Four minutes twelve seconds…brilliant theatre

The latest play at the ever astounding Old Fitz theatre is a highly regarded play making its Australian debut. It is a wonderful play- funny and uncomfortable at the same time and it is blisteringly relevant in its themes of social media , teenage sexual relationships and the challenges of modern parenting. The parents are played by Danielle King ( often in Sport For Jove productions) and the extremely versatile Jeremy Waters. These actors are just fabulous- they are always fabulous but this script enables them to present  nuanced characters who dazzle with their stage presence. Their rapport on stage is remarkable and they make wonderful use of the clever set  through dozens of scene changes. The supporting actors, Kate Cheel and Felix Johnson -both with excellent training and previous theatre experience behind them do a great job in holding their own on stage.

This play is directed by Craig Baldwin, who directed the very moving ‘Aliens’ at The Fitz ‘ last year. What a coup to have him back in Australia for this play.

My first rule of theatre is that I must be often I am willing a play to be finished, particularly at The Wharf or Opera House. This play seemed to be over in about four minutes and I was wishing that it could have kept going! It is just a winning combination of talent and deserves a full house every night.

The box office attendant explained that there are only a few tickets left for each show….snap them up!

Where Do Little Birds Go..Magic at The Old Fitz

AB3I2599I have explained that I only review theatrical productions which I would highly recommend. Most of the plays I see do not get a mention, and this week I have seen three plays, all well regarded. ‘Where Do Little Birds Go’ stands out as a piece of theatre which is completely entertaining, convincing and has a magical quality. It is a one woman ( plus pianist) piece, an ‘autobiography’ of a teenage lass Lucy who moves to London in the ’60s convinced that she will be a star of the stage. It is based on some true events involving some notorious gangsters of the period.

AB3I2865I had not seen Bishanyia Vincent in her previous productions so I was unprepared for the level of technical mastery with which she creates her character Lucy. She sings and dances in character to perfectly represent Lucy’s raw talent which is not quite at a professional level. Lucy’s indomitable spirit soars in this play but  Bishanyia perfectly modulates her performance to convey the changes in Lucy’s personality as a consequence of her rather dark life experiences. Visually it is a stunning piece, and Lucy looks beautiful with her beehive hair-do and 60’s make up. This is a poignant piece without being overly sentimental, and only an exceptional actress can manage this.

This late show utilises the set of ‘Look Back in anger’ and it works perfectly. The direction, which blends the narrative with action on stage is excellent.

My biggest joy in theatre is discovering a new acting talent to follow in future productions. The program explains that Bishanyia trained in London, but now that she is back in Sydney I will never miss her work. I cannot recommend this play highly enough and hope that it returns for a longer season.