Friday, September 21, 2012

Theatre: Boy Gets Girl

Black Swan State Theatre Company
Written by Rebecca Gilman
Directed by Adam Mitchell
Designed by Fiona Bruce
Lighting design by Trent Suidgeest
Sound design by Ben Collins
Featuring James Hagan, Ben O’Toole, Myles Pollard, Whitney Richards, Helen Searle, Steve Turner and Alison van Reeken
 Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre
Until September 30
Alison van Reeken and Myles Pollard
 The opening tableaux of the American playwright Rebecca Gilman’s gripping, malevolent Boy Gets Girl is a striking display of the strengths of director Adam Mitchell’s production.
We find Theresa Bedell (Alison van Reeken), a New York City magazine feature writer, in a set (superbly designed by Fiona Bruce) that is an abstract exercise in perspective, diminishing up a raked stage and down lines of massive re-enforced concrete sections towards a vanishing point obscured in shadows. There’s music, and traffic, but somewhere, close by, Theresa thinks she hears a noise, senses a presence; and we do too. She walks warily upstage towards the darkness, peering into it for the intruder. The stage fades to black. Welcome to her nightmare.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Edgar Metcalfe 1933 - 2012

The greatly respected actor, author, director and artistic director Edgar Metcalfe has died, aged 78.
His enormous contribution to Perth theatre will be remembered with affection and gratitude.

Link here to Stephen Bevis's piece in The West Australian

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Theatre: The 2012 Turnstile Awards

This year’s Turnstile awards ceremony was a glittering affair in the Bill Walker Room at Subiaco Oval, immediately after the Dockers v Melbourne game on September 1. If a crowd won’t come to you, you should go to a crowd.
MC George Clooney warms up the
crowd with some Ben Cousins jokes
Thanks to everyone who attended, and a special thanks to George Clooney for stepping in as master of ceremonies when neither Michael Loney or Stephen Bevis could make it.
The Turnstile Awards for excellence in theatre in Perth are given to outstanding locally mounted stage shows between September and August each year. There’s no set number of Turnstile winners, and no attempt to rank the shows in order of merit.
In the past year, I reviewed 57 eligible productions (up from 34 last year) for either or both The West Australian and this blog. Of course it’s not a completely exhaustive list, and I apologise for the absences. Once again, I didn't consider cabaret, comedy or improv theatre, although there were some very fine productions in those categories, especially at the Fringe and Perth Comedy festivals, which both deserve an honorary Turnstile for the huge contribution they made to the popular arts in Perth this year.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Theatre: On the Misconception of Oedipus

Malthouse Theatre with Perth Theatre Company
Devised by Zoe Atkinson, Matthew Lutton and Tom Wright
Written by Tom Wright
Directed by Matthew Lutton
Designed by Zoe Atkinson
Lighting design by Paul Jackson
Composition and sound design by Kelly Ryall
Performed by Natasha Herbert, Richard Pyros and Daniel Schlusser
STC Studio Underground
Until September 15
Richard Pyros and Natasha Herbert. Photo: Garth Oriander
In the 18 months since artistic director Melissa Cantwell and general manager Nick Clark took the Perth Theatre Company to its new home in the State Theatre Centre’s Studio Underground, they have polished it to a high gloss.
Because the company has only scant resources to support its ambitions, it’s been a process that has required judiciously cultivated artistic relationships (with the Tim Watts gang and Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre in particular) and Cantwell’s sharp, urban eye for work that delivers on both style and substance.
In this she has much in common with Matthew Lutton, the ludicrously young Perth director now working out of Malthouse. It’s his collaboration with the writer Tom Wright and designer Zoe Atkinson that has delivered Cantwell the brilliantly conceived and executed On the Misconception of Oedipus.

 Link here to the complete review in The West Australian 

Theatre: Home and The Polite Gentleman

The Polite Gentleman
The Moxy Collective

Directed by Adam Mitchell

Written and performed by Mark Storen

Until  September 22

The Broken Image Ensemble
Directed by Sarah McKellar

Performed by Caris Eves, Holly Garvey and Josh Magee

Until September 15

The Blue Room is enjoying a surge in popularity, with houses running at around three-quarters of capacity this year. That’s fortuitous for theatre in Perth, because the 36 independent productions mounted in its two small spaces comprise the lion's share of locally produced professional theatre in 2012.
It hasn't come at the expense of adventure and quality; at their boldest and best, Blue Room shows are as good as anything produced in this town.

Link here to the complete review in The West Australian