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Tag Archives: Hannah Ley

And Then There Were None

There’s a bit of a risk involved in seeing a show you’ve been involved with yourself. I did sound for a production of And Then There Were None in Theatre 3 back in 1998, when I first moved to Canberra, so there was no way I was going to miss seeing Rep’s production of it this year!

One thing that surprised me was how many lines I recalled. I had none previously, although there were plenty of cues. Still, you wouldn’t think I would recall them twelve years later with no contact with the play in the intervening years. And I really didn’t remember the outcome. Not a skerrick of it. At any rate, it was a trip down memory lane.

The risk, of course, is that my view of the play is coloured by my memories of the production I was involved with. Not that they should be compared. I was involved with a student production by CADS (the defunct Canberra Amateur Dramatic Society), directed by relatively inexperienced directors, whereas Rep’s production boasted the very deft hand of Duncan Ley as well as a host of experienced Canberra actors. And it showed. This was a great show that gave the play a lot more life than ours did. And it’s needed with Agatha Christie‘s dialogue. It gave the odd nod to Film Noir, which at times was just a little too much at odds with the text, but more often suited it well.

The set, as dark and gloomy as a stage set can be, didn’t seem to add much apart from making the Film Noir reference, but it suited the purpose and certainly gave room for the performers to die the most excellent deaths.

I love a play that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and this is quite true of Rep’s production of And Then There Were None. Really, no Agatha Christie play can be taken too seriously; they get awfully dry awfully quickly otherwise. This production manages to hold the attention marvellously.

 

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The Girls

We have a fascination with firsts. Having our first female prime minister has a sense of novelty about it, which would probably be equalled by a first Aboriginal prime minister. Both the reality and the possibility, however, are little more than symbols of a maturing atmosphere of equality; they offer nothing of real substance in themselves. The Girls, I think offers something of greater substance in its diverse vignettes around the theme of womanhood in a postmodern world.

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 

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In Cold Light

It could almost be said that In Cold Light deals lightly with an issue of severe gravity. It could be said, if the play did not take itself so seriously.

Jarrad West gives a credible performance of the lead role, Christian Lamori; a Catholic priest summoned for questioning by a seemingly guileless inspector. With this character, writer Duncan Ley has deftly woven elements of a stereotype with the intensity of a tormented soul. This is mostly successful, but I felt that the use of an English accent for these characters lent the production a sense of remoteness that hindered my capacity to empathise.
Nonetheless, the play is a brilliant exploration of an aspect of humanity that we generally either avoid telling stories about or explore with very little depth. And the twist at the end is pure gold.
 
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Posted by on Wednesday, 4 February 2009 in Canberra Theatre, The Q, Theatre

 

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