Tag: Abbotsford Convent

REVIEW: Boutique Theatre Presents THE PAVILION

This is how the universe begins…

By Amy Planner

The time-honoured story of high-school sweethearts reuniting at a school reunion is one we all know well. But this time round there is something exceptionally different. Peter and Kari were the perfect high-school couple; simple feelings, easy lives, big futures, until a baby was on the way and grim decisions were made. We meet them twenty years later at their high school reunion with bad choices, long-lost feelings and a narrator with her own version in hand.

The rustic and intimate setting of the Abbotsford Convent comforts, as you delve into the familiarity of the characters and their relationships. Stripped down, The Pavilion by Craig Wright explores life and its many choices, how those choices change our paths and how those paths are infinite but never definite. Underneath the poetic narrative is a story that explores much more than its immediate self and asks much bigger questions.

The Pavilion

It is an arduous task picking a stand-out performance with a cast of just three, however Claire Pearson’s truly multi-faceted portrayal of The Narrator is something undeniably unique. She navigated seamlessly from an Australian narrator through a myriad of American characters, both female and male, which entered realms of explosively drunk, explicitly stoned, ridiculously sassy, painfully neurotic, and in some places even darn right batty. Katherine Innes and Tim Constantine’s rendering of Kari and Peter are subtle yet intense when appropriate, leaving space for the forceful emotions they are forced to remember and discover.

Nico Wilsdon’s costuming is just colourful enough to give background and make you wonder just where the characters have come from – The Narrator’s gold ensemble is particularly charming. The story and its life-pondering questions are comforted by clever set design (Nicholas Casey) and astute direction (Byron Bache). Despite some momentarily ostentatious dialogue, Craig Wright has delivered a thought-provoking script filled with tiny nuggets of hilarity and true-to-life existential calamities.

Boutique Theatre has brought this international hit to the Australian stage with comedic flare and great philosophical resolve.

Venue: The Industrial School, Abbotsford Covent
Season: 30 October – 14 November, Wednesday – Saturday, 8pm
Tickets: $28 Full, $25 Concession
Bookings: http://boutiquetheatre.com.au/the-pavilion/


Spy thriller hits the bullseye

By Myron My

SNAFU Theatre is back with their eighth production Ten Months in a Cold Town. In it, a man (James Gand-Hunt) enters a woman’s (Samantha Hill) house. They are both spies and he is there to receive some important documents. We watch as they wait for a fax transmission to come through before the documents are handed over…

Who is telling the truth? Is everyone who they say they are?

Ten Months In a Cold Town

Sam Wilson and May Jasper have written an intriguing and captivating script. I particularly enjoyed watching as scenes went from comedic and light-hearted to dark and serious quite fluidly and unexpectedly. The further we progress with the play, the more extreme the pendulum swung between these two contrasting genres and moods. It’s not until we are introduced to Irina (Cazz Bainbridge) that the story comes full-circle.

The scenes in Russian are intriguing to watch as you are left to your own devices to translate what is being said. Despite the fact I speak no Russian, the actors seemed quite comfortable with the language and apparently spoke fluently, and should be congratulated on their efforts.

This is predominantly a character piece rather than a narrative piece and with Gand-Hunt and Hill on stage from beginning to end, there is a lot riding on them being able to pull these characters off and they do exceptionally well.

There are touches of Waiting for Godot during the lighter moments in which the actors both appeared most comfortable, as the two spies discuss their time at “spy school” and their experience of marriage. However, during the more intense moments, I felt there could have been a push to explore their darker natures through emotions and reactions.

Overall, Ten Months in a Cold Town has a strong script and strong performances. It doesn’t answer all your questions but this is not a bad thing as it’s nice to not always be spoon-fed a story, and my friend and I spent some time discussing what we believe had happened – and was going to happen…

Venue: Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

Season: Until 4 May | Thurs-Sat 7:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $20 Conc