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Tag Archives: Bryan Roberts

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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The Alchemist

It took a while, I think, for both the cast and the audience to warm up to The Alchemist on Monday night. Maybe it was the day, or maybe it was not quite what the audience was expecting from Bell Shakespeare, or maybe it was simply the language.

There are a lot of people who find Shakespeare’s language difficult to understand. I have always found that the more I am working with the language, the easier it is to understand. It took some warming up, but I found Ben Jonson’s dialogue less dense, and more accessible for my 20th century ears, than I usually find with Shakespeare. Maybe it has something to do with the nature of the humour, which is more pithy than Shakespeare’s, and perhaps, as such, more akin to an Australian’s sense of humour. The interpretation of Lovewit, performed by Russell Keifel, certainly played this up, with his use of a laugh and accent reminiscent of Bob Hawke.

Whatever it was, Bell Shakespeare’s production of The Alchemistmet my expectations. It was thoughtful, intelligent, imaginative, unencumbered by preconceptions, and thoroughly entertaining.

 
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Posted by on Monday, 4 May 2009 in Bell Shakespeare Company, The Playhouse

 

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