Monday, June 30, 2014

Theatre: Giving Up the Ghosts and 3 Seeds

Giving Up the Ghosts 
By Sarah Young
Owl Productions
Directed by Joe Lui
Designer Sara Chirichilli
Performed by Georgia King and Paul Grabovac

3 Seeds
By Afeif Ismail
Transcreated by Vivienne Glance and Afeif Ismail
Always Working Artists
Directed by Jeremy Rice
Designed by Cherie Hewson
Performed by Violette Ayad, Michelle Endersbee, Paul Grabovac, Janice Lim, Verity Softly, Kevin Mararo Wangai, Brianna Williams

For most of us, suicide is inexplicable. Perhaps, for our own safety, it needs to be. The great strength of Giving Up the Ghosts, the playwriting debut of Sarah Young, is that she doesn’t try to explain the suicidal impulse, or impose insights upon it. Her play, as deceptively powerful as it is deceptively simple, builds a platform for us to attempt to grasp a meaning, or at least some understanding, from suicide’s opaque horror.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Theatre: Realism

By Anthony Neilson
Director Anthony Skuse
Set designer Sarah Duyvestyn
Performed by WAAPA 3rd Year Acting students
Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA
June 13 – 19, 2014

There was something touching about seeing the WAAPA’s 3rd Year Acting students’ production of Realism in the shadow of Rik Mayall’s death. Anthony Neilson, who wrote the play in 2006, is an elder statesman of British “in-yer-face” theatre, and if Realism doesn’t exactly owe a debt to The Young Ones, it’s at least popped next door to cadge some sugar from them occasionally.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Theatre: West Side Story

By Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins
Book by Arthur Laurents
WAAPA 2nd & 3rd Year Music Theatre students
Directed by Crispin Taylor
Music Director David King
Choreographer Lisa O’Dea
Set Design by Steve Nolan
Lighting Design by Mark Howett

Regal Theatre
Until June 21

WAAPA have really chanced their arm for their annual music theatre extravaganza by re-staging the dark and mighty West Side Story.
It’s a phenomenal challenge for a student cast, no matter how talented, but the ability being tested here needs only the experience and hunger that come from years out in the business to master the technique, and harness the passion, that West Side Story demands.

For all that, it’s fantastic to see a great show given a full production with a talented team behind it. This West Side Story confirms that the big WAAPA music theatre show is a wonderful gift to the people of Perth as well as a huge moment for its young performers. May it long continue thus.

Link here to the complete review in The West Australian

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Theatre: The House on the Lake

Written by Aidan Fennessy
Directed by Stuart Halusz
Set and costume design by India Mehta
Lighting designer Trent Suidgeest
Sound designer and composer Brett Smith
With Kenneth Ransom and Marthe Rovik
STC Studio
Until June 22

By his own admission, Aidan Fennessy has set himself a difficult challenge with The House on the Lake.
The Melbourne playwright’s sad, powerful, National Interest was the standout in Black Swan’s 2012 season.
He returns with a whodunit with only two characters, one of whom, perforce, is the interrogator (a forensic psychologist, Dr Alice Lowe, played by Marthe Rovik). This leaves only one, David Rail (Kenneth Ransom) to be suspect, witness, red herring, perhaps victim or, perhaps, perpetrator.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Theatre: Rabbithead and Werewolf Priest

Little y Theatre Company and whatshesaid
Devised and performed by Holly Garvey and Violette Ayad
Narrated by Humphrey Bower
Director Ian Sinclair
Designer Tessa Darcey
The Blue Room
Until July 14

Werewolf Priest
By Levon J Polinelli
Composer Ash Gibson Greig
Designer Reece J Scott,
Performed by Sven Ironside, Siobhan Dow-Hall, Magnus Danger Magnus, Stephen Lee, AJ Lowe and Daniel Buckle
The Blue Room
Until July 7

A few years ago the Blue Room went through a purple patch of domestic comedy/dramas by young, rising artists. House of Fun, Jack + Jill and, in particular, Pride, perfectly suited the precocious talents of their writers, directors and actors, and found inventive ways of saying something genuine about the lives of 20-somethings.
The devisers and performers Holly Garvey and Violette Ayad, working with director Ian Sinclair and Georgia King’s Little y Theatre Company, have returned to that territory with Rabbithead, and it shares many of those earlier productions’ strengths.

Link here to the complete review of both shows in The West Australian