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Tag Archives: James Scott

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

complete worksThe expression on the faces of the three actors after their opening night performance said it all: they’d put their whole heart and soul into it!

And why wouldn’t they? The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), despite being abridged, is one of the most amusing responses to the Bard’s works ever penned. It has been entertaining both Shakespeare enthusiasts and the partners they drag along to the theatre for almost 30 years, and so far it has failed to age.

Covering all 37 of Shakespeare’s dramatic works in under two hours is no mean feat. Granted, they do cover 16 comedies all at once (because they’re all the same anyway), and they merely name a few rather than delving into them, but still, you can understand them experiencing some fatigue at the end of such a night. Truly, if any actor has earned the right to collapse at the end of a performance, it’s an actor in this hilarious show.

And this cast has certainly done it justice.

Ryan Pemberton introduces James Scott as the bumbling scholar, who in turn calls on Brendan Kelly, drawing him into the debacle. The pace begins rather more slowly than I think this piece calls for, but the three certainly picked it up. Perhaps not quite enough to hold the energy where it needs to be, but that will probably slot into place as the run continues and the cast get a better feel for audience reactions.

A great production that both needs and deserves a high quality audience!

 
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Posted by on Wednesday, 22 July 2015 in Canberra Theatre, Honest Puck, Theatre

 

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Love, Lies and Hitler

How often have you wanted to have one of your heroes sit on your shoulder and tell you how to make decisions about your life? Wouldn’t it be nice, just occasionally, to have George Calombaris in the kitchen while you cook, chatting and offering helpful advice? Or to have the ever-so-experienced Henry VIII providing his support during a marital spat? Decision-making would be so much easier with such a support mechanism in place. As long as you were willing to surrender something of your own will to this mentor…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 

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Richard III

In Richard III, Shakespeare has left us one of the greatest challenges to the willing suspension of disbelief ever created; Richard is a foul and loathsome character, and yet every time I see the play, I am amazed at how much sympathy I have for the detestable excuse for a human being I am presented with. Everyman Theatre has left me in this state yet again.

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 
 

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Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen’s novels don’t appeal to me greatly, but the quality of her wit is superb. Although Sense and Sensibilityis not a novel that readily lends itself to a dramatic adaptation, Canberra’s own Jodi McAlister has done a fine job of condensing Austen’s story into two hours of engaging stagework.

One of the most memorable characteristics of Austen’s work is the importance of the subtext, and the many paradoxes that are inherent in such a context. Drama, of course, thrives on paradox and subtext, but the sheer volume of these found in Austen’s work has been the downfall of many dramatisations of her stories. In this production, I think both Jodi McAlister and Liz Bradley are to be commended for their work in focusing the attention and keeping the journey of the characters paramount.
A great performance by the cast was punctuated by three stellar performers in the roles of the three Dashwood sisters. Alex de Totth, Ylaria Rogers and Nicola Grear are most notable in the degree to which they are able to balance the humour of their roles with the truth of their characters’ experiences. This is critical to Austen’s stories, and the success of this production owes much to these three performers.
I have never been a great fan of Austen, but have always enjoyed the quality and intensity of her satire, and am very pleased that this production managed to express it so well.
 

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Mrs Holt

Now, I’m not in the habit of commenting on shows that I’ve written myself, but I can paste here a transcript of Bill Stephens’ comments on Mrs Holt, which is one of my own shows, which is currently showing at The Street Theatre…

Canberra Dramatics are a local theatre group which is committed to the development of new plays by playwrights from the city of Canberra and the surrounding region.

Their newest production, which is currently running at The Street Theatre until next Saturday 16th August is Mrs. Holt…written by Canberra playwright Trevar Alan Chilver.

I went along to the opening night of Mrs. Holt last Thursday night and discovered a thoughtful, entertaining and engaging play – not so much about aging – which I might have expected given the setting is in a nursing home ward – but more about changing attitudes and expectations between the generations.

I particularly liked the performance given by Gay Evans as an irascible, old patient called – intrigueingly – Zara Holt …who is the subject of the play.

I have not seen Gay perform before, but she is obviously an experienced actress – who has the ability to wring every ounce of comedy – and pathos – from her role to invest it with depth and interest.

Pete Ricardo, as the male nurse Jack Harris, also impressed with a well judged performance…the other actors in the cast Sarah Daphne, Sarah Ritchie and Cerri Davis.

Staged in a simple – effective and appropriate setting, this is probably the best play I have seen so far from Canberra Dramatics.and although it would benefit from eliminating some of the long black-outs between scenes which allow the pace to drop seriously… if you are at all interested in local playwrighting it is well worth your time to get along and see it.

Mrs. Holt runs at the Street Theatre until next Saturday 16th August. You can find out details of performances and performance times by ringing the Street Theatre or visiting their website.

 
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Posted by on Monday, 11 August 2008 in Canberra Theatre, The Street Theatre, Theatre

 

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