Monthly Archives: July 2008

The Role Model

I was interested to see The Role Model not only because it was written by a fellow Canberran, but also because of the praise it had received from the great Edward Albee. It is usually a mistake to assume that you will enjoy something as much as you expect to when it gets such accolades. Who can live up to such expectations? The Role Model certainly didn’t.

That’s not to say it’s not a worthy production; it is a great story, deftly performed by a cohesive and talented cast. It’s just that the script didn’t deserve the praise I heard. Much of the dialogue is awkward, and it doesn’t help that the lead actor, Raoul Craemer, attempts to portray an elite Australian athlete without attempting an Australian accent. Don’t get me wrong, there were some fine and genuinely funny moments, but this talented cast were let down by often unconvincing dialogue, and a director who allowed them to pronounce every ‘T’ in the script, which lent the already awkward dialogue a foreign and unfamiliar tone, which is not conducive to comedic impact.

Overall, an entertaining show, but this story had the potential to move me to both laughter and tears, and it didn’t do either.


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Had a great trip to Canberra’s fantastic Dendy again last night, to see Hancock. Cheap Tuesday, and it was busy with hundreds of baby boomers lining up to see Mama Mia! and I ended up in the wrong line, feeling like a complete idiot when I realised that there was no one within cooee of my age in the queue. It was a relief, however, to find that we could walk right into the appropriate cinema and not have to jockey for decent seats.

Hancock is a good piece of cinema, but very light. It’s one of those films with a great premise that kind of falls down when the story should be getting interesting. You could see that spot at the end of the exposition and the conflict where the writers—Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan—suddenly realised that they don’t know where they’re going with this story. It’s good, but the best bits are in the trailer. Wait for the DVD.

I’d like to give them ten points for trying, but this is one of those unfortunate films that has fallen victim to the Hollywood movie machine. The idea was fresh and new, which is more than you can say for most American films this century, but the execution just didn’t cut it.

I just wish we had opted for Ten Empty instead. Oh well.

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Posted by on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 in American Film, Film


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The Goat, or Who is Sylvia

I have long admired the work of Edward Albee. He’s pretty funny, for an American. And Moonlight’s production of The Goat, or Who is Sylvia was by far the most enjoyable thing I have seen on stage in Canberra since Rep did Noises Off last year. Wall to wall laughs were delivered by a talented cast under the direction of Bridget Balodis, who obviously understands timing and has an excellent command of the dramatic fluctuations of Albee’s work.

The play centres on the infidelity of Martin, and its impact on his small family. Jerry Hearn was assigned a difficult task in the role of Martin; to play a dramatic role in a comedy and do it well is an accomplishment in itself. Christa de Jager also toed the line very carefully between the intense drama of her role, and its comic one-liners. Sam Yeo, playing their son Billy, had a difficult time keeping a straight face as he began his hilarious journey, but his energy and timing, like that of the rest of the cast, was superb.

In all, a great night out. It was nice to be back in my old stomping ground of the ANU Drama Lab, but I was very disappointed with the enormous new seating: in order to avoid DVT I had to sit on an angle with my legs in the aisle, and crane my neck around to see the stage. The designers obviously didn’t consider the fact that many Australians are taller than a metre, or maybe they only expected children to be coming…


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