Posted by kluster on June 27, 2011
I feel kind of ripped off that Who’s The Best at the Sydney Theatre Company was my first Post experience. I’m mean, seriously, this trio have been (allegedly) creating some of the funniest performance pieces to come out of this city for almost a decade now and Monday’s opening night show was the first time I’d ever laid eyes on them? It’s like discovering beer on a hot Saturday afternoon, at the age of 25, and then being told you could have been drinking it for seven years.
Who’s The Best is a hilarious tale of competition via deconstruction, consisting of the enacting of a measuring of all parts of the sum. Or, an equation written to decipher which of the trio that form Post - Mish Grigor, Zoe Coombs Marr, Natalie Rose (all played by themselves, except Natalie who is played by Eden Falk (Sleeping Beauty) - is, as the name implies, the best. In short, the members want to figure out which one of them is superior in almost all ways and have invited us along for the ride. More...
Posted by Penny Cropper on June 13, 2011
What with all the rain and downright nutso weather that's been holding Sydney-siders captive in their own homes of late, Bondi might not be the first place that springs to mind as a fun mid-winter destination. But there is at least one good reason to brave it and embrace the brisk (to put it politely) seaside air, we promise.
Rope is a play that'll scare the bejeezus out of you, in a good way. A new production of the classic noir thriller written by Patrick Hamilton and made famous by the Hitchcock film of the same name (this time directed by Iain Sinclair), Rope is being staged at the newly refurbished Bondi Pavilion, where dark furniture and art deco touches provide the perfect backdrop for this particular brand of chilling, old school "psycho-theatre". Without giving the game away too much, it's about two London sociopaths and a murderous party, with more than a few homoerotic undertones thrown in for good measure. Sound good? We thought so. It's on now until the 25th June, and our advice is to get down there and check it out, stat. Tickets from the website or phone 8019 0282.
Posted by kluster on May 16, 2011
I have a long, rich history with Bertolt Brecht. It began in Year 11 drama class and continues to this day. In summary: anyone who dedicates their life work to the exploration of anything epic, let alone epic theatre, is alright by me.
So, it goes without saying (although, I’ll say it regardless – for dramatic effect) that I approached the Sydney Theatre Company’s Baal with a large degree of anticipation - and a small amount of trepidation.
This newest reworking of Baal - a Malthouse Theatre co-production - is somewhat brief at 70 minutes from opening line to conclusion. That, coupled with the young median age of the cast, extremely high amount of on-stage nudity and the explored themes of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll more than subtly suggest that this offering is aimed at the younger end of the STC audience demographic.
If their aim is, as we suspect, to engage a younger audience, Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company have created the kind of production that will undoubtedly do just that. Powerful and original, Baal is true to Brecht’s original intention without presenting as staid. The aforementioned young cast work under what can only be described as trying conditions (revealing any more would be tantamount to an experience spoiler and it’s better seen than read anyway, so I’ll elaborate no further) and more than rise to the occasion.
If a strong script delivered by a powerful young cast, nudity and some darn impressive scene changes are your idea of good entertainment book thee a ticket to Baal. For those of you under 30, don't forget to take advantage of the Sydney Theatre Company's reduced ticket prices offers.
Baal is now playing at Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company.
For more from the stage see Kluster's Theatre.
Posted by Audrey Lee on November 29, 2010
It’s hard to sum up Hellen Rose in one paragraph. Sieving through the highlights from her raft of accomplishments alone would fill pages. Not one to conform, Hellen has achieved admirable success and commanded high levels of respect from those in the know for more than 20 years now. While she’s not busy pushing musical boundaries, her preceding reputation has also led her to tap into other creative pursuits, including acting and opening her eponymous performing space, the Hellen Rose-Schauersberger LabOratorium. And the list goes on. For a woman who has proven her worth many times over, we’ll keep the superlatives to a minimum and have Hellen shed some light on her past, present and future.
Covered: Back in the '80s…, constant adjustments, The Hellen Rose-Schauersberger LabOratorium, Moonlight film and a one-woman show.
Audrey Lee: You've been making music for more than 20 years now and have sung alongside bands including X and Dangerous Curves back in the 80s. Care to give our readers an insight of how your career in music first began? How have you and your sound progressed since then?
Hellen Rose: I started singing when I was very young. I come from a family where one side is music and the other is… all the other stuff that I’ve never been into. I snuck into a pub at around 14 and pushed my way onto the stage and just got up and belted out a blues number I was making up on the spot! My first live show with a band called Great Dane who were totally cool about it and the crowd loved it!More...
Posted by KB on November 28, 2010
Natalia Ladyko is our kind of girl. Not content with being great at just one thing, she’s turned her attention to a whole raft of rather impressive skills, adding things like “stilt-walker” and “aerial artist” to her resume. Now she’s teamed up with some other talented folk to create Umbrella Theatre, which will reveal itself to the masses as part of Peats Ridge 2010. We caught up with Natalia as she prepares for her first big festival performance.
Covered: Theatre magic, The Dark Crystal, video games and world domination.
KB: The name Umbrella Theatre conjures up quite a few images, but what’s it really all about?
Natalia Ladyko: Umbrella Theatre is an intimate travelling venue where you’ll never know what performance you’re going to get. We have a growing number of shows we perform in Umbrella Theatre, with duration never exceeding 10 minutes. As you queue outside the red curtains, you’ll hear laughter, screaming and God knows what else. But you can never assume you’re going to have the same experience as the people before you, or the people after you! We rotate between performances and most of our pieces have alternate endings. Or do they? To be more precise, it is a three-metre tall, custom-made umbrella where magic happens.More...
Posted by kluster on November 21, 2010
Photo courtesy of Lisa Tomasetti © 2010
We’re in the mist of a Chekhov festival. After taking in the Australian Theatre for Young People and Cry Havoc co-production of Three Sisters last month and then graduating to the Sydney Theatre Company’s opening night performance of Uncle Vanya on Saturday, we’re beginning to consider ourselves quite the inexperienced experts. Not a bad playwright to patronage, we say.
STC's Co-Artistic Director, Andrew Upton has adapted Chekhov's Uncle Vanya for the STC main stage this season, playing to the strengths of the blue-ribbon Australian cast.
Cate Blanchett is captivating as the hollow, perennially listless Elena Andreyevna Serebryakov, a stunning beauty who passively demands the attention of all surrounding her. Richard Roxburgh’s depiction of the title character, Ivan Petrovitch Voynitsky “Uncle Vanya” moves from hopelessly depressed single man, lamenting the loss of his life, to family jester with style and seamless ease.More...
Posted by Penny Cropper on November 4, 2010
The Peats Ridge festival, which has already announced two rounds of a fairly awesome line-up and was already promising to be the best way to ring in the new year by far, has just announced its arts and theatre program and children’s festival for this year.
The arts program will be a mix of installations and multimedia, theatre, dance, cabaret, comedy, and (get this) a giant trapeze, acrobatics and plenty more. Winding along the riverbank and dotted through the lovely valley in which this pretty-as-a-picture festival is set, it’ll be darn picturesque too.
And as this is of course a family-friendly festival, the children’s festival means there is plenty for the young ‘uns to see and do. With specially dedicated areas with names like the Chill Out Lounge/Space, The Rainbow Garden and the Wet Zone, it sounds like the under 18s have got it made, to be honest.
The Peats Ridge Festival takes place at Glenworth Valley, NSW from December 29 until January 1. Family tickets are available. Check the website for more details.
Posted by kluster on October 19, 2010
It is with a large degree of sheepishness that I admit to this being the first time I have taken in Oscar Wilde’s wildly famous stage play, The Importance of Being Earnest. So, it was with minimal amounts of trepidation and large degrees of expectation that I placed my virginal mind in the hands of Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s cast, hoping they would do justice to the classic and my first experience of this word-heavy, witty masterpiece.
Most already know the premise of this production. As such, I will not bore you with a lengthy synopsis. Just this: Algernon Moncrieff (Douglas Hansell) and Jack Worthing (Martin Harper) embark on a desperate bid to secure the affections of two attractive young ladies - the younger, naive Cecily Cardew (Adele Querol) and the more exotic, slightly manipulative Gwendolen Bracknell (Chantelle Jamieson) - by changing their name to Earnest. Hilarity ensues.
Director Nicholas Papademetriou stays true to the original text - you’d have to be a fool not to - and the DTC cast have done a fine job of doing justice to Wilde’s intelligent humour and fast-paced banter. There were few blunders during this opening-night performance but they were handled with professionalism and created minimal disruption.More...
Posted by Hazel J Taylor on October 1, 2010
First presented at Federation Square Melbourne in 2007, The Ballad of Backbone Joe has been doing the rounds locally and internationally, landing recently at our very own Sydney Theatre Company.
The Ballad… is the combined original musical and theatre work of the clever boys of the Suitcase Royale – three musician buddies from Melbourne: Miles O'Neil, Glen Walton and Joseph O'Farrell. The team apparently planned on being rockers before discovering their particular niche in theatre, and they’ve cornered it well. Called a ‘rag ‘n bone’ band by some (a reference to the group’s penchant for setting up collected junk and inventing their own fabulous on stage environments), the Suitcase Royale are devoted to their wildly entertaining cause of fitting performances of original musical work into hilarious and unwieldy theatre performance.
The Ballad’s intriguing storyline revolves around the murder of a woman in a red dress, which sounds a lot more serious than it actually is. The trio are so comfortable with their on-stage selves, that this Kluster writer wouldn’t be surprised if entire slabs of the performance turned out to be ad lib, conjured up on the fly.
Sydney Theatre Company is presenting their two week season of The Ballad of Backbone Joe until 2 October 2010. This means you need to get in pretty fast, and be prepared to laugh. The Suitcase Royale also performed September’s free post-show STC Wharf sessions, which, if you don’t already know, happen every month. You can go along and watch and hear live music played by seriously talented people for free. Yes, for free.
Posted by kluster on September 28, 2010
Photo by Jeff Busby
I have a strange relationship with the theatre. I enjoy watching most performances more that I do taking in a film but, despite what many of my peers might think, that is not where the strangeness lies. There is something so incredibly beguiling about an actor putting themselves out there, in the flesh, night after night. I find myself inextricably drawn to it. Still, I would not class that as overly unusual. No, the strangeness in the aforementioned relationship comes from the fact it almost always takes me a minimum of 20 minutes to slot into what I have casually dubbed ‘theatre mode’: to become used to the exaggerated gestures and at-times verbose deliveries. I have never been able to figure out why and was yet to find a production where this was not the case.
That is, before watching Sydney Theatre Company’s, The Trial. This meaty production, recently adapted by Louise Fox from the Franz Kafka novel of the same name and directed by Matthew Lutton, is engaging from the first moment.
From the outset audiences are exposed to the seemingly simplistic life of Josef K (Ewen Leslie) as it spirals out of all control and conventional comprehension. Here is a man charged for an undisclosed crime and brought to appear before an unknown court. The more he seeks answers the further he becomes embroiled in faceless mystification.More...
Posted by Penny Cropper on September 1, 2010
On at the Old Fitzroy Theatre until September 11, The Schelling Point is the story of John F Kennedy, Stanley Kubrick, Frank Sinatra, Peter Sellers, Dr Strangelove and the Cuban missile crisis. With lots of drinking. And singing and jazz hands and a burlesque singer. Capisce? No, fair enough. But go and see it before it finishes; it's well worth your time and includes some awesome performances from Jonathan Elsom, Jamie McGregor and Marshall Napier, among others.
Directed by Sarah Goodes, this production is the world premier of Ron Elisha's funny and often unsettling play, and gives a hilarious look into the lives of some of history's most powerful men and their attempts to control the unpredictable. It's basically a play about six drunk men and one unpredictable woman (in the form of Miss Lauren La Rouge, the aforementioned burlesque singer) and it's a lot of fun.
Tickets through Tamarama Rock Surfers (we recommend the Old Fitzroy's usual beer, laksa and show deal, plus there are cheap Tuesday night tickets on offer).
Posted by kluster on August 24, 2010
Kids: they never cease to amaze me with all the marvellous things they’re getting up to these days. Yesterday, my morning started with the polished news presenter-esque sounds of 11-year-old film reviewing and Emmy-Award-winning Jackson Murphy weighing up the pros and cons of Phillip Noyce’s latest action blockbuster, Salt. The day before, I spent hours poring over the archives of 14-year-old Tavi Gevinson’s The Style Rookie, seeking further fashion inspiration, of course.
So it was with great interest that I ventured down to the Wharf Theatre to take in the Sydney Theatre Company and Australian Theatre for Young People’s co-production of Tusk Tusk last Wednesday night, eager to see what a trio of young Australian actors could bring to 22 year-old English writer, Polly Stenham’s (That Face) latest stage offering. The result, I am pleased to report, is a series of polished, powerful, emotionally driven performances. It’s reassuring to know that the future of Australian theatre is in safe hands.More...