he is exhausted and drained and beginning to make dangerous mistakes. He is also sick of being ignored and wants someone to listen to him. He is one of the struggling aging workers , finding it difficult to make mortage and other payments, yet, is, as his wife Linda says, someone to whom ‘attention must be paid’. He is in some ways an Everyman, representing the downside and human face of the failed American/Australian Dream.
There are also the explosive family relationships, particularly between Willy and his sons Biff (Patrick Brammall) and Happy (Hamish Michael). Biff is always trying to do the right thing and please his parents but can’t. As played by Bramall, Biff is tousled, lion-maned, and a bit grungy, the somewhat unimpressive exterior hiding deep hurt. At 34 he is still trying to ‘find himself ‘, lying, stealing, and quitting jobs early – rather a drifter. It is an extraordinary, magnificent performance.  Terribly handsome Michael as Happy is a smarmy, wheedling would-be Lothario who usually tells Willy only what he wants to hear.
Willy is now haunted by his ‘glorious’ past and his much missed , almost mythologized dead brother Ben (Steve Le Marquand). Biff and Happy are driven to exasperation by Willy and no longer have respect for him especially after Biff has uncovered Willy’s carefully kept secret. Now, at the start of the play, evidence is uncovered that Willy is considering suicide.
Genevieve Lemon is brilliant as Linda, trying to cope with her husband, and shows how she is one of those who endure and hold the family together, a ‘phlegmatic, salt of the earth wife’ who still has a deep love for Willy. However, in this production, she is hampered by the abridgements and the slight change to the ending, particularly with the cutting of the Requiem scene.
Pip Miller as Charley and Stanley is great. Dishy, handsome Luke Mullins (who plays Howard, who Willy held in his arms as a baby and named) is horribly and despicably believable as the young man who ruthlessly fires Willy after thirty years with the firm. Mullins also plays the Loman’s neighbour Bernard, who is teased by the Loman’s, yet, they simultaneously greatly envy what he has achieved: Great Success.
Snazzy, sassy Blazey Best is excellent as The Woman who laughingly, drunkenly reveals Willy’s secrets to a younger Biff (played in flashback). The fact that he lavishes silk stockings on her while his wife Linda is at home darning hers increases Willy’s shame and rage.  And, yes, I agree with my colleagues about her strange, spectacular entrance from the boot of the car.
Directed by Simon Stone with a glorious ensemble led by Friels, this is an overwhelming performance not to be missed.
4 & 1/2 stars
Running time: 2 hours, 45 min. (approx.), including interval
Death of a Salesman
By Arthur Miller
Belvoir St, 27 June- 12, August 2012
Director – Simon Stone
Set Designer – Ralph Myers
Lighting Designer – Nick Schlieper
Costume Designer – Alice Babidge
Composer and Sound Designer – Stefan Gregory
Assistant Director Jennifer Medway
CAST
The Woman/Jenny/Miss Forsythe – Blazey Best
Biff – Patrick Brammall
Willy Loman – Colin Friels
Ben – Steve Le Marquand
Linda/Letta – Genevieve Lemon
Happy – Hamish Michael 
Charley/Stanley – Pip Miller
Bernard/Howard – Luke Mullins

Monday, 9 July 2012

Opera Australia's The Pearlfishers

this was sensational
http://www.sydneyartsguide.com/View-Review.asp?ReviewID=1149
There was tumultuous applause for this excellent revival of Bizet’s THE PEARLFISHERS, which originally premiered in 2000, directed by Ann-Margaret Pettersson. If you are into nineteenth century French Romantic opera then this is for you. It is almost sheer operatic heaven.

Vibrant and exotic, it has soaring lyrical moments and dark hidden passion, with a tangled love triangle. First performed in 1869, written when Bizet was only twenty five, it is set in ancient times in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Two men, Zurga and Nadir, swear eternal friendship but the vow is deeply challenged when both fall in love with the same woman (Leila) whose own internal conflict and dilemma is between her secular love and her sacred vows as a chaste priestess.

Zurga , the very popular , much respected governor of the colony is brilliantly sung by baritone Andrew Jones .Circumstances conspire horribly against him. He acts as narrator with his memories of what happened framing the work, in some ways PHANTOM OF THE OPERA like. His more than best friend Nadir was superbly sung by tenor Henry Choo, who has a couple of exquisite arias (for example the ‘je crois entendre encore’) and is very controlled but passionately intense.

The famous showstopping popular duet in Act 1 ‘Au Fond du Temple Saint’ , the ‘brotherly love’ soaring duet , torn through with jealousy that reveals that both men are in love with the same woman – and also the opera’s possible gay hidden subtext – gives one goose bumps .

As the exquisite Leila, Nicole Car is ravishing. She sings divinely and is stunning in her white costume and filmy veils.  Her aria, the incantation to Brahma (‘O Dieu Brahma’), is magnificent. She is proud and passionate – the ice maiden aloof priestess- is only a thin veneer. In Act 3 she implores Zurga to save Nadir’s life which puts him in a very difficult position.

Marvellous bass Judd Arthur as Nourabad, the bearded high priest, is in fine voice and very imposing.    

The orchestra, under maestro Guillaume Tourniaire, was superb. While passionate and lyrical, it was simultaneously neat and precise. You could hear hints of Bizet’s ‘Carmen’, yet to come.  

John Conklin’s amazing , visually stunning set designs, are ravishing . The predominant colour is blue, with a water theme , sometimes  like a jewelled enamelled box. At one point Conklin uses receding repeated proscenium arch frames in a trompe l’oeil feat of vanishing perspective.  There are also huge ‘fallen ruins’ for the sacred space Leila is left alone in, and some exciting use of projections. The strong yet fragile delicacy of the props (for example a boat) is terrific.

The production also features a ‘play within a play’ effect,  for example the fire at the end of Act 3. I also loved the dramatic effect of the looming moon and eclipse, and the floaty effect of the curtains.

Rosetta Cook’s choreography is very effective. The dancers – mostly in red- are sometimes leaping, darting flames. The opera chorus, again using the water motif, are like the sea- rippling, rolling, sometimes ominous and threatening when angry , at others times calmer , more solidly circular .

The show ends with the older Zurga alone and embittered, having betrayed ‘his’ people and himself, but with the knowledge that Nadir and Leila are safe (or are they?!).

We emerge dazed and dazzled by the beauty and music of this wonderful  opera.

Opera Australia’s production of Bizet’s THE PEARLFISHERS opened at the Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House on Wednesday 4th July and plays in rep until Saturday 4th August, 2012.

Tags: Sydney Opera Reviews- THE PEARLFISHERS, Bizet, Sydney Arts Guide, Lynne Lancaster.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Mousetrap

a great show here's my artshub thoughts
http://www.artshub.com.au/au/news-article/reviews/performing-arts/the-mousetrap-190301
Touring Australia a part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, this is an excellent production of the classic Agatha Christie play; a ‘snowed in’ murder mystery which also celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The longest running play in the world, The Mousetrap opened in London’s West End in 1952, and is still running today. Quintessentially British, it is a classic example of the golden age of British crime writing.
Winter, 1952: Monkwell Manor has been newly opened by its proprietors, Mollie (Christy Sullivan) and Giles (Gus Murray) Ralston. Mollie is sweet, young and pretty with ash blonde hair. Stalwart, uxorious Giles is a chiselled hunk .They have only been married a year and are still feeling their way through the business of motel management.
Various guest arrive: the aloof, picky and bitter Mrs Boyle (who everyone loves to hate ) as played by Linda Cropper; a highly strung young man, Christopher Wren (Travis Cotton), clad in a terrible Fair Isle jumper; the mannishly dressed Miss Caswell (Jacinta John); and upright, aging Major Metcalf (Nicholas Hope), all of whom the Ralstons are anticipating. Because of his car overturning in heavy snow, the flamboyant Mr Paravacini (Robert Alexander), elegant, and with Continental manners, also arrives, unexpectedly. Last on the scene is Detective Sergeant Trotter (Justin Smith, looking like a country parson), who arrives dramatically on skis.
As the play opens, a murder is announced in London on the radio and in the papers; it becomes a topic for discussion at the Manor. There are links to another murder which took place nearby, some years ago. Once the detective has arrived, another murder takes place, and the phone line is cut, leaving Monkwell Manor cut off from the outside world. As per the classic Christie formula, Trotter gathers all the guests and the Ralstons together and questions them individually. Each partially avoids telling the truth, some by lying, and some by silent omission. Can the murderer be caught and more deaths avoided? Clues are scattered to keep us guessing – see if you can pick who did it.
Over the play’s two and a half hour running time, we get to know all the characters and discover their hidden secrets – or do we? How well we know people, who they say they are and whether they can be trusted, is one of the play’s major themes. Equally important is the nursery rhyme, ‘Three Blind Mice’.
Director Gary Young has brought together a fine cast – all are excellent actors, and they work together well as an ensemble. The set is the Great Hall at Monkwell, a typical wood-panelled room featuring a good fire, various comfortable chairs, old paintings hung on the walls etc. Though we never actually see the other rooms (library, dining room etc) the solidly of the set lets us feel that they are adjacent.
A wonderful, if now perhaps slightly old fashioned murder mystery, strongly performed and very much enjoyed by all.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The Mousetrap
By Agatha Christie
Director: Gary Young
Sound Effects: Dave Tonion
Costume and Hair Design: Suzy Strout
Set Design: Linda Bewock
Lighting Design: Matt Cox
Associate Director: Adrian Barnes
Cast: Christy Sullivan, Gus Murray, Travis Cotton, Linda Cropper, Nicholas Hope, Jacinta John, Robert Alexander and Justin Smith
The Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay
June 30 – July 28
Additional Dates:
Playhouse Theatre, Canberra: August 1 – 9
His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth: August 14 – 26
The Comedy Theatre, Melbourne: August 30 – October 7
The Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre: October 9 – 28
http://www.themousetrap.com.au/

Skylight at the Ensemble

an excellent show
here's what I thought for arthub
http://www.artshub.com.au/au/news-article/reviews/performing-arts/skylight-190231
What do you do when a much loved ex unexpectedly walks back in to your life?
David Hare’s play exploring this question is set in England in 1995. In a cold, dingy, cluttered flat in a dismal area of London, Kyra (Katherine Cullen) suddenly has a visitor. It’s Tom (Sean Taylor), her ex-boss, ex- confidante and ex-lover. Tom has apparently come to rattle skeletons in their mutual closet – or is he seeking closure? Has Kyra moved on, or are her denied and dormant feelings about to overwhelm her again?
This is a magnificent production of David Hare’s superbly crafted play, featuring excellent performances from a terrific cast. Powerful, eloquent and moving, Skylight looks at the various nuances of guilt and betrayal within families and other loving relationships – especially father/son relationships – and the widening gulfs that can develop between people in love.
The play also examines the class and financial issues separating Kyra and Tom.
Kyra is now a teacher, and the script gives her passionate speeches about society, education and her struggle to help underprivileged children. Tom, now a middle-aged restaurateur/entrepreneur/businessman, is wonderfully played by Sean Taylor. Very distinguished looking, he is quite formal in his bearing, but explodes volcanically at times, revealing his hurt over the death of his wife, Alice (who was also Kyra’s friend), his guilt and grief, and also his anger at the way Kyra suddenly vanished out of his life.
Tom has several very moving speeches about Alice, his guilt, and his love for Kyra, and also biting, witty speeches about banking, the finance sector and management. In Act two he also speaks about money and its uses, and the pleasure of giving.
Cullen as Kyra is all eyes and a succession of berets, and passionate about her work. Tom accuses her of being cold and unemotional. Kyra is now much poorer than when they last met, and sometimes the differences between them appear to be insurmountable – or are they? Tom accuses Kyra of being scared of love and commitment but Kyra counters by saying he deliberately sabotaged their relationship, which he claims was an accident.
The dingy, cluttered set with mouldy peeling ceiling, threadbare rug and cramped kitchen was brilliantly designed by Ailsa Paterson. The smell of pasta cooking is delicious and wafts through the audience delightfully. Mark Kilmury’s direction pilots the play with a deft touch.
The play is ‘bookended’ by the appearance of Tom’s son Edward, excellently played by the handsome Nigel Turner-Carroll. Presently, Tom and Edward are in a difficult patch with their own relationship, and Kyra tries to encourage Edward and get Tom to be more understanding. Edward demands to know why Kyra suddenly disappeared from his life. Is he in fact a possible stand-in for his father?
Intimate, searing, brilliantly written and performed, this is an examination of the fragile pain of love and broken relationships; a study of two people who love each other but can’t connect.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Skylight
By David Hare
Director: Mark Kilmurry
Assistant Director: Brian Meegan
Designer: Ailsa Paterson
Lighting Designer: Ross Graham
Wardrobe Coordinator: Terri Kibbler
Dialect Coach: Natasha McNamara
Stage Manager: Danielle Morrison
Cast: Katharine Cullen, Sean Taylor and Nigel Turner-Carol
Running time: 2 ½ hours (including one interval)

Sydney Dance in The Land of Yes the Land of No at Parramatta

a glorious show here's what I said for Sydney Arts Guide 
http://www.sydneyartsguide.com/View-Review.asp?ReviewID=1133
Ecstatic cheers for this blink and you miss it return season of THE LAND OF YES, THE LAND OF NO at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre.

A plotless, abstract work, the idea behind the production is, according to Bonachela’s program notes, exploring the use of signs and how we navigate in our world. The work was originally developed in 2009 for Bonachela’s London Company and here has been expanded and reworked for a cast of ten.

Some of this performance was luminous, with a fragile beauty like that of a dragonfly’s wing. Other sections were laser sharp with a ‘singing’ white, extended, pure line of movement that sizzled.  

Technically the dancing was superb all round. There was fabulous ensemble work (and perhaps snippets of allusions to Matthew Bourne’s works and Graeme Murphy’s Some Rooms).

Special mention must be made of Juliette Barton’s incredible extended opening solo that was prayer like in its fluid, rolling intensity. Tall Andrew Crawford has a slithery spider like solo that emphasizes his extended long ‘line’. In other sections there were some glorious trios or pas de deux that rippled and shone. In one section there was a marvellous enfolding, sculptural pas de deux (lovers parting?) with hints of pieta-like drama.

Bonachela’s choreography emphasis is on a very fluid articulate back, sometimes held low, strong and straight, at others times contrasted with a demanding, undulating back bend. For this work he also appears to want long extended arms, which sometimes were angular and disjointed then suddenly rippling in contrast. Others sections featured circular repeated phrases of movement. Hands became stars sometimes.

When choreographing for the whole cast, Bonachela often used diagonal lines when placing the dancers and explosive flicks of a long leg extended. Another point of interest was the single sex pas de deux that developed into fluid, sculptural yet arrow sharp pas de trois. Breath control from the solar plexus is all important.  

Alan MacDonald’s stark, simple set features long, hanging neon globes that are lit up at various times or form ‘doorways’ or ‘windows’. Guy Hoare’s lighting is magnificent, often with plain, strong colour backgrounds (e.g. a strong, vibrant red, dark indigo or purple, a sickly green) but also includes a delicate, hesitant glowing sunrise.

Bosso’s score is powerful and hypnotic – at one point featuring pizzicato (for a sensational pas de deux) at another, rippling piano. It ranges from haunting and lyrical to driving and relentless.

Special mention must be made of the glorious costumes designed by Theo Clinkard: all white, but each individual in shape and texture (overlapping layers, smocking, quilting etc). Some of the men’s outfits were vaguely reminiscent of armour. All the outfits flowed and ‘breathed’ with the dancer’s movements.

THE LAND OF YES AND THE LAND OF NO, running an hour and ten minutes without interval, is a mesmerizing, enthralling performance of pure dance.

The show plays the Parramatta Riverside Theatre between the 21st and 23rd June and then tours to Canberra Wagga Wagga Albury Port Macquarie Nowra the Gold Coast and further afield.

For more information visit the website- inhttp://www.sydneydancecompany.com/performances/touring-2011.

© Lynne Lancaster

22nd June, 2012

Tags: Sydney Dance Reviews- THE LAND OF YES AND THE LAND OF NO, Parramatta Riverside Theatre, Rafael Bonachela, Juliette Barton, Andrew Crawford, Alan MacDonald, Guy Hoare, Theo Clinkard, Sydney Arts Guide, Lynne Lancaster.

Jane Eyre District 01

hmmm
an odd production here's what I said for Sydney Arts Guide 
http://www.sydneyartsguide.com/View-Review.asp?ReviewID=1136
A Sydney premiere, this is a striking, rather unusual version that at times could be regarded as uneven and confusing if you didn’t know and love the book. (It is one my favourite books). However there are some very good parts and an excellent leading lady.

This is a sparse, somewhat conflated and abridged adaptation that generally sticks closely to the original book by Charlotte Bronte. There is some telescoping of time, characters and events but not much.

Many of the small cast play multiple roles, the only two who don’t are our Jane and Rochester. But was it really necessary to have them play Pilot the dog and Rochester’s horse as well?!

One of the great nineteenth century romances, the story is also partly Gothic horror, with madness and despair. The play also looks at the social conditions of the era, education, poverty and women’s position in society.

For those who do not know the story , in this version poor, obscure and plain Jane Eyre starts life as a lonely orphan in the household of her cold, hateful aunt Mrs Reed. Despite the oppression she endures at home, and the torments of boarding school,

Jane manages somehow to emerge with her integrity and spirit unbroken – but locked up in the attic of her imagination, lives a woman so passionate. So full of longing , she must be guarded constantly for fear of the havoc she might cause. When she finds a job as a governess at the mysterious Thornfield it seems she has finally met her match with the darkly fascinating Mr Rochester. But Thornfield Hall hides an explosive secret, one that could perhaps separate Jane and Rochester forever.

Anya Tamsin’s set design utilises the space well – sparse, simple pure white walls, tables with a few scattered chairs, movable benches… There is also an enclosed ‘glasshouse’ with a broken window that is Bertha’s domain. Throughout the show, at appropriate moments, there are ominous rumbles, rattles and chilling mad laughter that hint of what is to come and increase the sense of eeriness and tension.

District 01 is a relatively new theatre space , right in the heart of town in Oxford St, and very easy to get to .It is a vibrant and exciting ,small, rather ‘experimental’  studio space with columns and stairs that can be imaginatively utilized.

Our feisty, petite heroine Jane is excellently portrayed by Laura Huxley, in a severe purple dress with various changes of lace, apron and other accoutrements. Shy, downtrodden yet bright and talented and having survived an appalling childhood she rails against her dull, monotonous life. All changes when she moves to Thornfield to become Adele’s governess and meets Mr Rochester.  Upon the morning of her wedding day, just as she is to marry Mr Rochester, before disaster strikes she is a radiant, glowing bride.

However I am afraid our Mr Rochester as played by Eli King is a little disappointing. He tries his best, but is rather cold, aloof and wooden. There is no real sense of connection or predilection between Jane and Rochester for most of the show, despite the magnificent, passionate passages. This does pick up a bit in Act 2 though, and the reunion at the end was touching.

As one of my colleagues, it would have been interesting to see Ryan Gibson (who plays all the other male characters) as Rochester. He is horrid as Jane’s awful, bullying cousin John Reed, cold and imposing as Mr Brocklehurst and an excellent, charismatic, powerful and hypnotic St John Rivers.

There are several other meaty female roles with quite a few doublings/ triplings of characters.

Bertha, ‘the mad woman in the attic’, Rochester’s mad first wife, was chillingly portrayed by Beth Aubrey. In a red dress, she gave a terrific performance. While in some ways it is a good idea ,it just doesn’t quite work and could be confusing to those not familiar with the book to have Bertha as Jane’s alter ego/dark sexy side.

As Helen Burns, Adele and others, Tallay Wickham is delightful, an exquisite blonde fairy like Victorian angel. . Bessie, Mrs Fairfax and others were excellently portrayed by Cheryl Ward– solid , much needed friendly support for Jane. Jane’s very cold demanding Aunt Reed and others were very well played by Coralie Bywater, severe in black. The nightmarish, ghostly ‘red room’ scene is quite effective.

This production ends up being an unusual, quite efficient but slightly disappointing show that could possibly be better with a little tweaking.

The show runs 2 hours and 30 minutes including one interval.

A Virtue of Necessity Pty Ltd production, in association with Drama Queen Productions and Sea by Water Productions, directed by Fiona Pulford, Charlotte Bronte’ JANE EYRE, as adapted by Polly Teale, opened at District 1, corner Foley and Crown Street, just off Oxford Street, and runs until Saturday 14th July, 2012.

Tags: Sydney Theatre Reviews- JANE EYRE, District 1 Darlinghurst, Charlotte Bronte, Polly Teale, Fiona Pulford, Anya Tamsin, Laura Huxley, Ryan Gibson, Tally Wickham, Cheryl Ward, Coralie Bywater, Peter Love, Sydney Arts Guide, Lynne Lancaster. 

STC The Histrionic

A fabulous production ! Bille Brown is tremendous
here's what I said for artshub
http://www.artshub.com.au/au/news-article/reviews/performing-arts/the-histrionic-190175
A co-production between the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne, where it has recently finished a very successful season, and the Sydney Theatre Company, The Histrionic is one of those plays that sharply divides critics and audiences. I thought it was fabulous.
As the play opens, faded theatre icon Bruscon and his bedraggled troupe have arrived in the small rural village of Utzbach (population 280) , to perform Bruscon’s monumental epic, The Wheel of History , an allegory of timewarped meetings between Madame Curie, Churchill, Einstein, Hitler, Metternich, Napoleon , Stalin and others .
Bruscon’s Wheel, like the unwieldy giant cheese wheel he lugs around, isn’t really wanted, but that isn’t really important to him. Nor is the fact that everyone in the potential audience is rushed off their feet as it is ‘blood sausage Tuesday’. What is important to Bruscon is that the performance proceeds.
Though little known in Australia, Thomas Bernhard is regarded as one of Austria’s most significant writers of the 20th century. His play is an analysis of life as theatre, theatre as life, as (un)reality, as the actors struggle and prepare in rehearsal in the lead-up to the performance. This translation by Tom Wright features in-jokes about theatre life, art, suffering and Austrian history. The audience laughs in appalled recognition, horrified yet enthralled.
Bille Brown plays Bruscon, one of the ‘roles to die for’ in contemporary theatre, and he is superb, pulling out all the stops. The character is played as one of the last larger than life Shakespearean/Dickensian actor-managers. He is cruel and taunting to his family and others, overbearing, bombastic and blustering. A total Man of the Theatre, with searing command of language, Bruscon rails against the world and against the life he leads.
The play is in effect a monologue for Brown’s tumultuous, whirling, spitting performance as Bruscon – all the other characters are eclipsed, working as a counterpoint chorus to Bruscon’s solo. There’s Barry Otto’s tremulous, cringing, timid landlord who delights in the hassles Bruscon has about permits for blacking the exit lights; Jennifer Vuletic as Bruscon’s tall, dryad like consumptive wife, with oxygen tank; Josh Price as Bruscon’s injured, disaffected, put-upon son Ferruccio, who seemingly can do nothing right (no wonder he suddenly snaps); the harassed landlady (Kelly Butler) trying to get everything done; and Erina (Katherine Tonkin) and Sarah (Jennifer Wren).
Marg Horwell’s semi-surrealist set is full of fallen columns, huge bits of broken oversize statues, a giant, decapitated black, all cluttered around a raised stage with both cloth and plastic curtains. All this has echoes of the downfall of a great empire.
Will Bruscon’s troupe succeed in getting the play on, despite the landlord’s obstructions? Will Bruscon be able to take curtain calls? You will have to see this extraordinary performance to find out.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The Histrionic
By Thomas Bernhard
Translated by Tom Wright
Director Daniel Schlusser
Designer Marg Horwell
Lighting Designer Paul Jackson
Composer and sound designer Darrin Verhagen
Cast: Bille Brown, Kelly Butler, Barry Otto, Josh Price, Katherine Tonkin, Jennifer Vuletic and Edwina Wren
Running time: one hour 40 mins (approx) no interval
Sydney Theatre Company, Wharf 1
June 15 – July 28