Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Mine - Western Australian Youth Theatre Company (13 June 2012)

What an interestingly constructed and written play! A deliberately elliptical and obtuse first act with plenty of clues and double meanings but few if any answers as the audience is plunged into the same confusion and angst as the characters; followed by a complete change of tone in the second act that revels in being playful and comedic while slowly revealing the answers, indeed coming full circle to beautifully reprise the opening.

Special mention to Emily Cribb for delivering a brilliant, rapid-fire (almost) monologue at the opening of the second act that was cleverly written and playfully rendered.

I would love to read the text as there is a lot to chew on here. Well done one and all!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Slice of Saturday Night - Kelete Theatre Company (9 June 2012)

I had the pleasure of going to the opening of A Slice of Saturday Night at Ya Ya's in Northbridge on the weekend. This is a musical set in the Club A Go Go in 1964 where seven teenagers flirt and "navigate the rituals of teenage fashion, music, sexual mores and relationships" overseen by the owner Eric "Rubber-legs" De Vere.

It's flat out funny with excellent performances, great songs, and an off the charts energy level from the young cast. This is helped by the venue itself which is very intimate with the audience right up close to the action. There's even some impromptu audience participation (Eric likes to keep his club in good order!) and invitation to dance at one point. It was a great crowd that really was into the swing of things responding to the performers' infectious enthusiasm. And swing it does as a cheeky, vibrant, sixties mood is present throughout.

The performers were all suitably attired; the girls in short skirts with big hair and lashes; the guys all mod-Beatles wannabes. Indeed, a gentleman at my table who had seen The Cavern in Liverpool remarked that the space was remarkably similar.

The director Kelly Buckle makes full use of the venue with scenes taking place at the bar itself and characters congregating in the wings to chat, observe and give (singing) commentary on events happening on stage. There are also projected images of everything from The Beatles to Twiggy to really reinforce the iconic nature of the time period and sense of place. Even as you enter, the performers are in character and mingling with the audience which was a nice touch, cockney accents and all. Thank you 'Penny' for coming to sit and 'flirt' with me a little before the show!

Amongst the raucous plot of teenage boys looking to have some fun on a Saturday night and teenage girls looking for 'the right one' there is an underlying sweetness as well, particularly through the Rick and Sharon strand. Though that doesn't stop an hilarious pay-off to the bet that was set up right from the start that I will not spoil here! Suffice to say it had everyone howling with laughter.

This is good, fun entertainment with a cheeky nod and a wink back to a time full of great music, great fashion but still all about what do you do when you fancy someone on the other side of the bar on a Saturday night.

Directed by Kelly Buckle
Assistant Directed and Choreographed by Harriet Haddow
Lighting and sound by Ralph Southall


Eric 'Rubber Legs' DeVine - Ben Nguyen
Gary - Nate Dimmock
Eddie - Jackson Wimhurst
Rick - Jordan Willis
Bridgit - Marney Bon
Sue - Therese Cruise
Sharon - Victoria Luxton
Penny - Emily Caruso

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot - Upstart Theatre Company (6 June 2012)

Congratulations to director Patrick Downes; Desiree Crossing, Zalia Joi, Garreth Bradshaw, Braye Dial and the rest of the excellent cast of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot presented by Upstart Theatre Company.

What a play!!! Absurdist, darkly funny, bursting with ideas, pointed, subversive, dense and intricate dialogue, playful... challenging.

Three highlights (amongst many) - a powerhouse penultimate scene between Braye Dial as Judas Iscariot and Simon Thompson as Jesus; Kingsley Judd takes a beautifully written monologue at least 10 minutes long and hits it out of the ballpark; Desiree Crossing's character breaking down as she damns Satan as a liar.

Get along and catch it - highly recommended!