Theatre Now: The Reviews

TN Reviews PROD

Theatre Now: The Reviews…

 

Theatre Now is invited to attend and review most Sydney theatrical events.

We only publish reviews of shows which the reviewer would recommend. As everyone knows, we creative types have a highly inflated view of our own opinions, and in fact our opinions are just as subjective as everyone else’s.

So if you see a show listed that you are interested in and that we have not reviewed, don’t let that stop you. Go support Sydney theatre and make up your own mind.

Recommended = a friend asks us if they see this show, will they have a good night at the theatre? We say yes.

Don’t Miss = Seriously. Make time. We’ll drive you.


TN Review: Dot Dot Dot [505@5 Eliza]

Recommend
Dot Dot Dot 007It is difficult to describe the nature of this production. There are some beautiful a cappella songs at the top of the acts and between some scenes, but it is not a musical. There are some wonderfully constructed comic moments but it is not a comedy. It more closely resembles a melodrama but the performances and characters are grounded in realism.

Gerrard Carroll, Matt Abell-King, Lucy Miller and Natalie Venettacci are excellent. Garth Boylan’s direction is precise. The set design is minimal but effective and the costumes (especially Lucy Miller’s) beautiful.

A couple of moments in the play do not quite hold the tension but overall this is a very entertaining evening. It is an unique telling of a interesting story.

Running until 28th November at 505@5 Eliza Theatre Newtown.

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones Theatre Now
Nov-15


TN Review: Hamlet [Bell Shakespeare]

Recommend
Hamlet HOTHamlet is, arguably, Shakespeare’s most famous play. Despite the fact that there are a myriad productions performed across the globe every year, one forgets just how many iconic lines and phrases it holds. And yet, with his new production for Bell Shakespeare, director Damien Ryan has managed to wrangle wonderful amounts of subtext out of the script, allowing us to see the play anew.

In the title role, Josh McConville is electric….McConville’s performance is passionate, and undeniably intelligent. His handle on the text far surpasses anyone else on the stage, and he holds the somewhat haphazard production together…Matilda Ridgway does well as Ophelia. She tries constantly to find moments to speak out against her oppression..

McConville’s portrayal of a childlike Hamlet, and Ryan’s inclusion of contemporary phrases such as “Chookas!” certainly make the play appealing to a younger, modern audience, which is a clever choice. Alicia Clements’ set is stunning and cleverly used, and is complimented superbly by Matt Cox’s lighting. Nigel Poulton has put together a brilliant fencing duel at the end, and while this production may not stand the test of time, it is certainly worth seeing. For newcomers though, don’t read the blurb! It’s riddled with spoilers!

Running until December 6th at the Sydney Opera House.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now
Nov-15


TN Review: Dead Centre/Sea Wall [Old Fitz]

Recommend
Dead Centre PRODThe two stories finally, tragically, connect and everything falls in to place. Things we found funny in Helen’s story – “I realised I forgot to tell my Dad I was moving,” or “Telling my husband I was going to Australia was a little difficult” – hit home hard and fast in Alex’s story, as we come to realise what these people have been through.

The technology in this production seemed a little superfluous. There was evocative projection of the moon-lit ocean on a screen, the lighting was overplayed a little, and the inclusion of the dimly-lit actors in the background of each others’ story was unnecessary. The words and the actors speaking them were enough. The stories spoke for themselves, nothing more was needed.

This production by Melbourne based company Red Stitch is poignant and moving. It was a great choice for the space at the Old Fiztroy, and if nothing else, don’t miss Ben Prendergast’s performance.

Running until 14th November.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now
Nov-15


TN Review: My Zinc Bed [Ensemble Theatre]

Recommend
Zinc 01One of David Hare’s most revealing plays, My Zinc Bed only seems to get more prevalent with age. It explores the idea of addiction, which, in today’s society, seems almost commonplace now. There are reality shows about it, endless documentaries, and even TV commercials warning against the perils of too much (insert literally anything here). Hare’s play deals specifically with alcoholism, in the form of recovering alcoholic and poet Paul Peplow (Sam O’Sullivan). Paul gets embroiled in the glamorous life of IT magnate Victor Quinn and his wife Elsa, and finds himself struggling to maintain those carefully constructed walls it took him so long to build.

Hare is a brilliant writer, and the actors do a wonderful job lacing their words with lashings of subtext. But overall, despite impressive individual performances, the production doesn’t overly excite. This is surprising, considering the concoction of people bringing this show together.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now
Nov-15


TN Review: Jigsaws [Rough Hewn : Star Of The Sea]

Recommend
Jigsaws Alex (Abigail Honey)“I’ll snap you like a Kit Kat!”

In her play Jigsaws, playwright and self-proclaimed feminist Jennifer Rogers explores the multilayered dynamics of a dysfunctional family of women. They span three generations, from early 20’s to early 70’s, and constantly hover somewhere between love and hate for each other. It’s a new avenue that the Rough Hewn Theatre Troupe is exploring, and one that’s doing wonders. Jigsaws is a refreshing play about women, for women, and it’s a delight to watch.

Despite some issues with the pace and timing, Rough Hewn has produced a fine production. In the words of Cartwright himself, Jigsaws is “unashamedly feminist” and although certain aspects of life have changed in the few decades since it was written, the issues facing women remain the same. And while it is obviously great to see so many juicy roles for women in one place, it also needs to be acknowledged as important. We need more of this.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now
Oct-15


TN Review: Blood Bank [Ensemble Theatre]

Must See
Blood Bank DON'T MISSHospitals can be bleak places, the air often heavy with death, decay and sadness. And yet somehow, out of the veins of this sterile environment, flows playwright Christopher Harley’s newest play, Blood Bank, for the Ensemble Theatre…. an unexpected love story, tenderly written and full of humour.

Gabrielle Scawthorn is mesmerising as Abbey. She’s an obvious comedienne, and is rewarded with some of the biggest laughs of the evening. But equally, Scawthorn portrays just the right amount Abbey’s aching neediness and vulnerability, and wins our hearts.

Director Anthony Skuse has guided his actors with subtlety and sensitivity, and has created a production that is touching, but most importantly, relevant. It verges on sentimental, but the skilled actors keep it grounded in reality with truthful performances.

Death is something that affects everyone, and Harley’s play reminds us that time is short. Eat that cookie, take that holiday you’ve been daydreaming about, and tell that person that you love them. Michael stands as a reminder to let go of the past so it doesn’t define our present. Abbey inspires us to be spontaneous and to lead with kindness, and Justin helps us to see the silver lining. This production is relevant on so many levels, and mustn’t be missed.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now
Oct-15


TN Review: The Real Thing [New Theatre]

Recommend
The Real Thing 3s
The New Theatre wonderfully brings Tom Stoppard’s quintessentially British play The Real Thing to life in their latest production. On the whole the cast is strong, the tension is palpable and the comedy is appropriately, and skilfully blithe and well-timed.

Love is such a huge part of all of our lives, no matter what form it takes, and this play is such an interesting exploration of it. Stoppard has provided a frank and ironic look at infidelity and the fickle nature of love, and the pairing of his script with this cast is perfection. The laughs are constant and well deserved, and the whole team should be proud. This shouldn’t be missed.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now
Oct-15


TN Review: Edward II [Sport For Jove : Seymour Centre]

Recommend
edward II 02
Love. Duty. Passion. Politics. Hate. Revenge. All of these themes, and more, permeate Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II to the core. Sport For Jove’s latest production is a complex, dark and violent exploration of human nature and the boundaries between power and desire.

The intriguing thing about Marlowe’s play is the pace. Unlike Shakespeare, whose language tends to lean towards the Romantic and descriptive, Marlowe doesn’t waste any time. If one character says another is going to die, it happens almost immediately. No flowery, longwinded monologues here. He is very direct with his words, which is interesting and refreshing for this style of theatre. Having said that, his characters are certainly nowhere near as complex as Shakespeare’s, as they aren’t given time to fully develop, and therefore we’re left wondering whose side we’re on…Ambiguity in the theatre is certainly not a bad thing, and perhaps this is what Marlowe was going for. If so, Sport For Jove has hit the nail on the head with Edward II. They’ve brought to life with excellent skill Marlowe’s twisted tale of revenge and forbidden love. It is most definitely worth the watch.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now
Oct-15


TN Review : TN Reviews: Dumy Moyi [Carriageworks]

Dumy Moyi PROD

In the next 30 – 35 minutes we witness François move and contort, hop, balance and dance. His flexibility and balance is impressive. We also get to experience an incredible range of vocal performances. Deep sonorous vocals move into high falsetto and everything in between. The songs are Ukrainian, Medieval, Filipino and Spanish and they are beautiful. The songs are eclectic and some of the lyrics (provided after the performance) are also beautiful.

The three costumes were designed by Romain Brau and mostly adorn the head, chest and back leaving his g-stringed lower torso bare for most of the routine. A hat complete with full sized stuffed birds was memorable.

The evening was an interesting one. The program says of the performance “I dream about this piece as an antidote. An antidote to western theatre rituals”. In this way the performance succeeds because unlike most theatrical experiences I really could not decipher what it was all about, or why the performance was performed. Maybe this is the intention as the program describes it as a “winding dissemination of dances, songs… and liquors”. Maybe the intention was purely to display physical and vocal prowess. In the end, I stopped trying to understand what I was watching and just enjoyed the movement and the sound.

Full review here or click on the image.

Shondelle Pratt
Theatre Now
Sep-15


TN Review : 13 The Musical [Bryan Brown Theatre, Bankstown]

Birdie - 13 - Grant Leslie Photography

Birdie – 13 – Grant Leslie Photography

Birdie Productions has done a fantastic job with this contemporary, rock musical. Jason Robert Browns music and lyrics are brought to life by Meg Day with comedy and gusto while Dan Elish and Robert Horn’s book jumps to the stage with enthusiasm and comedic flair. The show has heart and boundless energy.

13 The musical is delightful. Go and see it if you want to remember what it was like to be young. If you want to remember that first day at a new school. That first friend that said hello. Support the arts people! This show may not be on par with Matilda or Anything Goes, however it is still a damn good family show. Check out the next generation of young Australian music theatre performers.

Full review here or click on the image.

Shondelle Pratt
Theatre Now
Sep-15


TN Review : Absinthe [Spiegeltent, Hyde Park]

Absinthe HOTFirst of all, let me be very clear. This show is not for sensitive souls. The humour is bold, crass, offensive and hilarious. The Gazillionaire hosts our show with his ditzy sidekick Abby Bobbins and they take no prisoners. The audience is their target and they are merciless. We laughed ‘till we cried, all the time praying that we would not catch their eye.

There is actually something going on in between all the banter and hilarity and My God it’s good.

The weather has warmed up so head out, have a drink in the beer garden before the show and settle in for a fun and breathtaking night. Get tickets now. They have just extended the season to October 25.

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now
Sep-15


TN Review : A Steady Rain [Old Fitz Theatre]

steadyrainKeith Huff’s play A Steady Rain is rough and aggressive. Two tough Chicago cops, lifelong friends and partners recounting their tumultuous story. Their troubles and the violence snowball into an avalanche by the end of the play.

Adam Cook’s production is tight. The actors grab the audience by the throat at the start and do not let go. Despite the monologue nature of this play Cook still manages to bring the violence out on the stage. Although it gets so physical at times, the spell can be broken when the audience wonder if an actor has been hurt by a punch, a hit or a scuffle.

Nick Barkla and Justin Stewart Cotta work so well together you would think they had been performing this production for months. The accents, the pace, the phrasing are all in place and when they deliver lines to the audience, they follow through. They completely engage.

Yet again this is another great production at the Old Fitz.

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now
Sep-15


TN Review: MinusOneSister [SBW Stables/Griffin Theatre]

Minusonesister PRODThis is a tight ensemble piece, the energy and pace does not let up.

This is a very talented group of actors but, to me, the stand out performance was Contessa Treffone as Chrysothemis. Avoiding the trap of playing a naive pawn, Treffone provided a wonderfully complex character. When speaking directly to the audience her engagement was mesmerising.

Luke Rogers direction is tight and well paced. The show engages the audience and evokes emotion despite the stylised retelling. Georgia Hopkins set is very effective. A domestic crime scene. The dominated feature, a large table that is used in various ways throughout the play providing a very clever and dramatic focus for the climax of the play.

Sian James-Holland’s lighting and Nate Edmondson’s sound design and compositions are perfectly matched to production. Working seamlessly underneath.

Another great production from Stories Like These and the Griffin Theatre. Worth adding this to you ‘Go See’ list.

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now
Sep-15


TN Review: Britannia Waves The Rules [Sydney Fringe]

BritanniaWith the festival at full speed, my dance card overfull and short runs of plays, I am posting short Review Snapshots so that we can get responses out to plays while they are still running. If time permits I will replace these with full reviews but it will give you an idea of the plays that I liked and why.

Britannia Waves The Rules is a power full play. Carl doesn’t fit in at home in Blackpool, England. He wants to get out of this hole of a town. He is an angry young man. So he joins the army and heads to Afghanistan. When he returns he is a changed man.

This award winner play is funny, heart wrenching, political and stunningly powerful.

Jane Angharad, Patrick Cullen, Alan Faulner and Nick Rowe all bring beautifully drawn characters into this production and their performances match the quality of the writing. Vincent Andriano is electrifying. His energy and emotions are extraordinary to watch. He dominates the stage (and its a big stage). It is his space; his story and you will pay attention.

Deborah Mulhall keeps the energy and pace up and does not let us off the hook at any time. The performances are tight and the set is minimal but effective.

Britannia Waves The Rules is one of the best shows and Andriano is one of the best performances of the festival.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


TN Review: Retrograde [Sydney Fringe]

 

RetrogradeWith the festival at full speed, my dance card overfull and short runs of plays, I am posting short Review Snapshots so that we can get responses out to plays while they are still running. If time permits I will replace these with full reviews but it will give you an idea of the plays that I liked and why.

Retrograde follows the story of Sonny who is just out of prison. He is trying to rehabilitate himself back into society and forced to meet monthly with a therapist (Earl) as part of his rehabilitation. There are glimpses of Pygmalion or Educating Rita as their relationship develops. They are each trying to find a way to cope with their own future that has suddenly changed.

There are some beautiful moments in this script, some of the transitions could be a little smoother and some elements of the story could do with a little more clarification but these are minor. There are moments when Peter-William Jamieson (also the writer) does not quite sit comfortably in the character of Sonny but they are early in the piece. Once he settles into the role he is very convincing as a young man trying to find his way and trying to control his frustration when things get complicated or unjust. Mark Lee gives Earl a weary, jaded resignation but he does allow himself to drift into self-pity but rather lets it drive his passion. He has made choices in his life that he regrets. Life has not gone the way he would have liked it either and now it’s all too late. Or is it? Is Sonny his redemption? His ray of hope?

Michael Yore’s directing is solid. The realistic set is washed over by Audio Visual at times. Rather than breaking this solid reality it is used in a way that feeds the storyline and does not distract.

A really good story from an up and coming young Australian voice backed up with two solid acting performances. Go and see this play. We will be seeing more of this writer in the future.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


TN Review: All The Difference [Sydney Fringe]

All-The-Difference-by-Paul-Gilchrist-345x345With the festival at full speed, my dance card overfull and short runs of plays, I am posting short Review Snapshots so that we can get responses out to plays while they are still running. If time permits I will replace these with full reviews but it will give you an idea of the plays that I liked and why.

All The Difference [Old 505 Theatre] performed by Kathryn Schuback and written by Paul Gilchrist is a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure story’ style show. Kathryn recounts her life story – or as much of it as the audience allows. Choice, Chance & Predetermination concepts are lightly under this tale. As an audience we are given a plastic plate with “Y” on one side and a “N” on the other. At decision points in Kathryn’s story we make a decision for her and she continues on with the story. Does this change the outcome? Are we just skipping parts of the story as a result of our choices? Do we ever have choices? Do the choices matter? I guess you will have to see the show a few times or corner the actress or writer in the bar afterwards.

Opening night the show needed a few more runs to pick up energy, pace and dialogue but this will be sorted out by now and it did not stop the shop from being interesting and emotionally engaging. Post show discussions in the foyer around one of the votes and other elements of the story are testament to the impact of the show.

This is a lovely performance and an interesting idea. Go and see this show, then discuss afterwards how much affect you really had on it. Also, make sure you grab the program and have a mini ‘choose your own adventure’ reading it. Cute, fun and yes Paul and Daniela, I did turn to page 10 AND 12!

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


 

TN Review: There’s No One New Around You: A Tinder Musical [Sydney Fringe]

TinderThis new creation is inspired by “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”. It’s a digital age version.

We are also reminded of the irony that we need a mobile phone app to find a way to meet in a society where the mobile phone is increasingly disruption our opportunities to interact face to face. there are some lovely observations, some of them very broad and only one or two fall flat. The show will benefit from fine tuning and tightening.

Highlights of the night where the songs There’s No One New Around You (with accompanied slideshow), Hate At First Sight (tango), FU, Tinder [My personal favourite] and Anywhere But Here.

Overall the show is very good and a fun commentary on how we approach the art of attracting a mate in the era of Internet dating. My ‘Plus One’ and I had a wonderful evening. We doubled it with Slapdash Song Night which precedes this show. Got there early, secured a booth, purchased a meal and a bottle of wine and settled in for a great Friday night. you only have one more chance to do this. So clear the schedule this Friday night and do it.

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


 

TN Review: Slapdash Song Night [Sydney Fringe]

Slapdash PRODSlapdash song night truly lives up to its name. Everything feels very raw, very thrown together. It’s clearly not, you don’t get a night of entertainment like this without a lot of hard work.

My ‘Plus One’ and I struggled with deciding our favourite moment of the night and ended up with a battle between the Bronwyn Bishop inspired Song Challenge entry and the Ringworm cover.

Overall what you have is a casual night of fun with some great vocalists. More proof at the range of talented artists we have in Sydney in need of a vehicle. Slapdash gives us a refreshingly new and relaxed vehicle for this. There is a podcast created on each night as well.

You only have one more show so clear this Friday night and head in to Ginger’s on Oxford Street. Have a meal, a bottle of wine and Make it a double and see There’s No One New Around You: A Tinder Musical straight afterwards. That is what we did and we had a huge entertaining evening.

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


TN Review: Ljubičica – Wild Violet [Sydney Fringe]

2731_LJUBICICA_WILD-VIOLET_EFUL_GUIDE__EFUL_WEBFrom the moment that performer Josipa Draisma enters the stage she is captivating, singing with passion and poise, achieving a hypnotic mastery over the audience. As the piece develops we are taken on a nostalgic journey as Draisma recounts her families struggle through the upheaval of immigration and poverty using traditional Croatian folk song to support the narrative.

Before coming to see Ljubičica – Wild Violet I had no idea what to expect. Their website describes the piece as ‘Stories of love, memories and legacy woven into a haunting and jubilant tapestry of Croatian music evoking tears of nostalgia and hope’ and writer/director Melita Rowston uses lovely detail and subtlety in her text to create a truthful story which certainly adds to the nostalgic feel of the piece.

Unfortunately, the tale lacks colour and variation; the subject matter which has the potential to make us laugh, cry, and scream, does not.
Ljubičica – Wild Violet is an interesting piece of theatre which is worth seeing for Draisma’s voice alone but my only disappointment is that it has the potential to be much much more.

Full review here or click on the image.

Jennifer Sarah Dean
Theatre Now


TN Review: Unend [Sydney Fringe]

unend 01This piece is particularly poignant in today’s society, where greed and corruption are at the fore, and where the value of goods is higher than the value of human life. Producer Alex Nell, Publicist Lily Black and the whole team at Never Never Theatre Co. have worked tirelessly to create an outstanding piece of work, and their passion and drive has paid off. For those of you who won’t get to see it, don’t despair! The team are hoping, if all goes well, for a longer run of the show at some point in the future. When that happens, because it’s highly likely that it will, get your tickets and don’t miss out.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now


TN Review : Loose: A Private History of Booze and Iggy Pop 1996-2015

LooseTake one cold, frothy mug of beer, add a generous splash of Iggy Pop, a dash of Mojo’s ‘100 Greatest Albums of all Time’ and pour into a quick witted, delectably dishevelled Jonny Potts! Prepare to laugh your arse off people.

If you enjoy a laugh. If you remember what it was like to be young and headstrong and ready to conquer the world with a drink in one hand and the music of your generation in the other…. What are you waiting for. Go and buy a ticket. Disappointment is not possible!

Full review here or click on the image.

Shondelle Pratt
Theatre Now


TN Review : The Life Of The Party

lifeThis is a new play by Mark Alan Lee and directed by Zoe Tomaras. It follows the spiralling depression of Charlie as he descends towards madness and suicide. The cause is the death of his new wife, the ‘love of his life’, Anna.

The play uses physical theatre, mask work and iambic pentameter to create the surreal world of Charlie’s imagination and the good and bad voices in his head.

Overall this play has so many lovely moments and with some dramaturge work on the script, further exploration of the emotional range of the characters and some more work on the physicality and language of the play this will be a powerful production. It is a young company and this is what the Fringe is all about – getting out and seeing some companies who are creating new work.
Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


TN Review : Strip!

Strip!With her latest work, writer Clara Klemski has obviously created something very personal. Strip! follows the story of Victoria, a.k.a Sparkles, a politician by day and a burlesque dancer by night. Struggling to keep both lives separate, but wanting to succeed in each, Victoria has to find the balance whilst staying true to herself. It’s apparent that these are issues Klemski herself has faced, as we discover she is also a burlesque dancer.

Klemski’s play explores very interesting ideas of identity and persona that we can all probably relate to on some level. But I think to reach its full potential, it needs a bigger space in which to thrive. But an abundance of feathers and sparkles, and a cheeky little dance at the end, make this show a great addition to the Fringe.

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


TN Review : Dark Vanilla Jungle

Dark Vanilla Jungle - LR 14Philip Ridley’s script is powerful and challenging. Claudia Barrie and the creative team are more than capable. Fiona Hallenan-Baker and Emma Louise realise this piece perfectly and Shondelle Pratt’s choreography/movement allows Barrie to detail the physical aspects of this character as well as recreate some significant moments in her story a little too well. As usual Benjamin Brockman set design is spot on for the production and the theatre while Tegan Nicholls’ sound design perfectly plays under the production, never overpowering it. In the end it all relies on a strong performance and Barrie delivers a scorching one. The range of emotions, the relentless energy and pace and the detailed physical work are extraordinary. Claudia Barry sets a standard that will be hard to beat in this year’s festival.

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


TN Review : 6 Degrees of Ned Kelly

Ned 003Who are we? Where do we come from? What’s our story, and who in the past has helped us shape it? Can an old family legend really have some truth to it? These are some of the questions behind Melita Rowston’s fascinating work for Sydney Fringe, 6 Degrees of Ned Kelly…. Part theatre, part TED talk, Rowston delivers a confident, intriguing show. She takes us on a very personal journey through Kelly country in search of the truth, interweaving anecdotes from her family with the infamous tales of the Kelly gang. In this interesting and informative history lesson, we follow Rowston step by step as she searches for answers…. Did Melita Rowston’s grandfather really steal Ned Kelly’s bones? And if so, where are they now? Did some of the gang actually escape capture and survive? And if so, who are their descendants? To find out the answers, you’ll have to see the show!

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now


TN Review : Mothers and Sons – Ensemble Theatre

Mothers and Sons PRODThere are many thought provoking topics here. Acceptance of same sex families and marriages are topical but there is so much more in this play. Loss, acceptance and forgiveness are dealt with in different ways. How do you live in the shadow of your partner’s former lover when they have passed away, tragically, too soon? How do the younger generation look back at the horrendous casualties of the AIDs epidemic in the 80’s and 90’s? The script is woven with insights and images.

McNally’s script is strong and it demands a strong actress to play Katherine. Bates has this in Tenney. Katherine’s stoicism is in reality a blockage of monumental sadness. She is shackled by her homophobic stubbornness. She wants to lay blame for her son’s death and deal vengeance. Anne Tenney’s work here is extraordinary. This is a character that we do not like, we may even ‘hate’ yet, throughout the play, Tenney subtley lays the seeds of empathy within us that will bloom into tears at the finale.

Go See

Full review here or click on the image.

Lynden Jones
Theatre Now


TN Review : The Dapto Chaser

Dapto Chaser HOTOxenbould’s distinctive voice beautifully fills the space, and although Jimmy is the black sheep of the family, a quiet determination and an obvious love for his family shines through in Oxenbould’s portrayal. Richard Sydenham is delightful, and genuinely funny as younger brother Cess. He is unapologetically passionate about the races, but more specifically about his dog, Boy Named Sue. The relationship between the two brothers is tactile and real, brought to life in moments of heated wrestling, and heartbreaking embrace. The remaining character, and Errol’s arch nemesis, is Arnold Denny, owner and operator of the Dapto racetrack. Slick and sleazy, Denny speaks in cringe worthy metaphors and outdated phrases, and Noel Hodda skilfully makes this entirely believable. With a comb always on hand to keep that unruly toupee in check, Denny is the epitome of an opportunistic and sinister businessman lying in wait. Hodda executes this wonderfully, whilst still maintaining the man’s humanity.

Although this play might not work outside of this country because of very specific cultural references, The Dapto Chaser is an important addition to Australian theatre. Profound, funny, heart-warming and deeply moving, this play about dogs is less about dogs and more about brotherhood. Not to be missed.

Full review here or click on the image.

Alana Kaye
Theatre Now


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