All posts tagged: theatre

WHEN THE LIGHT LEAVES

All I knew about When The Light Leaves before seeing it was that it was a play, based on a true story, about euthanasia. Specifically, it’s a story put on by Citizen Theatre with the release coinciding with the implementation of Victoria’s new Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws set to come into effect on June 19. The story is fictional but based on the real experiences of playwright Rory Godbold. Godbold’s father publicly acquired Nembutal, the drug used to euthanise pets and animals, before dying in 2015. Arriving at La Mama Courthouse, I sat in the quaint waiting area before the doors opened and the patrons migrated into the theatre. What was immediately noticeable was that every prop was suspended in the air. Apples, books and lights hung as though in space. A sense of distance from reality took hold before the play even began. As the play started, I saw the props used to great effect despite never touching the ground. Telephone calls, gift exchanges and arguments were expressed beautifully as they swung like …

Review: Oil Babies

Image: Lachlan Woods Harrowing. That’s how I would describe the powerful opening scene of Oil Babies when it debuted this week at Northcote Town Hall. Described as an ‘exploration of our relationship to climate change and the female body’ and brought to life by three, strong female leads, Oil Babies is an impactful, confronting and distinctly female performance piece which focussed on the not unknown concerns about real-life human anxieties, the health and future of planet earth. Dark, peppered with enough comedy to keep you from the pits of despair, and laced together with real-world issues and environmental disasters – the narrative rotates around three female characters; one couple, and a single friend with crippling anxiety as they navigate their own views on body image, social and environmental wellbeing and fears for the future. You’ll certainly walk away with a bleak awareness of one’s own impact on the planet – and that nagging constant reminder that just like the dinosaurs – we are not ourselves immune from ultimate extinction. A smartly designed set and terrific …

Arts Review: All This Living

As the intro to this piece states, ‘age comes to us all you know,’ we’re reminded of this in the opening act, a recollection of a bathroom encounter, when some young pretty things, applying lipstick in the mirror, label the character, Jay, portrayed beautifully by Camilla Blunden, ‘just an old woman.’ This comment, makes it real for her, and thus launches the rest of the performance where she digs deeply into the phenomenon of getting old, and how over time, older women somehow lose their voice, become invisible, and incorrectly feel they have become a burden to society. As the piece progresses, she attempts to turn these beliefs on their head, re-empowering women, as wise, important, highly visible beings with stories to tell, all the while batting off the inner voices that creep up, and try to convince her otherwise. This show was difficult to follow in parts, as the narrative jumped from whimsical inner thought to thought, from real life to fantasy through paint stores, pots and pans, to magical woods filled with fiery …

Midsumma Review: The Happy Prince

Many are already familiar with the sweet but sad story of Oscar Wilde’s Happy Prince. A beautifully adorned statue stands high over a city, eyes of sapphires, skin of gold leaf and a ruby in his dagger, saddened by the injustice of life as a poor citizen in a Victorian era. A young swallow, bound for the warmer climate to avoid the impending winter chill is separated from his flock and takes temporary shelter within the golden folds of the Prince’s cloak. The two become inseparable companions and over several nights the Prince teaches the Swallow the meaning of true happiness, all the while the two slowly make the ultimate sacrifice, and join each other in eternity through death. Heavy right? Originally penned as a children’s tale, Little Ones Theatre reimagines this classic tale for the adult audience, turning the traditional male roles into strong female characters who take companionship further into the realms of love between two women. The fresh approach to the original story aligns perfectly with the theatre company’s dedication to pushing …

Binge on Musical Theatre

Inspired by the event of the same name in New York, and launched for the first time in November by founder and Artistic Director Trevor Alexander and the fabulous Dolly Diamond – the first ever Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival will be kicking off in Melbourne this January with a line up set to make everyone fall in love with musical theatre all over again. Priced for a serious musical theatre binge with tickets ranging from only $25-$69 this event, celebrating local performers, writers and producers will feature a classic line-up of well-loved family musical favourites, timeless adult productions and new Australian shows and will run from January 6th through to the 28th making it a fantastic (and super affordable) school holiday activity. Based out of the historic, iconic Athenaeum Theatre in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, the festival’s ethos is all about reigniting a passion for the genre in the youth market, but the ranges of shows are not all targeted at the young (and young at heart). Kicking off the festivities, and running for …

Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany (Review)

Going into this show, we wondered how heavy the content would be as the storyline centered entirely around a young German / American girl and her traumatic experience in Hitler’s Germany, during World War II. We needn’t have worried.  Before the performance began, a gentleman came out and addressed the audience… “despite the serious nature of this piece, it’s important to know that some parts will, in fact be lighthearted in nature – and we encourage you to laugh, it’s actually ok.” This announcement set the tone perfectly for what we found to be an entertaining, fast-paced and emotional account of the true story of Eleanor Ramrath Garner between the age of 9 to 16, when her family, filled with promises of a more secure future, packed up and left America for Berlin in 1939. No sooner than they had boarded their ship – than war was declared and they were trapped in Germany – thus setting the tone for this incredible tale of strength, survival, and optimism during one of the most harrowing times …

The F-Word

Celebrating International Women’s Day in true form, The F-word kicked off with a panel of inspiring high-profile feminist: Jane Gilmore – editor of Women’s Agenda, Melba Marginson – Executive Director of the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition, Clementine Ford – a freelance writer, broadcaster and public speaker, well-known for her public opinion pieces on feminism, pop culture and social issues, and actor / writer Tammy Anderson. Each woman represented a distinctly different take on what their view of feminism was, which resonated with much of audience on an individual level and the Q&A that followed allowed us to gain a little deeper insight into the mind of these proud, passionate women. The show was a sell-out, Howler – a great location for this panel / performance was packed to the rafters with about 95% ladies – with a few supportive men dotted throughout. At the conclusion of the panel session, Melbourne Playback Theatre took centre stage for their improvisational piece – performed by an entirely female ensemble of actors and musicians for a powerful out of the box piece …