Monday, April 30, 2012

Theatre: Skin

Written, directed and performed by Humphrey Bower

With music by Leon Ewing
Blue Room Theatre
April 24 – May 12, 2012

It’s no secret that I didn’t buy into the acclaim that surrounded Humphrey Bower’s award-winning Wish last year. Despite the quality of the performances, and of the production generally, in my view the story – of a lonely man’s emotional and sexual relationship with a female gorilla – lacked the necessary wider meaning or allegorical power to justify its lurid premise.
Bower returns to the Blue Room with Skin, a first-person telling of the stories of two Australian men in alien environments. It has all the strengths of Wish, and the great advantage of having something real to say about us, and our lives.

Link here  to the complete review in The West Australian

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Theatre: John Gavin

Written and directed by Nick Candy
With Dawn Pascoe, Steven Finnigan and Nick Candy
Blue Room Theatre
17 April – 5 May
Nick Candy, Steven Finnegan and
Dawn Pascoe (pic Matt Scurfield)
There’s the tale and there’s its telling.
John Gavin was just 15 when, in April 1844, he became the first European executed in the fledgling Swan River Colony. His short life was Dickensian: when he was only 11, he was transported with 28 other boys, “Parkhurst Apprentices”, to Western Australia to serve a 10-year sentence for, we gather, some minor artful dodgering. He’d been here four months when, in February 1844, he confessed to the brutal murder of George Pollard, a son of the Pinjarra family to whom he had been indentured. He was tried on April 3 that year and, two days later (Good Friday intervened), hanged at the Roundhouse in Fremantle.
In an act of gruesome kindness, the sheriff had weights tied to Gavin’s skinny legs so the lad’s death pangs would be mercifully brief. His body was secretly buried in a shallow grave in sandhills to the south of the Roundhouse.
Nick Candy’s script recounts Gavin’s wretched story with few embellishments and scant detail. He implies, but doesn’t effectively substantiate, doubt about the boy’s guilt, but this seemed to me more for effect than purpose.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Theatre: Oliver!

Performing Arts Association

Directed and designed by John Senczuk
Music Director Ian Westrip
Regal Theatre
Until April 21
Michael Loney
When it comes to the big musicals, we’ve got to pick a pocket or two in this town. So it is with this locally produced pro-am (largely am) production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! at the Regal.
For all its shortcomings and anachronisms, it’s in many ways more satisfying than the Vegas-style hotel auditorium productions (Wicked, Mary Poppins) that trundle through Burswood, and way better than nothing.
Oliver! is a terribly old-fashioned conveyance (Oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah, that’s how it goes…) and this production does precious little to bring it up to date. But it’s a great opportunity for lots of people to try their hand at a big musical, and lots of others to see one in Perth, and for that rare treat we should be grateful.

Link here to the complete review in The West Australian