Posts tagged Theatre

RAW: Entertaining Mr Sloane – State Theatre Company

Sloane (Renato Fabretti), is a good-looking young lad who has taken lodgings in the house that Kath (Jacki Weaver) shares with her father, Kemp (Dennis Olsen). Despite their age difference, Kath has designs on Sloane. Her controlling brother Ed (Sean Taylor) is not happy about the arrangement; until he meets Sloan and also finds the boy alluring.

As Kath, Weaver initially presents a vague and simple character that is mildly amusing and decidedly pathetic in her overtures towards the young Sloane. However, as the character develops in the second act it becomes clear that Kath is not just a ditz and that her psychological issues have a truly pathological and disturbing leaning. In these later scenes we see more of the talent for which Weaver is known.

Disappointingly, Fabretti (while undeniably attractive) has neither the appropriate look for Sloane nor manages to inhabit the role in any way that could endear him to the audience. The character was inconsistent and underdeveloped, with many opportunities to give it depth, and illuminate the motivations for his actions, sadly neglected. Taylor is suitably loathsome as Ed and, as the wretched and doddering Kemp, Olsen gives his usual, crowd pleasing, performance.

Overall, the show lacked spark. There were pace issues, particularly in the first act, and much of the dialogue felt like it was being said for no reason other than because it was written on the page. When double meanings were accentuated, they were met with appreciative laughter from the audience but, sadly, the majority of these opportunities were missed due to the lacklustre delivery.

Promoted as a black comedy, the script does have comedic potential but it also touches on some very serious, and unsettling, issues and so a delicate balance needs to be met. Regrettably, this production fails to achieve that happy medium and the result, while not completely devoid of merit, is a rather bland interpretation.

Kryztoff Rating 2.5K

Austen Found: The Undiscovered Musicals of Jane Austen

Young men of Adelaide – want to get in good with the missus and show your “sensitive side”? Why not take her to Austen Found!

While billing itself as the “Undiscovered musicals of Jane Austen”, Austen Found is actually an exercise in improvisation.  But not just improvisation, these girls rattle off period language, dance, sing, and fill out a pair of well cut breaches, all without seeming to break a sweat.  And for good reason.  Performance Troupe ‘ConArtists’ is made up of a number of highly skilled improvisers, who have even improvised for their country at world championship theatre games (I didn’t know there was such a thing).

The story is…. well you already know the story: girl meets unsuitable boy, they fall in love, but are unable to express their undying devotion to each other due to social pressures etc…..  The idea is that the story changes slightly every night, dependant on the choices the audience makes at the beginning of the show.  But in general, you are not going to this show for the story – you are going to see these women improvise their little hearts out!

If you are wanting a deep discussion of the issues facing these women in society – this isn’t the show for you.  But, if you are after a good night out with some laughs – why not give it a go!

RAW: Shirley @ Arcade Lane

At first I found the show rather offensive. Then I realised it was MEANT to be offensive. Then I spent most of the performance pondering how I was meant to feel. There’s a powerful message in this performance about sex in popular culture and how some disgusting sexualised material goes unnoticed or unchallenged. Despite agreeing with the messages of the performance and understanding why these messages are important the delivery just seems needlessly over-the-top. Yes – I know it’s meant to be extreme, challenging and confronting, but it seemed to be confrontational and challenging at the expense of the choreography.

Kryztoff Rating: 1.5 K

>> Check out more interviews, videos, feature articles and polished previews in our latest Fringe Guide

RAW: The Sapphires

The Sapphires is Australia’s theatrical answer to the American film Dreamgirls.

Set in the late 60s, four indigineous sisters, Gail, Kay, Cynthia and Julie, with powerful, soulful voices embark on a tour in Vietnam, entertaining the troops. Predictably, there are a number of love interests, references to drugs, racism and the War.

Sure the plot is thin at times, and the nods to complex issues, like racial tension, the Vietnam War, lack real substance, but that’s not what The Sapphires is all about. It’s all about fun. It’s a great crowd-pleaser.

Christine Anu, Casey Donovan, Kylie Farmer and Hollie Andrew sparkle as The Sapphires – their soulful vocals fill the Scott Theatre. Hear those fantastic vocalists sing motown classics, including Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T and I Heard It Through The Grapevine and much, much more.

As part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts, shimmy on down to the Scott Theatre.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

>> Check out more interviews, videos, feature articles and polished previews in our latest Fringe Guide

RAW: The Servant of Two Masters

The Servant of Two Masters presented by the Adelaide University Fringe Club is a slightly confusing but nevertheless entertaining story. Showing at the Armoury Lawns behind the Adelaide Museum, the talented cast rely on voice projection to enable the audience to hear. It was at times difficult to hear what each character was saying, therefore, making it a little hard to follow what was happening in the plot. With entertaining pauses, audience acknowledgments and a great enthusiastic cast, the play had the audience laughing the majority of the way through. Shown in a beautiful location, the cast made use of the Museum’s stairs and balcony to add an element of surprise. Although a little long, the soap opera come comedy had me laughing and smiling.

Kryztoff Rating: 2.5K

>> Check out moe interviews, videos, feature articles and polished previews in our latest Fringe Guide

RAW: My Sweet Specter – Star Theatres

Anna McInerney’s ‘My Sweet Specter’ is another ambitious project this Fringe pitting looming, young Adelaide talent against a tough assignment. But for the most part, she and her cast and crew pull it off.

In Nicole Miller’s play and the Film Noir tradition of the Prohibition era, Miss Scarlett (Shaez Mortimer) comes to Chicago to make her name but quickly gets embroiled in some foul play and deception with the nightclub moguls the Blacks – Vivian “Vixen’ (Joanna McGovern) and John (Peter Enright) – for which her own shady past is well prepared. As the story develops dance scenes break out, led seductively by Rebecca Plummer and Madison Kuerschner (amongst the girls) and the stylish Joel Anderson. There is a lot of the musical style of Chicago in this and the players are up to the multiple roles of actor, dancer and singer with both Mortimer and McGovern giving stand out performances.

Thomas Phillips’ choreography and Krysia Vucic and Shannon Adams’ costumes are great for a performance on this scale but it has to be said the show at times suffered for its amateurish bits – the lighting (especially front of stage) was weak and for a theatre the size of the Star the use of microphones depreciated the performances.

But overall, great fun and entertainment and here’s to hoping McInerney brings more shows together and that dancing on this scale and high level can also get a regular guernsey in town. If her future shows are as well patronised as this, then any company Anna forms will have a strong following to support it.

Kryztoff Rating 4K

>> Check out more interviews, videos, feature articles and polished previews in our latest Fringe Guide