No Plain Jane

Theatre reviews and musings (mostly) from Adelaide

Tag: Humphrey Bower

Briefs: Face to Face; Into The Dark

I’m not entirely sure when my life got so busy. Or, perhaps, how I used to fit it all in. I’m currently in Newcastle to speak on a panel called I Started A Blog … Now I’m a Critic for the Crack Theatre Festival as a part of This Is Not Art. Over the next fortnight, I will be in Melbourne, where I am producing Sepia in the Melbourne Fringe, and then it is down to Goolwa for the Regional Arts Australia conference Kumuwuki / Big Wave. I then have a couple of projects I’m working on when I’m back in Adelaide, that I can’t wait to share.

In light of this, I have edited down two pieces I worked on and then were relegated to the “to finish when I have time” pile. I know I can be rather less than brief, perhaps this is the start of a new experiment.

Face to Face was the second stage adaptation of an Ingmar Bergman film I saw this year. I unfortunately didn’t find the time or brain space to write about Persona at Theatre Works, but Alison Croggon does a wonderful job of capturing how the team took this story that was told originally in a film exploitative of the medium, into a play exploitative of its medium. In Face to Face co-adaptors Simon Stone and Andrew Upton approach from a similar place: taking the screenplay and not the film, they create a work which is of the theatre.

In Face to Face we watch the unraveling of the life, and subsequently the mind, of Jenny (Kerry Fox). Through the sparse set (Nick Schlieper), times and places roll over and into one another: the movement of sets on and off the stage in unison choreographed movement with the cast brings some of the most powerful visual images to the work.

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Australian Theatre Forum: And that’s all there is

A toast to the future. (Notice the obnoxious glare of blogger's computers in the front row.) Photo thanks to Olivia Allen.

4:12 PM and we’re sitting collected in the Visy theatre at the Brisbane Powerhouse, and I think I can speak for everyone – if not at least for super bloggers Augusta Supple and myself, who collectively have typed somewhere in the air of one million words in the past three days – when I say we are exhausted.  It has been a huge three days.  Mine weren’t helped by the lovely hobbling and limping I’ve been having fun with, thanks to the sprained ankle I received after hitting the Brisbane galleries a bit too hard.  Yeah, I’m hardcore.

But more so than that, it was an intense three days of ideas and processes: panels, talks, open spaces, wine, beer, shows and picnics have all played a part in where we are now at the end of 2011’s Australian Theatre Forum.

Wesley Enoch is talking through the top points which came from the open spaces, through to action meetings, before being presented and voted for by the group.  Ten votes each with red dots, he is talking us through the strategies, the ideas and the plans which we are going to move on to and act upon outside of the forum.  “These things will go forward as a way of promoting the things we do as a united voice”, says Wesley.  On to policy makers, on to the Australia Council, on to government, on to the sector, and on to Australia as a whole.

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