Much Ado About Nothing: Bell has not been idle

Melbourne is Bell Shakespeare’s second stop on its nationwide tour of the classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. The story is perhaps the original romantic comedy, and follows Beatrice (Zindzi Okenyo) and Benedick (Duncan Ragg), who go from mildly disgusted in each other to totally infatuated. Around them there are a number of friends, family and vagrants living in Messina, including another pair of lovers … Continue reading Much Ado About Nothing: Bell has not been idle

Tusk Tusk: A triumph of youth

Tusk Tusk, written by English playwriting prodigy Polly Stenham, gives young actors a chance to portray the sharp realities of children in the system. The play captures a complex web of familial relationships against a backdrop of intense classism, providing an urgent and relevant insight into children trying to be adults. Centering around three siblings, the fifteen year old eldest Eliot (Ben Walter), his fourteen … Continue reading Tusk Tusk: A triumph of youth

The Kitchen: A flurry of mess and emotion

A play by Arnold Wesker, directed by Michael Hackett. The audience sits on either lengths of the stage, facing each other like spectators at a tennis match. In the centre is the view of a kitchen, complete with a long table top, four swinging doors, and pots, pans and utensils hanging neatly from the shelves. It is unusually clean and quiet, with the sense that … Continue reading The Kitchen: A flurry of mess and emotion

When the Light Leaves: Truth Shines Through

Heading to see a play about voluntary assisted dying the week before historic state legislation on the same matter is passed, I made two incorrect assumptions. Firstly, I thought that I knew all there was to know about the divisive subject and that my opinion was fully-formed and unshakable. Secondly, I thought that, like so many stage and screen ruminations on death, the play would … Continue reading When the Light Leaves: Truth Shines Through

Drive: To Infinity in 45 Minutes

In 2006, American astronaut Lisa Nowak undertook her first space exploration. Rebecca Meston’s Drive is an exploration of a different kind – it mines the trauma of heartbreak, following the true story of Lisa’s 2007 14-hour nonstop road trip to confront her ex-lover’s new girlfriend. Drive’s creative and eloquent scenic design draws the audience in to its enchanting and captivating world. Lighting and smoke transform the … Continue reading Drive: To Infinity in 45 Minutes

LOVE and SHIT

Longtime collaborators Susie Dee and Patricia Cornelius return to the Melbourne stage with a double-bill of Cornelius’ plays Love (2005), and Shit (2015), presented by fortyfivedownstairs. It’s all you could ask for: both award winning plays, by award winning artists, and on their way to the Teatro Biennale di Venezia – the first time any australian artist has been invited. Textually, Love and Shit make … Continue reading LOVE and SHIT

The Lonely Crowd: Good Things Come in Small Packages

I must admit to being pleasantly surprised upon seeing the running time of UHT’s semester one show The Lonely Crowd. Even genuinely enjoyable or accomplished productions have me trying to glance at my watch once they head into their third hour, and so The Lonely Crowd’s approximated 25 minute running time is a welcome change. Before seeing the show I find myself thinking that it’s good … Continue reading The Lonely Crowd: Good Things Come in Small Packages