To improve your experience update it here. News emergencies. Latest emergency news alerts, accident incidents and first respondents, health emergencies, police and fire stories, search and rescues. Fire victim's heartbreaking last post The fourth person to die from the catastrophic bushfires devastating Australia's east coast, Barry Parson, shared his fear at being alone the day he died. Emotional moment Queensland firefighter returns home to kids It was the emotional moment a rural firefighter arrived home to his worried children. Australian company wins grant for helicopter firefighting technology A new firefighting water tank developed by an Australia company could hold the key to improving water-bombing of blazes.
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Fisherman fights off crocodile then drives more than an hour to get help The man, in his 50s, suffered major hand and leg injuries in the attack at Shelburne near the tip of Cape York Peninsula. Pitch black in places, for a play set in a dystopian city where blackouts are the norm. However, as the darkness increases and the work becomes a radio play, there is very little even a highly skilled cast can do to keep a viewer present. A girl in a school uniform enters with purpose. Steph is wanting to find a friend who may have strayed this way.
The barmaid, Bell, is having none of that. Jobs are hard enough to find and keep without an underage, private school, slummer getting her fired. But Steph is more resilient and dogged than she appears. What does impel the tale is the shifting balance between the women as they find a commonness in an ability to extrapolate the unknown from the unknowable. On a purely technical level their ability to switch tone, and physical position, in the quick blackouts is exceptional.
So expert, that those early scenes, especially the jolting, unexpected ones sell the tension with a considerable ramping effect. Director Hannah Goodwin, has a bit of form when it comes to directing sharp and sudden scenes without jerkiness.
I thoroughly enjoyed her work on Carousel last year and this production is equally tight and focussed. It takes small swipes at class and privilege, at gender and at the disposability of the poor but those are only whisps as the darknesses lengthen and the production devolves into shared story-making between the two women. One very interesting aspect of the production is the wringing audio composition from Jessica Dunn.
It is distant, ringing and vibration-ridden and serves not to create mood, but enhance it. The music comes in waves in the blackouts and one gets used to the aural clues of when the lights will come up, comforted almost … and then Dunn and Goodwin extend the musical waves and it is extremely disorienting. Pointing to just how human susceptibility to perception can form our habits.
The lighting is a practical affair on the surface but Phoebe Pilcher has these neat little hits of elegant threat. The generatorish flux and sputter of the hanging centrepiece, an industrial lampshade, and the other-worldly whack of steel blue after the warmth of most of the play. A Girl In School Uniform Walks Into A Bar has great performances and production values but, unfortunately, given the option to daydream in the dark, one is hard pressed to resist.
Much beloved as film and stage show, The Sapphires , has made a stop on its national tour at Riverside Theatres. Most especially, the music.
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A great show to make you feel young once more. Dave may have an inclination toward sleaze if not monitored but whip-smart Gail has his measure. The four women are played with warmth and welcome by the female stars. And what gems they are. The show relies on those killer songs which are delivered with vibrant energy and foot tapping belt. The more poignant songs and solos are sweet and sad and softly carry the emotional content of the story. If touring has somewhat diminished the freshness of the acting in places, the narrative still engages and the characters are real and thoroughly entertaining.
Mike Smith as Dave adds a great deal to the laughs in the show and Leeroy Tipiloura has such an attractive depth of character as love interest, Timmy. Bringing considerable gravitas to his role as the Yank airman, Robby, is Wem Etuknwa and the meet-cute is really lovely. Plus, there is an excellent performance from Anthony Lim as Joe. Lim takes all those Asian tropes and makes them his own and his big, yet subtle, performance brings a great deal of pathos for Joe. For me it was the music that made this show such a delight to see.
The band is on stage, involved and expert! The orchestrations relish the period but kick it up a notch. The audio mix is designed with intricacy and operated to perfection. And there is reverb and echo and delay used to thrill and for emotional impact. And the costumes are just what one wants to see. My friend and I had quite an in-depth discussion at interval about what colour the sparkly mini-skirts were! We decided sapphire blue not black. Lighting that keeps it simple with period colours and choreography that also knows how to immerse an audience in a time past.
The Sapphires is a nostalgia trip but discreetly more than merely that. It spotlights a time when the Indigenous peoples of this country were under represented and ignored and, through song and story, allows us to share in their resilience and power. The theatrical style of John , playing at Seymour Centre, might be an acquired taste but, then, you will have over 3 hours to acquire it. This is slow theatre, tender theatre. The kind of theatre, which the experiencing of, may well focus your taste and inclinations and supports risky programming.
This is work that requires of you.
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Annie Baker won the Pulitzer for The Flick which was also presented here by Outhouse Theatre Company and her writing explores the space between … between characters, between dialogue, between the stage and the viewer… to find the crackle of contact points. If the electricity was somewhat static for me, it seems most of the audience on opening night were touched strongly by the seeping current.
Elderly, watchful and solicitous in her way, Kitty knows how to host - she has a little area set up, calling it Paris, with breakfasting and snacks; she greets guests with a home-made treat; and she knows which of her rooms would suit them. Jenny and Elias are upgraded to a different room, their booked room not quite right for them. With such spare dialogue, realistic pauses and moments of reflection or its conversations only just audible from other rooms, John has little explanation and less exposition.
No silence feels strained, no response or reaction out of place, no relationship discordant.
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Beginning with a wonderful performance from Belinda Giblin as Kitty. After all, she has new people constantly in her life and her command of hearth and home gives her time to observe. It is such a replete performance.
Matched by what Genevieve hears in the silences and stillnesses. Maggie Blinco is charismatic and wry as this slightly crazy, other-worldly creature. Her prognostications and pronouncements oddly believable, scene liftingly comic in places and wrought with the superstitions of the wise woman. The young couple are played by Shuang Hu and James Bell and their relationship, flaws and strengths, is available to the audience straight away.
The strains will provide the narrative throughline for the play, just as the atmospheric is provided by Kitty and Genevieve. Meanwhile, the small manipulations which feel like inexorably controlling behaviours are tweaked and subtly portrayed by Bell in a depressive, downcast, yet undiminished performance. The direction from Craig Baldwin holds the text in a discreet hand. Every stationary speech is delivered with intent, conversations have been questioned for realism, and subtext, and the movement around the remarkable set is organic, unjarring, and motivated by personality.
The show moves slowly but with each seated interaction there can be a pull of inquiry for the engaged viewer. There are sheets of time when one wants them to tell us more and there are balls of comedy thrown in, lighting the way.
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If the teaser and tormentor of the front red velvet curtain are somewhat limiting to sightlines, the conceit of grandness and theatricality is worth it. It attunes the audience to the less corporeal aspects of the work and allows for interventions like the moving of clock hands to indicate, for us,time coming forward. And the absolutely stunning lighting from Veronique Benett also magics the mystic elements into being.