Category Archives: Gippsland Theatre

Become the One

It felt like we were a rather select group gathering in the lower section of Gippsland’s newest theatre for Become The One. This was the first professional drama to be staged at Traralgon’s remarkable new theatre (I’m quite sure my inhalation on entering was audible backstage), and it was definitely a worthy piece to be so honoured. What a shame the local community didn’t jump at the chance to see it in droves, because Become The One is a great story for all audiences, not just the rainbow community!

This play really does stand on the masterful writing of Adam Fawcett, who has crafted two beautifully rich characters and an engaging plot. They’re brought to life by Chris Asimos and Mason Gasowski, who at once seem to embody their characters’ respective stereotypes without ever allowing them to be reduced to nothing more than that stereotype; a remarkable achievement in itself! They both brilliantly play the script’s undulations with impeccable pathos and timing.

It was disappointing, in this context, that the scene changes slowed that pace. I don’t think the story warranted so many costume changes… but the scenes themselves certainly rewarded our patience.

Become The One is billed as a romantic comedy, and I suppose it is not unusual for romantic comedies to get quite serious. But I was surprised when the drama built to a particularly strong crescendo quite early in the piece. This would usually tilt the balance a little too much towards melodrama, but I did feel the characters had been established well enough to carry even quite a lengthy silence.

This has been the most engaging piece of theatre I’ve had the privilege to see this year, and I hope they see great success as the tour continues.


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You Should See Me in a Crown

I have a confession to make… I was never able to follow the plot of King Lear.

Image of Dane Nicholls and Ella McCubbin performing in You Should See Me In A Crown

Maybe it’s because I wasn’t old enough before, but I certainly followed this engaging and innovative production by the talented folks at Groundwork Youth Theatre. I actually suspect it has less to do with my advancing years, and more to do with their commitment to storytelling.

A simple set, very well employed; a lighting design that utilised neon paint and UV lights*; and most importantly, perhaps, the hypnotic sounds of Billie Eilish truly made this production shine.

But what really made this performance was Ella McCubbin’s performance of Goneril. Her authority was unquestionable, and she left no doubt in the audience’s minds about who was running the show. She was admirably supported by the whole cast, but especially by Andrew Veale’s Lear, and Cassie Lenne’s Cordelia.

There were, perhaps, some technical hitches, and a little of the momentum was lost in what looked like missed technical cues. These left the impeccable cast hanging more than once, and it was a shame they had not been ironed out in time.

But nothing could undermine the slick design and the deft excision of Shakespeare’s excess verbiage.

A monumental achievement by Groundwork Youth Theatre.

*Yes, I can be distracted by shiny things


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