Showing posts with label SITCO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SITCO. Show all posts

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Tidy Town Of The Year - Review

Review originally posted at
Venue: Old Fitzroy Theatre (Woolloomooloo NSW), Mar 4 – 22, 2014
Playwrights: Victoria Greiner, Sarah Hodgetts, Andy Leonard
Directors: Deborah Jones, Sean O’Riordan
Actosr: Victoria Greiner, Sarah Hodgetts, Andy Leonard
Image by Katy Green Loughrey

Theatre review 
It is probably true that a show cannot contain too many amusing ideas. Tidy Town Of The Year has no shortage of amusing lines and concepts, but trying to keep up and absorb them all can be challenging. Its writing and direction lack breathing space, often making the show feel overwhelming. Timing is key in humour. Even with clever and inspired ideas, attention needs to be paid on editing and delivery for communication to happen, especially in comedies.

In spite of these imperfections, performances are actually polished and confident. It is a fast-paced show, with a cast that is full of enthusiasm and buoyancy. We may not always catch the jokes that they attempt to relay, but their energy can be infectious. More variation in tone could be explored to prevent the actors from playing at the one level that they are most comfortable with, but their overall commitment to the work is a delight.

At heart, this is a show with a great deal of eccentricity, but the eccentric is by nature an entity that finds connections challenging. It has the capacity for brilliance and originality, but to convey its genius, a bridge needs to be found. In the theatre, ideas are exchanged and laughs can be shared, but only when the linkage between show and audience is established. This isn’t always easy, but the quest for it is always rewarding.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Everything I Know I Learnt From Madonna - Review

Review originally posted at
Venue: Old Fitzroy Theatre (Woolloomooloo NSW), Feb 18 – 22, 2014
Playwright: Wayne Tunks
Director: Fiona Hallenan-Barker
Actor: Wayne Tunks
Image by Katy Green Loughrey

Theatre review
Madonna, the pop star, means many things to many people. Like many brassy women in the public eye, she is regarded by gay communities as an icon. An outspoken proponent of the gay movement since the early 1990s, it is understandable that her place with LGBT people has endured the years. In this one-man play by Wayne Tunks, he talks about her obsession with Madonna in his introduction, then goes on to share with us his stories of coming out and relationships with various men, liberally quoting lyrics by his hero at every available opportunity. His script is an interesting one. It is almost as if Tunks is unable to verbalise his thoughts and feelings without the aide of Madonna songs, so her words keep appearing in his monologue, sometimes seamlessly, sometimes a little forced, but it is no doubt that his admiration is beyond skin deep, and that her work actually provides a space of solace. It looks a lot like religion.

Tunks is an actor full of vigour. He appears on stage and is determined to seize your attention, and for the entirey of his performance, we pay close attention to his stories. It helps that Tunks’ voice is commanding and versatile. It is naturalistic acting but there is definitely not a hint of mumbling, everything is said loud and clear, which is fortunate as the bareness of the staging and minimal direction of the near two hour work, leave nothing else for Tunks and his audience to hold on to.

The show overflows with earnestness. For a seemingly shallow premise of pop star fandom, it contains no irony and very little frivolity. We are presented love stories with a string of men, Sean, Warren, Guy, Jesus, and (presumably) Brahim. They are not particularly colourful events, in fact, slightly mundane. There isn’t really a set up of context, just a man keen to share with a captive crowd, and we are inspired by his fighting spirit that never gets dampened by failed relationships. He keeps getting back in business as though nothing’s better than more because ultimately, what can you lose?

“You’re never gonna see me standin’ still, I’m never gonna stop ’till I get my fill” (Over And Over, Madonna 1984).

Friday, 10 January 2014

Wittenberg by David Davalos - Review

What a brilliant start to the year. This production by the Brevity Theatre Company in association with the Sydney Independent Theatre Company could well be one of the highlights in theatre for 2014. It is written by David Davalos who has won several awards for this work. I am not surprised as the dialogue, which is the most important part of this play, is technical, clever and realistic, plus Hamlets role is written in the style of Shakespearean verse.

The play is set in Wittenberg University, Germany in 1517.  Prince Hamlet (Alexander Butt) has got to the point in his education where he has to choose his major. Two lecturers do battle to try to influence Hamlet to make a decision and major in their subject.  Enter, Dr John Faustus (David Woodward) who has four doctorates. One of them is in Philosophy and another in Medicine. These two feature heavily in the play, as he spends his time either arguing and discussing the meaning of life, the universe and the Bible or fixing peoples minor ailments. He has a small medicine cabinet full of interesting herbs and pills from exotic places. Then there Martin Luther (Nick Curnow) who won't have a bad word said about God or the Bible. His whole world is in the Bible and spars constantly with Faustus.

This sounds like it would be a very dry play but it is not at all. It is is full of quotes from Shakespeare, the modern day an probably more.  It is a play where you will find yourself hanging off every word because you don't want to miss something.  It is a play where you will either want to go back and see it again or read the script yourself. Finally, it will also make you think about the Bible and what it says, you may even want to pick up a copy and start reading it, if you don't already.