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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Two Gentlemen of Verona and Kupenga Kwa Hamlet

Two GentsThe Street Theatre has brought to Canberra two of the cleverest interpreters of Shakespeare’s work who ever trotted the globe. Two Gents Productions hails from London, and are being hailed the world over for their intense physical rendering of The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Hamlet, which play in repertory this week at The Street Theatre.

For The Two Gentlemen of Verona the two performers, Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyebvu, change between characters using the convention of a single costume piece to indicate each character. In the early stages they also call the name of the character as they take on this piece, and the custom is charming, and breaks down some of the nervousness about being able to follow such a pared down rendering…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 
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Posted by on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 in British Theatre, Theatre, Two Gents Productions

 

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Les Misérables

les miserablesJust quietly, I think Canberra Philharmonic have outdone themselves with their latest rendering of a classic musical. I mean, it’s nothing terribly innovative, the staging is much what you’d expect for any other rendition of Les Misérables, and the set, while pleasant, goes through a few clunky moments. But the performances drawn out of these ‘amateur’ performers is nothing short of spectacular.

Dave Smith’s Valjean is a perfect match for Adrian Flor’s Javert, and the two milk Schönberg and Boulbil’s book for every hyper-sentimental note it’s worth. Their energy and focus, while admirable, is upstaged by other principals, particularly Kelly Roberts’ Fantine, Mat Chardon O’Dea’s Marius, Laura Dawson’s Cosette and Vanessa de Jager’s Eponine. Their energy filled Erindale’s cavernous auditorium, and they must be finding the run absolutely gruelling. The rest of the cast are pretty impressive too, on the whole.

I found the performance on the whole moving, and the staging, while predicable, was solid. The orchestra, though it needed to be hidden under a fully extended stage, was in fine form.

The whole evening hangs together beautifully, as evidenced by the full standing ovation with which this late-run audience honoured the splendid cast and crew. This is a great night out, and you’ve got one more week in which to get along and see it.

 
 

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Animal Farm

animal farmPlaying far too short a season at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, Shake & Stir’s Animal Farm is a remarkable piece of theatre. Adapting George Orwell’s Animal Farm is something that would intimidate most playwrights, but the three cast members who pulled this amazing work together have handled the challenge with amazing dexterity, delivering a performance that is intensely theatrical, deeply engaging and absolutely essential.

For those who, like me, deftly avoided reading Animal Farm in high school, the basic premise is that the animals on an English farm stage an uprising, overthrow the farmer, and establish a system of governance to allow the farm to continue to produce food for the benefit of the animals, rather than their former master. In this new order, the leaders slowly increase in greed and the other animals find themselves no better off.

Originally written in the context of twentieth century fears…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 
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Posted by on Tuesday, 5 March 2013 in Brisbane Theatre, Shake & Stir, The Q, Theatre

 

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