No Plain Jane

Theatre reviews and musings (mostly) from Adelaide

Tag: Yasmina Reza

Review: God of Carnage

Well, God of Carnage:  it is nice to finally meet you in the flesh.  Your reputation precedes you.

They almost look pleasant. Set by Morag Cook. Photo by Matt Nettheim

I read a lot of reviews: because I’m just generally interested in theatre, because there are many reviewers I enjoy simply as writers (my current blog roll, right, needs to be updated to reflect all the bloggers I currently read), and because it is part of my “education”, if you will, in improving myself as a critic.  So when Yazmina Reza’s God Of Carnage has played on the West End in 2008, and on Broadway and three separate productions in Australia in 2009, I have taken in many a review.

It is an oft mentioned criticism of the script that it needs a strong cast to carry it, and this is accompanied by “so it is a good thing they found a cast so strong”, or “so the script tends to fall down when…” Since that is considered such knowledge, it is then remarkable that I never even thought, “it’s a good thing we have such a good cast”, for indeed when this cast, under Michael Hill’s direction, really bite into the heightened reality, the cracks which others mentioned failed to show.

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In Short: Marion Potts and God Of Carnage

If you haven’t been passed it on yet, make sure you go and read Marion Potts’ Rex Cramphorn Memorial Lecture, which can be found here (downloads a PDF).  Potts is the incoming Artistic Director at Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne, and she gave an inspiring speech on theatre in this country: its past, its present, and what she hopes to see in its future.  The ideas she will be bringing to Malthouse sound so amazing, I am half tempted to pack up my bags today.

This idea of theatre as the place where we vent, explore, deliberate, imagine who we want to be needs to be at the heart of the company’s work. I want it to be reflected in the collegial and collaborative way I work, not set out as some kind of charter. It needs to be borne of what we do in the rehearsal room, to extend and permeate through the company’s culture in everything from our Education Program to our HR practices. It needs to be felt by our audiences, not told to them, it needs somehow to seep out of the bricks and mortar of our building.

Also, I saw the very funny God of Carnage at the State Theatre Company last night, and my mother says she “thinks it is the funniest play [she’s] ever seen.”  The cast are great, and handle the brilliant melodrama which is Yasmina Reza’s script with aplomb, and I laughed a lot, quite loudly, and it may have afforded me some strange looks from the woman in front of me.  Review to come, but clearly it comes with my recommendation!