The Judas Kiss.. Theatre at its Best

There is quite a buzz about the current play at the Old Fitzroy Theatre, The Judas Kiss. As a production is is quite breathtaking, and I could not imagine this eloquent beautiful play being realised more effectively on Broadway or in London. We went with friends who commented that it was a shame this this splendid theatre was able to be enjoyed by so few people at a time. I believe that it is the very intimacy of the production that makes it so powerful.

The play is about the court case which caused Oscar Wilde to be imprisoned for gross indecency, and the aftermath.

I can see that some reviewers do not care for the play, but I love it. The first act is perfectly paced to enable the audience to savour  the impending doom that the major protagonist Oscar Wilde, will face. There are no words to describe just how beautiful this scene is and it draws out wonderful performances from the cast. The second act is equally compelling, set during Oscar’s years post prison in Europe.

This play is based on fact and there was alot of biographical material incorporated into the text. Some of the characters were not deep or complex and  certainly in the case of Oscar Wilde’s lover Bosie, not even particularly pleasant. The casting of Hayden Maher in this role is perfect- he is a radiantly beautiful young man and one can certainly imagine some character flaws ( such as narcissism) would have gone unnoticed!! Josh Quong Tart is remarkable as Oscar Wilde. Simon London is completely convincing as the rejected lover Robbie. The other cast members-Robert Alexander, Hannah Raven David Soncin and Luke Fewster are all wonderful in their roles.

I was thrilled with Iain Sinclair’s direction. Every interaction was believable and tantalising.

I cannot fail to mention the set design and construction by well known designer John Hindmarsh and Colin Emmerton. I often lament the use of expensive sets which do not actually help tell the story. This design actually advances the themes of the play  more powerfully than any play I have seen in the last few years. The costumes lighting and sound are also perfect.

I am aware that there are very few seats left, and it would indeed be a tragedy if there were one spare seat for this spectacular piece of theatre. Do not miss it.

Blink… don’t miss it!

This week I saw the current play at the Kings Cross Theatre called Blink. We had a night free and I booked the tickets without researching the play, the company producing the play, the actors, director and so on.

Blink is an exquisite play, written by a highly regarded/awarded contemporary  English playwright Phil Porter. Whilst it is described as a play exploring a dysfunctional relationship, it is so touching and quirky that we can see elements of many of our own relationships in the drama which unfolds.

I realised whilst watching this piece that the actors were extremely versatile and talented, and recognised Charlotte Hazzard from other excellent work at venues such as The Old Fitz. She is physically beautiful and her WA training has given her excellent movement skills which really enhance her performance. The other actor in this two- hander is James Raggett, a recent NIDA graduate and he also performs  with such sensitivity and delicacy that the audience wills him to find happiness.

This play demands various English accents and I loved their performances in relation to this.. afterwards I realised that a very talented actor,Nick Kurnow, was the dialect coach.

Reading the programme I saw that the creative team is a very experienced and talented group, from director Luke Rogers, to set designer Anne Gardiner. The set is magical and adds to the fairytale quality of the play.

So, actually, it is not surprising that the overall production is so wonderful. We are so fortunate to have such quality theatrical experiences at our fingertips and for such a small amount of money. Go along and celebrate this!!



BU21..wonderful theatre

Outhouse Theatre Company has an excellent track record, and this production at the lovely 505 theatre in Newtown is a winner.

The play BU21 is set in the near future and concerns a terrorist attack in London which downs a plane- killing both the plane passengers but also people going about their business in an upmarket London suburb when the plane crashes onto the street. It is a play about the aftermath of such an attack, but also gives a chilling portrait of narcissism which will find a way to succeed in the face of every situation. The six characters are all effected by the crash- witnessing it, injured by it or losing loved ones, but their ways of dealing with  reality are markedly different.

A controversial technique is to allow one of the characters to appear as a ‘narrator’ and therefore set apart from the other characters. I liked this very much.

The performances are all strong. The accents are sound, but  special credit must be given to Emily Havea whose exquisite English accent was so good that both my husband and I assumed she was British and were very surprised to hear her speak after the performance.The character of Alex, played by Skyler Ellis is beautifully interpreted, and he is charismatic enough to make his exploits seem plausible. Jeremy waters is,as usual, masterful in his role of Graham. His performance seems effortless the most talented actors always manage to do. He has also produced this work and he has done a brilliant job.

Sydneysiders have much to be grateful for in the independent arts scene. Go to the 505 for an great night out!

I Love You My Mother

The first play at the Old Fitzroy Hotel for 2017 is a brand new Australian play written by Jeanette Cronin, I Hate You My Mother. This play is quite adventurous , and moves backward and forward in time over four hundred years. There are multiple characters played by Jeanette herself and a young NIDA graduate, Simen Glommen Bostad . The story covers topics such as incest,  sexual betrayal, and even murder, but is is so beautifully written and acted that it never seems tawdry. Jeanette’s writing has always been excellent, but this play is her best yet.There are clever devices such as accents to ensure that there is no confusion, and these are accomplished brilliantly, especially be Jeanette Cronin whose versatility as an actress always amazes me.

The design, costuming and sound is really wonderful. The play overall is so entertaining that I was sorry when it finished, hoping that the interwoven stories could just continue!

I highly recommend this production. In addition it is vital to support new Australian works- so in this case one can have a fabulous night of theatre and feel that one has done something really positive for Australia’s cultural future.