Apr 20

THEATRE – Death in Bowengabbie – Bakehouse – from 24th April – Preview

Bakehouse Theatre Company is proud to present:-

 “DEATH IN BOWENGABBIE”

A very different love story that will delight and surprise you.

 It will tickle your funny bone and warm your heart at the same time.

DSC 7247 jumping best front 252x300 THEATRE   Death in Bowengabbie   Bakehouse   from 24th April   PreviewSuch is the skill of master story teller Caleb Lewis -  an award winning local writer,  the author of Dogfall which played to full houses and great critical acclaim at the Bakehouse in 2007, and whose “inventive, accessible new work” Maggie Stone finished  State Theatre’s 2013 season “on a high note”(The Australian)

 Death in Bowengabbie was the Fringe 2009 winner of the Judges’ commendation for Best Writing.

It will be directed by Peter Green, who brought you East of Berlin and Girl in a Goldfish Bowl (amongst many others) and features Elliot Howard (last seen at the Bakehouse in Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig)

“Welcome to the sweet life” reads the sign on the road as Oscar returns to his home town.  Unfortunately the sign is fading, as are the town’s inhabitants.  Little does Oscar know that the first funeral that brings him back to Bowengabbie is only one of many in a town where, devoid of most of its younger population, the old folks are all dropping like flies.  Here funerals really are a celebration of life. More than that, they are a party.   For Oscar, something else is also drawing him back to Bowengabbie – far away from his current wedding plans……..all he has to do is to admit it to himself.

“Death in Bowengabbie” is possibly one of the top 970 greatest love stories of all time. It will pull very gently at your heartstrings all the way to the twist at the end.  It’s just possible that it could also make you die laughing.

Reviews from previous performances:-

 “A rich, dark, hilarious comedy…the only thing missing is a dull moment” – Rip It Up 2009

“Ah, the things you do for Love. Big laughs, lots of giggles and plenty of surprises” – The Advertiser – March 2010.

“Lewis has a beautiful way with language…macabre, weird – and strangely delightful. Put it on your essential viewing list!” – Adelaide Theatre Guide

“….there are a lot of laughs – especially for those who grew up in a country town and still feel a part of them belongs there” – Sydney Morning Herald

“Death in Bowengabbie” is a pleasure from beginning to end. Run, don’t walk……This is one show not to be missed”. Arts Hub

Written by: Caleb Lewis
Directed by: Peter Green
Featuring: Elliot Howard
Produced by: Pamela Munt
Sound, Lighting and video: Stephen Dean
Still Photograpy: Michael Errey

WHEN:   Previews – April 24 & 25.  Opening Night April 26.  Season continues (Wed to Sat) until May 10.
 All shows at 8pm.
WHERE:  Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide.
TICKETS:  Adults $30; Concession $25; Fringe Benefits $25; Groups (6+) $25; Previews $20; Students $15
BOOKINGS: www.bakehousetheatre.com  (or at the door on the night subject to availability) (no phone bookings)

Apr 20

DANCE – A DELICATE SITUATION – 22-24 May – Preview

The poetic and enthralling A Delicate Situation by talented South Australian choreographer Lina Limosani will have its World Premiere in the Space Theatre from 22 – 24 May.

 

A Delicate Situation draws upon the ancient Malaysian myth of the vampiric Pontianak, a female vampire ghost believed to have died at childbirth, to tell the story of one woman’s struggle to come to terms with death and the fear it creates as it draws closer. The show is a highly visual, yet theatrical interpretation of humanity’s emotional response to dying and the afterlife, saturated in superstition and folklore. Using dance, theatre, puppetry, and shadow play, this evocative mix of genres creates a suspenseful atmosphere.

 

Highly acclaimed South Australian choreographer Lina Limosani has brought together an international team to create a chilling and visually stunning piece of dance theatre. Limosani graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999 and has maintained a professional career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Starting her career in Adelaide at Australian Dance Theatre, she found herself working internationally with physical theatre director Al Seed for the creation and performance of The Red Room and most recently Last Orders. She has also performed with Scotland’s Plan B in Parallel/Parallel and in Munich with Micha Purucker for Black Fog.

 

Originally developed in Malaysia, A Delicate Situation was nominated for three Boh Cameronian Awards and has since been reworked for Australian audiences, most recently as part of Adelaide Festival Centre’s inSPACE Development program, which provides contemporary and experimental artists and companies access to the venues and professional services of the Festival Centre.

 

‘…Choreographer Lina Limosani is among the most interesting of the crop of independent artists working in Australian dance and has received substantial public support for her innovative and imaginative work.’ THE ADVERTISER

 

 

What

A DELICATE SITUATION

When

22 – 24 May 2014

Venue

Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre

Hours

Thursday 22, Friday 23 & Saturday 24 May 7pm and Friday 23 May 11.30am

Cost

Adult $38, Concession $32.30, Subscription Adult $32.30, Subscription Concession $27.50,

GreenRoom $20

Suitable

14+ years

Bookings

BASS 131 246 or online at bass.net.au

More info

For further information visit adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au

Get social with us on Twitter @AdelaideFesCent or Facebook facebook.com/FestivalCentre 

Apr 16

HELEN REDDY – Festival Theatre – 3.5K

Helen Reddy3 embed HELEN REDDY – Festival Theatre – 3.5KBy Peter Maddern

It is hard to believe that 40 years ago Helen Reddy was the biggest female performer in the world, based in the US and in the midst of a string of international hits ramped in their popularity by her, well famous, anthem for women, I Am Woman, that so brilliantly tapped into their nascent  movement of the early 1970’s.

Having given away performing a decade ago, we are fortunate she has decided to take to the boards again, this time with her four piece all male backing group, two with guitars, one on drums and the last on keyboards / piano providing the high pitched backing vocals.

The 90 minute show drew on a number of her favourite songs, a few written by Paul Williams, even those that never got much attention on her albums, evenly spaced out with most of her various hits.

In truth, this gig would have found a good home in the Playhouse in one of David Campbell’s Cabaret Festivals of a few years back and while this show has been touring for a while it still possessed some rough elements to it – a few missed words and timings, her constant breathlessness and a voice that struggled with higher notes on the register (still ailments may have contributed to that), and, in this reviewer’s mind a wasted opportunity to reminisce more with her audience about the glory days.

843334 thumbnail 280 I Am Woman The Helen Reddy Story.v1 256x300 HELEN REDDY – Festival Theatre – 3.5KBut for aficionados, what Ms Reddy delivered made them nothing short of cock-a-hoop and perhaps that is all that matters.

Not surprisingly, I Am Woman was her encore, spoken as a poem and then sung but she backed that up with a couple of others, including as a finale I Still Call Australia Home, perhaps a strange choice as memory recalls she once eschewed Australia forever in the 1970s. It just shows that even an ultra-attractive, firebrand and radical of her day can mellow with age.

Apr 16

Alliance French Film Festival- “Going Away”

One of the strengths of the French film industry is that it produces films that would never be produced in Hollywood- films that pass little judgement on the choices of it’s characters, even when we receive an intimate glance into their motivations.

 

“Going Away” is no different. From veteran actress Nicole Garcia, now in the position of writer/director, this film is a patient, smooth and delicately wrought combination of family tension and personal development.

 

Baptiste (Pierre Rochefort) is a primary school substitute teacher, one who despite clearly loving his job, and being offered permanent positions, prefers to keep his attachments and relationships short term. Despite this, when his student Mathias (Mathias Brezot), is left stranded for the long weekend when his separated parents fail to make plans for him, Baptiste takes him in.

 

The next day, Mathias insists that they travel to visit his mother- surprising her at the beachfront restaurant where she works. Delighted to see him, Sandra (Louise Bourgoin) makes time in her hectic work schedule to spend time with her son, and with Baptiste. When the two quickly form a connection, Sandra and Baptiste head out. The latter drinks alcohol at Sandra’s insistence, quickly developing quickly into a rage, engaging in a brawl that hints as to the reasons behind his unwillingness to establish more permanent roots.

 

It transpires that Sandra is no stranger to violence either- in efforts to provide for Mathias’, her poor instincts with money and several bad business ventures have left her heavily in debt and at the mercy of those sent to collect her due. Baptiste, observing Sandra with Mathias and already forming an attachment to the pair, quickly takes responsibility for the debt. It emerges that Baptiste has been long estranged from his extremely wealthy family, and their interactions over the course of the movie reveal more about why his coloured affects him so much in his present life.

 

Under Garcia’s excellent direction, and clear understanding of how a film should intrigue it’s audience, “Going Away” entrances softly, without fanfare or dramatic devices. The characterization of Baptiste’s extended family and brilliant casting develops a rich shared history for the figures in the film, providing a depth of knowledge not ordinarily produced in such a short amount of time. Garcia and co-scenarist Jacques Fieschi manage to create a sense of intimacy without explicit detail, using the interactions (even brief one) between the families in this film to form a larger understanding of their relationships.

 

The loose narrative is one of the few detriments of this film, whose resolution was unnecessarily ambiguous. Despite it’s impressionistic style, the final scenes were unfulfilling in many ways, underwhelming the building romance of Sandra and Baptiste, and failing to draw on the deep undercurrents of tension between Baptiste and his family.

 

Despite these few small shortcomings, the majority of the film is wonderfully crafted, and drenched with languid shots of beaches and an expansive countryside. The naturalistic light matches the seemingly ordinary story of family, old ties and new love with a unique take on the consequences of running from the past.

 

The unhurried and sensitive narrative will perfectly suit art-house audiences- reservedly romantic and quietly patient, with enough allure and intelligence to win over the soft heart in anyone.

Apr 16

Alliance French Film Festival- “Under the Rainbow”

“Under the Rainbow” opens with a dream sequence that sets the stage for Agnes Jaoui’s new comedy-drama, perfectly encapsulating this kitsch, colourful and unexpectedly existential French film.

 

A modern-day fairytale which hints, borrows from and outright bastardizes almost every children’s story and cultural myth imaginable, “Under the Rainbow” is a collected tale. Revolving around the innocent Laura (Agathe Bonitzer) falling in love with both shy but determined aspiring composer Sandro (Arthur Dupont) and his semi-mentor, the darkly selfish but enigmatic Maxime (Benjamin Biolay), the film contains everything one could dream up for such an undertaking.

 

Director Jaoui and screenwriting partner Jean-Pierre Bacri have collaborated previously, establishing themselves as masters of the slightly offbeat romantic comedy. As actors in their own films, the two veterans of the French film industry pair together seamlessly, creating a warm and witty approach to some of the deeper anxieties about humanity.

 

The intricate tangle of stories contains every literary reference imaginable, from Prince Charming, to Red Riding Hood, to the evil stepmother, the fairy godmother, and the big bad wolf. Underneath these is the true gold of the movie, the idea that fairytale lives are often unattainable, and that the subtle nuances of human nature often get in the way of true love, dreams and familial relationships.

 

The dialogue is offset with sly one-liners and anxieties about death which provide much needed light and shade to what could have been a pastiche of nonsensical myth narratives. Sandro’s father Pierre (Bacri) and Laura’s aunt Marianne (Jaoui) form a bizarre and touching relationship as Marianne learns to drive under Pierre’s tutelage. Their offbeat and honest conversations, largely conducted whilst in the car, are refreshingly real and offer an existential counterpart to the fantastical developments of their younger relatives relationship.

 

Laura and Sandro’s romance begins to derail, thwarted by the older Maxime, and somewhat generically resolves itself with a typically French statement of “They lived happily ever after…and strayed often”. Cutting between the two narratives of the middle-aged and the youthful, the film does a good job of balancing the expectations of life with its reality, and contrasts dark humour and sardonic anxieties with the essentially juvenile foibles of the younger characters.

 

The constant and heavy-handed allusions to various fairytales seemed unnecessary, and somewhat jarring in a narrative that could have operated much more cleanly without the constraints of such intertextuality. Whilst the film is perhaps too convoluted, it’s self-consciousness does create a depth of history and meaning that can only come from the weight of so many mythic references. “Under the Rainbow” is free from didacticism, and without a moral centre, develops into a whimsical exploration of the wishes and desires that we hold dear to our hearts.

Apr 16

Alliance French Film Festival- “Violette”

From the very first moments of director Martin Provost’s new film, the eponymous Violette is a figure at once both tragic and compelling. Violette is as honest as it is visually stunning, sharp with intimate moments and dreamy artistry that form an unusual but apt portrayal the life of this groundbreaking feminist.

 

Whilst many biopics can be removed affairs, strained with dual pressures of capturing an extraordinary life without passing judgement, Provost’s portrayal of Leduc, the critically-acclaimed post-war French author is enthralling, rich with detail and emotion. The portrayal of Violette is as complex and sharp as the feminist writer herself, delving into her life in all its bizarre and tragic circumstances over the span of the 20 years from the end of World War Two to the publication of her first bestseller in 1964.

 

Emanuelle Davos is striking as the gifted but troubled Violette, tormented by her constant need for affirmation and her inability to allow those she loves to exist separately from her. Provost, whose 2008 film “Seraphine” mirrors many of the issues raised in “Violette”, stretches Leduc’s life out in a series of six chapters, each one dealing with a new relational obsession in her life, weaving the subtle threads of her destructive desire for love.

 

The film opens in the days preceeding the end of WWII, where Leduc survives as a black-market dealer, posing as the wife of gay writer Maurice Sachs. Amongst the terror of surviving in famine-riddled Paris, Leduc experiments with writing, but it is after reading Simone de Beauvoir’s “She Came to Stay” that Violette is compelled to compose her own exposition. “L’Asphyxie” (“In the Prison of Her Skin”) is based on her relationship with her emotionally withdrawn and controlling mother, her memories of childhood and her experience of sexual abuse.

 

Violette seeks out Beauvoir as a mentor, and in doing so, forms one of the most significant relationships of her life, one around which the film derives momentum. The contrast of the restrained and thoughtful Beauvoir (played by Sandrine Kiberlain) and the undisciplined Violette, a woman afire with desperation, is wonderfully telling and altogether bleak. Beauvoir introduces Violette to her circle of friends, many of whom are progressive writers and philosophers, including Albert Camus, Jean Genet and Jacque Guerin.

 

Whilst the film emphasizes Leduc’s triumph as a female writer, one of the first women in literature to portray honestly and openly a women’s experience of abortion (as well as divorce, same-sex affairs and her sexual awakening), the narrative resonates more hauntingly as a tightly wrought exploration of her obsessive need to be recognized, to be appreciated, to be comforted. Violette’s almost-mantra of “alone again, always alone” is the consistent thread upon which the film is strung, and casts light on her relationships with men, women, her mother, her readers, her publisher, her friends. She is consumed by this need, one which both motivates her craft as a writer and destroys her sense of self and the few healthy relationships she has.

 

Provost does not deny the creation process of a writer, creating languid and sensual shots in which we consume the act of writing. Leduc’s struggle to find her voice as a writer is intricately linked with her relational developments, as these feed back into her work, for ill or for good.

 

In the moments when Violette is at her most volatile and dramatic, the film never stoops to theatricality. Whilst she wails at de Beauvoir, hits her mother, and abuses strangers for arbitrarily appreciating her, Provost creates the sense that we are also seeing her at her most private. Every moment of pain is laid bare, and the film is all the richer for it.

The blend of Violette’s deep sense of entrapment with her desperate outbursts form a wonderfully varied and nuanced portrait of this groundbreaking female writer.

 

 

 

Apr 05

THEATRE – The Long Way Home – Dunstan Playhouse – 4K

The Long Way Home was developed by Sydney Theatre Company, at the invitation of, and in conjunction with, the Australian Defence Force, following a similar project by director Stephen Rayne in the United Kingdom. It is brought to Adelaide in conjunction with the State Theatre Company of South Australia. While biographical plays are not uncommon, this production is unique in that it sees the soldiers who provided the stories (Will Bailey, David Cantley, James Duncan, Wayne Goodman, Craig Hancock, Kyle Harris, Patrick Hayes, Tim Loch, Emma Palmer, Sarah Webster, James Whitney and Gary Wilson) on which writer Daniel Keene based his script, filling the majority of on-stage roles in the production.

The stories portrayed are varied and interesting. There are glimpses of the conditions faced overseas on active patrol in warzones; the danger and the boredom, the adrenaline and the fatigue. The majority of the play focuses on the time after this though, when the soldiers have returned to Australia, and are preparing to be discharged from active duty and return to a life outside the armed forces.  They encompass both the individual and shared experiences of the soldiers and those around them, highlighting the personal impact and the flow-on effect.

Keene succeeds in creating a blend of characters and stories that provide an insight into what it is like to exist between two worlds – to find yourself devoid of place, disconnected from those around you and not knowing if there’s a way to change that. The simple staging puts the focus squarely on the performers. The script is powerfully written and the heavy involvement of the ADF personnel in its development ensures that there are no trite or clichéd elements. Throughout the play, the scenes capture and examine contrasting states of mind; they explore the confusion, frustration and anxiety that can be felt when conflicting thoughts, feeling and desires are experienced at the same time.

While the majority of the play is intense, there are also frequent moments of comedy and, while the mix of acting capability in the cast is wide ranging, the feeling, timing and pace is always maintained. Hancock, Loch and Whitney do particularly well in their emotionally demanding roles, while the Sydney Theatre Company performers who join them (Martin Harper, Emma Jackson Odile Le Clezio, Tahki Saul and Warwick Young) provide good support and a stable, confident base for the other performers to work off.  

The concept of the show, the way it was developed, produced and performed means that this production is unusual. While it would no-doubt still be an interesting and moving piece if performed entirely by professional actors, this debut run, featuring those who collaborated in its creation, is a unique theatrical experience and, even more-so, a moving human experience.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K.

Mar 30

Adelaide Festival- Rocky Horror Show- 5K

Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show has a long and illustrious (if very tawdry) performance history. The sheer weight of the calibre of actors and actresses who have embodied the quirky, albeit exceptionally odd, array of characters over the years us enough to make any theatre-goer stop in awe.

The impressive line-up can often prove a burden to bear, or a mark to reach for new casts- and makes finding original ways to make the musical’s jokes, now practically written into the cultural miasma, relevant and witty in their new context.

The Adelaide Festival found a gem hidden in the most unlikely place- a show that is already world famous many times over. One of the ways in which they succeeded was in convincing Craig McLachlan to reprise his role as Dr. Frank N. Furter, which he played 40 years ago to the delight and scandal of audiences in the 1970′s- which proves no different now.

McLachlan was the clear stand out in this production, using his excellent timing and physical comedy to navigate his own portrayal of the Doctor in ways utterly new and hilarious, drawing in the already captive audience.

The Adelaide Festival’s production also came with another surprise for this leg of it’s Australian season- the Narrator was voiced and played by Richard O’Brien- the revered creator of Rocky Horror and the original Riff Raff in the 1974 film.

The cast were incredible- transporting the audience to the very weird and musically capable world of Rocky Horror, giving the characters integrity, whilst also translating them for a modern Australian audience.

The music was sensational, and the performance ended with not one, but several standing ovations, and many sing-a-long encores from the cast.

This performance of Rocky Horror was everything it should be- bizarre, shocking, outrageously funny, cheeky to boot. Sensationally acted and directed, the Adelaide Festival’s Rocky Horror could not come more highly recommended.

5K.

 

Mar 28

ART – Parklands Art Exhibition – Artspace – Festival Theatre – 3K

IMG 0502 214x300 ART   Parklands Art Exhibition – Artspace – Festival Theatre   3K

Light’s Vision in 2013 Pictures by Morne de Klerk

By Peter Maddern

Last year, the Adelaide Parklands Preservation Society, with some courage, organised an art competition which they say is the first of its type, including relating to the city of Adelaide. The aims, no doubt are to record for posterity the standing and issues around the Parklands circa 2013.

The results are now on display in the Festival Centre’s Artspace and it is all worth a visit not that the quality of these finalists is uniformly great. But the variety of approaches is in and of itself intriguing.

Many take to a landscape depiction with a view to decorative arts. Some of these then ascribe quite, well, self-important price tags to their work which perhaps both reveals their composers’ desire to enter on the basis of a free exhibition that may bring a sale and explains why these types of works have mostly not sold.

Thankfully the judges have awarded their prizes and commendations to those who looked beyond. The winner, CJ Taylor, has come up with a photo entitled Denim (Pasha of the Parklands) where an old grey mare seems reproduced at full size on a screen propped up amongst the dry summer grasses of the northern parklands. But in fact she isn’t as can be seen when gaining perspective from the car battery jumper lead jacks that keep it upright. It may have been quite the prerogative of the judges to dismiss this entry but obviously its intrigue drew them in.

Mark Judd presents one of any number of city ‘square mile’ depictions with his made up entirely of electric circuit boards and transistors for buildings of various sizes and coils, a blue one for the Torrens and gold studs for trees. It is most definitely a labour of love though perhaps not the most so.

That title may go Morne de Klerk’s Light’s Vision in 2013 Pictures. Here we see a montage of seemingly millions of images 1cm wide which, when sorted together, come up with a side view of the great man on Montefiore Hill. While software can make this happen (one no longer needs to do this by hand), nonetheless you need the raw material and that is where de Klerk has got his 2013 picture title. It is a delight.

Like Judd, Susan Napoli has gone for a square mile depiction and done hers as a tapestry while, dare it be said, Douglas Russell has perhaps indulged in shameless ingratiation to the judges who may come from the City Council with a daring prediction of how the new Victoria Square will look once works are completed as seen from the top of the Hilton Hotel. For the record, his hopes were dashed.

As noted at the outset, this was a brave initiative by the Preservation Society and it has worked. One can only hope they muster the courage to do it all again for contemporary views and events recorded like this are a valuable contribution to this city’s heritage.

Kryztoff Rating    3K

Mar 13

Adelaide Fringe – Steve Sheehan’s Little Boring Story Event – 3.5K

steve sheehan 250x373 Adelaide Fringe   Steve Sheehans Little Boring Story Event   3.5KSet in the enigmatic and charming Tuxedo Cat, Steve Sheehan’s new performance ‘little boring story event’ delivers what it promises; that is ‘to make you laugh wondering how something so boring could be amusing. Then a dance’.

The show, despite involving ostensibly boring stories, is captivating. The tales themselves are pointless, dreary tales somehow reanimated into interesting comic relief. This involves a master storyteller, inflection and timing. Through the employment of these tools Sheehan takes the audience on to their own little boring story adventure.

Sheehan himself is exceptional. Years of performance have crafted a lightning fast tongue, easily dismissing the few hecklers brave enough to attempt to trip him up. His silly tales and blank faced comedy has the audience continuously in tumultuous laughter.

Upon entering each audience member is handed a five dollar bill as recompense for ‘the quality of the show’. At the finale, Sheehan tells the audience that they are free to return it, or keep it and buy themselves a drink. As we left, I only saw one person keep theirs.

This show is witty and entertaining. The performance is strong, involved and refreshing. The stories are spontaneous and light hearted and the dancing is spectacular. Sheehan, a veteran comic, brings another year of wit, class and humour to the Adelaide Fringe.

3.5K

Older posts «