Tuesday 15 December 2015

Top Ten Shows of 2015

I managed to see 154 shows this year! Not exactly sure how I managed that with life and everything but there you go. That's an average of one show every 2.3 days!
Yet again, I count the fact that I live in Melbourne to be a strong reason as to having seen so much this year. The performing art scene here is some type of wonderful and just so lucky to be able to experience so much variety on stage. 
There has been a huge number of theatre, dance, performance, cabaret, burlesque, circus and so much more to go see and experience this year. Interestingly enough there are quite a lot of circus and dance shows in my top ten this year.
Like I said last year, even if your work ranks at 154, big thanks to you for making that work and creating shows for people to see and experience. However, this is my list of ten ten show of 2015, so without further ado...
(If I reviewed the show, there is a link to the original review too)

The Last Great Hunt
- review

There have only been four shows I have seen more than twice in my life. FAG/STAG is one of them. Playing during the Melbourne Fringe Festival, it was a beautiful exploration of life, friendship and everything else in between.  
The story follows two best friends, Jimmy and Corgan (Jeffrey Jay Fowler and Chris Isaacs - who also wrote this) and the lead up to the wedding of Corgan's ex-girlfriend. Their friendship, thoughts and feelings on life and love were explored through the small insignificant moments right up the big stuff.
Fowler and Isaacs brought much honesty and vulnerability to their characters and as writers, they knew when to go further with something and when to draw back and allow the audience come to their own conclusions.
Like I've stated previously, not only is FAG/STAG the kind of theatre that I wish was made more often but FAG/STAG is the kind of theatre  people need to go and see.

Thursday 10 December 2015

Goblins review

Melbourne-based theatre company, Panopticon Collective are dedicated to creating new Australian work that focus on national identity and social responsibility. Performed at La Mama as part of their Explorations season, their newest production, Goblins attempts to do just that, with mixed results.

The "goblins" in this work are six women from six historical eras ranging from 2000BC to 2015 who are telling six individual yet thematically similar stories. Each of these women face some sort of persecution for daring to have control of their mind and body and speaking up for what they believe in. Written by Jeni Bezuidenhout and Cassandra-Elli Yiannacou, each story is predominantly a ten minute monologue as we attempt to get inside these women's heads and see what drives them to be a courageous force as they confront their fears.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

True Love's Sight review

The great thing about La Mama's Explorations season, is that it gives artists the opportunity to present works in various stages of development. It might be the first time it is staged to an audience or a scripted reading. In the case of True Love's Sight, we see a number of segments from their upcoming immersive theatrical experience.

Taking place inside the walls of Athens, the work, created by Michaela Bedel and Nikki Brumen, is inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. We meet a number of characters from the play, including Theseus, Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demetrius. William Ewing, Doug Lyons and  Tamzen Hayes do well with their characters and are confident enough in making their interactions with the audience seem genuine and spontaneous.

Monday 7 December 2015

The One review

For its festival debut, new kid on the block, Poppy Seed Festival, asked artists, individuals and theatre companies to submit proposals for a theatrical production. From all its entries, Poppy Seed Festival green lit four shows to be performed. The final show to open is Vicky Jones’ award-winning The One. Presented by Fire Curtain Co., it is a 65-minute analysis of one couple’s relationship and its use of love, power, and abuse over the course of one night.

From the beginning we can sense that this is not a couple that is completely happy in this relationship as Jo (Kasia Kaczmarek) casually munches away on twisties while Harry (Ben Prendergast) watches porn on the TV as the two have sex. The arrival of Harry's friend Kerry (Emily Tomlins), who believes her partner has just sexually assaulted her, gets the cogs turning for what will eventually be a fateful night for all three.

Thursday 3 December 2015

The Classics preview

These days, circus is littered with young, up and coming performers in acts that push the boundaries of what circus and contemporary circus is. It has become a thriving art form. Batton & Broadway are one such circus troupe, with a catch; instead of young circus artists, The Classics is completely comprised of cinquegenarian (folks in their fifties) performers.

Circus veterans Deb Batton and Sue Broadway share decades of combined experience in the circus and met when they were teaching Directing Skills for Physical Theatre and Circus. "Through this we began to wonder what we might do as performers NOW and to explore what we are as artists and what we have learnt over the years. Mostly the purpose was to enjoy each other and our audiences and remind ourselves of how funny we can be," Broadway explains. "The Classics was in response to demand from both performers and the public. People wanted to see the legends that they had only heard about perform live, and older performers wanted a place to strut their stuff again."