No Plain Jane

Theatre reviews and musings (mostly) from Adelaide

Month: May, 2010

Review: The Share

The Share
by Daniel Keene
Directed by Corey McMahon
Presented by five.point.one

I spent Friday at the very interesting National Multicultural Arts Symposium at Nexus Multicultural Arts, subtitled Diversity: Theory and Action.  Which was filled with some very interesting discussions (and some not so interesting, but there you go), and that deserves its own blog post, but which lead to some odd feelings when I went to see five.point.one’s production of Daniel Keene’s The Share. After a day of talks about how we need to encourage a more diverse arts base in Australia, I sat down to watch a play written by white Australian male, directed by a white Australian male, and staring three white Australian males.  I don’t know if I would’ve even noticed before, and I certainly am not criticizing the casting or anything, but it did drive the point home how very homogenous the arts are in this country.

Scott Marcus (back) and Matthew Crook. Not the healthiest of relationships. Photo by Cass Backler, supplied in my information pack. Oh yeah.

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Review: Vs Macbeth

Vs Macbeth
(most of it) by Shakespeare
Directed by Sam Haren
Presented by The Border Project, The Sydney Theatre Company’s The Residents and the Adelaide Festival of Arts

Vs Macbeth was an odd theatre show: a production which worked the best in the constant reminder that it was a theatre show.  Rather than being sucked in by the characters and the story, rather than being exposed to a world and feeling that it is so complete, Vs Macbeth is about something much simpler about that: it is about actors acting.  About a group of people coming together to create something, but with the artifice of the theatre always present.

Cam Goodall shows off a brilliant unemployment beard. Theatre: the only place you can be paid and own one.

Credited as mostly written by Shakespeare, Vs Macbeth is a production of Macbeth with all of the mistakes left in.  Even amongst non-theatre people, the ‘curse’ of Macbeth is well known (if not completely understood – I had a friend mention it by name once and then apologise, profusely, even though we were far from a theatre): a play that is so plagued by death and accidents that its name mustn’t even be uttered in a theatre, and instead it goes by The Scottish Play.   Taking this idea and running with it, The Border Project and The Sydney Theatre Company’s The Residents (now there’s a name for you!) created a play which ‘tempted fate’, mistakes were chronicled, and put into the play.

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Review: The Price

The Price
by Arthur Miller
Directed by Adam Cook
Presented by the State Theatre Company of South Australia

Pip Miller and Michael Habib showing they can act with a concerned face.

Moving away from the involved, complex pieces Adam Cook directed at the State Theatre Company in 2009 (both brilliantly directed – Mnemonic a work of art, and King Lear explosively amazing), Cook’s fist show for 2010 is a much quieter and subtler affair, with just four characters, a single room and a plot which happens in real-time.

Arthur Miller’s The Price is unmistakably set in New York City of the ‘60s.  I sometimes come out of plays thinking, “why did they even bother putting on those accents?”, but there is no way this dialogue would work without the heavy New Yarwk accent.  While not perfect, nor perfectly consistent, for the most part they were carried by the cast just fine, who were all solid in their roles and character’s development.

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