Red Line Productions undertook an amazing concept in 2017. They commissioned a new play for every main stage production, and the new play was to be a response to the main stage play.’ Bengal Tiger’, currently showing . It is a beautiful play which had a wonderful debut on broadway ; Robin Williams was the lead actor. The response play, ‘Amongst the Ruins’ is written by a local actor/writer, Michael Mcstay. This young man is an accomplished actor, musician and writer. He wrote a very creative piece which I saw in 2016 at The Old Fitz, ‘ Bright Those Claws That Mar The Flesh’, and I was extremely impressed with this work, and hopeful that he would continue to write. His response play is truly amazing. It is a beautiful piece of theatre in its own right, but it also incorporates many themes of the inspirational work, ‘Bengal Tiger’. The cast is absolutely excellent and makes the most of the eloquent writing . I cannot recommend this play strongly enough. See ‘Bengal Tiger and then its response. You will be amazed!
The current play at The old Fitz, Bengal Tiger At The Bagdad Zoo is a Sydney premiere. It is a brilliant play, intricate, imaginative, deep and extremely moving. It debuted on Broadway in a large theatre and we Sydney audiences are therefore particularly lucky to have the opportunity to see this play in such an intimate setting. What must have been a very entertaining play in its original incarnation is absolutely spellbinding at The Old Fitz, due to the direction of Claudia Barrie. She has created an animal chorus, reminiscent of a Greek Tragedy from the play’s original concept of a topiary garden and this works brilliantly to propel the multilayered themes of the play. To add to the visual appeal of this production she has created animal masks that are illuminated to reveal various wild animals, and the set is also lit in gorgeous hues of magenta, green, gold and red. The Lighting designer, Benjamin Brockman must been congratulated for carrying out this lighting concept, certainly the most beautiful I can ever remember.
Naturally a marvelous play requires brilliant acting and this team has no weak link. The Tiger, Maggie Dence, is a very experienced and capable actress who delivers a nuanced performance. I particularly loved the performances of Josh Anderson, as Kev and Steven Multari as Tom, the two U.S soldiers fighting in Iraq. Their performances were spectacular and they avoided any cliches associated with these protagonists.
This is the best of theatre and we are so lucky to have such talent and creativity in Sydney. Sunday’s performance was booked out so rush to the Red Line website and book tickets today!