RAW: November – State Theatre Company – Dunstan Playhouse – 3K

Charles ‘Chuck’ Smith is coming to the end of his first and – with a lack of support from the Election Committee, a barely existent re-election campaign and poll ratings so low they can barely be seen – final term as American President. He is less than happy about the situation and the news that he will not even get a library when he leaves is the last straw. He decides that he must be re-elected, even if that means making shonky deals with local Native Americans, calling his sick speech-writer into the office and extorting funds from the nearest available source.

The set, from Victoria Lamb, is a very good representation of the Oval Office, capturing its best known features and opulence. The lighting (Mark Pennington) is well adapted to suit the time of day visible through the large windows behind the President’s gorgeous carved timber desk. Together they set the scene well.

Gary McDonald’s portrayal of Chuck brings to mind a petulant and spoilt child. While this is probably an accurate interpretation of the character as written and there is a lot to enjoy in the performance, it does get a tad grating. As his brown-nosing but slightly more world-aware personal adviser Archer Brown, Peter Michell is suitably unctuous. The character of Clarice Bernstein (Barbara Lowing) – Chuck’s speech writer who chooses to use his desperation to her own advantage – is written and played for laughs, however the interactions between her and Chuck seemed inconsistent and, at times, pointless.

Michael Habib embodies “the turkey representative” well, creating a man who is not overburdened with intelligence himself and lives for his turkeys. In him, Chuck may have found the Cash Cow he needs to be able to buy enough air-time to convince the American people to vote him back in. Jason Chong fills the small and less than inspiring role of Chief Dwight Grackel, adequately. While all of the actors do a decent job with their individual characters, there is no overall cohesion as an ensemble and the energy is sadly lacking for the majority of the show.

The humour in this play seems to rely on the old adage “it’s funny because it’s true”, however it misses the mark slightly due to everything being so over the top that it becomes too unrealistic. The lack of energy also detracted and the American accents used appeared to affect the actors’ projection, making it difficult to hear and understand some of the dialogue (and jokes). Though not a triumph, there is potential in this show and hopefully as the run goes on, the energy will rise and it will be fulfilled.

Kryztoff Rating: 3K

Check out all our features and profiles in our magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Snowtown – Movie Preview With Lucas Pittaway & Katrina Sedgwick

The Snowtown movie releases on 19th May but it has already received rave reviews with its first sold out screenings at the Adelaide Film Festival.

In two exclusive interviews with Kryztoff, Adelaide Film Festival Director, Katrina Sedgwick, and Snowtown star, Lucas Pittaway, talk about the film and their involvement in it, Sedgwick as an investor and Pittaway as an actor.

Catch that video here: Katrina Sedgwick and Lucas Pittaway Talk About Snowtown.

RAW: Soundwave Interview – We Are The Ocean

By Socratos

We Are The Ocean are a 5-piece post-hardcore band from Essex UK. Formed in 2008 the band is famous for the intensity of their live shows.

I spoke to guitarist/vocalist Liam Cromby who joined the band after responding to their ad on the internet. Upon arrival at the first practice session he was surprised to learn that a number of the other members were already mates of his and the band gelled from there!

As we spoke the band was currently on a European tour just outside of Amsterdam. They are touring and celebrating the release of their latest album Go Now And Live which entered the UK album chart at #45 on April 25th this year. A success that builds upon their initial successes with their first album of which they only pressed 1000 copies due to a restrictive budget at the time. Even so all 1000 copies sold out really quickly and in hindsight have been a great move according to Liam;

“Because there are so few copies of that first album it has become rather sought after and it’s difficult to get a hold of. It’s a nice feeling to see it going on ebay from time to time”

Although you may not get your hands on their first album most of the tracks on it were re-relased on their major label debut titled Cutting Our Teeth.

We Are The Ocean are heading down under for the upcoming Soundwave revolution tour, check the website for dates in your city


Alex Grey Riding the Rainbow Interview Videos

It’s finally here folks! The video interview with Alex & Allyson Grey at Rainbow Serpent 2011 in four parts, enjoy

Part I

part II

Part III

Part IV

Check out the write up of these interviews in Kryztoff’s April edition at: Kryztoff\’s April Edition

Along with our profile on Bob King, Rachel Sanderson and this season’s plays from the State Theatre Company