Go To The Hills

As a theatre lover living close to the city, I would have little reason to visit the Hills District of Sydney were it not for the annual summer season of Sport for Jove at Bella Vista, in Baulkham Hills. The director of this Shakespeare company is Damian Ryan and he is keen to bring quality theatre to areas of Sydney which do not have theatre venues. Even if you live far from Baulkham Hills I cannot recommend this venue highly enough. There is a beautiful and highly sophisticated stage in front of a grassy park where the audience can picnic before and during the show and the atmosphere is magical.

The current season is showing Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Importance Of Being Ernest. Last night I saw the former on opening night and it is really spectacular. LLL is a difficult wordy play which is almost never seen in Australia because of the denseness of text and character difficulties. It requires a extremely talented person to fashion this play into a convincing entertaining and dynamic modern play. Damian Ryan is that person and there is a groundswell of opinion that he is our modern Shakespeare, so beautifully does he mould the original work into an authentic new work. He blends his new twenty first century ideas flawlessly with Shakespeare’s concepts. It is breathtaking.

This play is creatively directed, beautifully acted, elegantly lit, and the costumes are all mini masterpieces. To be able to watch this world class theatre in our own back yard is a huge privilege. If there are any tickets left, snap them up for a memorable night.

Dropped finishes 2015 with a perfect score

The Old Fitz has been my favourite independent theatre venue from the moment that theatre management was taken over by Red Line. This company of three has brought the most amazing year of theatre to Sydney- some revivals, some Australian premiers and some Sydney premiers. We Sydney-siders are lucky to have Red Line curating and mentoring productions and bringing Australia’s best acting talent so creatively and inexpensively to us. I can recommend any play at The Old Fitz even in advance of seeing it myself because every production is guaranteed to have quality of direction  and performance.

Dropped is the last play for 2015 and does not let the venue down. The two actors, Olivia Rose and Deborah Galanos are both seasoned performers, and I knew that they would create wonderful performances before they started speaking…the play opens with a very long period of silence, which gradually increases the tension between the actors and the audience .  This is a tremendous device which can only be utilised by very capable actors, and the scene which followed was indeed entertaining confronting and memorable. Of course the director, Anthony Skuse, is a grand master of theatre, and he makes the most of this beautifully written play. This is another winner for the Old Fitz… so do not miss it!

Keef is a Treat

The Griffin does not often show musicals, but this one is a real treat. It is a musical fantasy with Keith Richards front and centre and gives a highly entertaining and musically rewarding ‘expose’ of the adventures experienced by the legendary guitarist during his years of drug use. The prose is beautifully written with many double entendres. Keith is played by Terry Serio, an accomplished musician and composer who really has the Keith look and accent down beautifully. He has composed a song which fits perfectly into the show. The supporting cast, playing band members and a multitude of other characters are Branden Christine, whom I last saw playing Penelope at The Tap, Lenore Munro, who is WAAPA trained and has done a lot of theatre including Shakespeare, Dorje Swallow NIDA trained and visible on television, film and theatre ( As You Like It for Bell this year) and Abe Mitchell who has an equally impressive and broad list of credits. The cast is wonderful, able to affect a multitude of accents, sing and play a variety of instruments. Lenore is also an accomplished dancer. To see a production where the performers do not need to be miked is quite refreshing, and this added to my enjoyment. I have to admit that watching Abe strut and sing  as Mick for a few ‘covers’ was the most delicious pleasure of all. The season is over fairly soon, try not to miss this production