Tag: Dan Giovannoni

REVIEW: Red Stitch Presents JURASSICA

Impressive cast in family saga

By Caitlin McGrane

Jurassica is a familiar Australian family story of immigration and assimilation. Ralph (Joe Petruzzi) and Sara (Caroline Lee) came from Italy in the 1950s to begin a new life in Australia. As immigrants in a foreign land they attempted to adjust to a new way of life, while trying to maintain their familiar traditions and customs. The play is told through flashback sequences as Ralph’s son Ichlis (Jordan Fraser-Trumble), grandson Luca (Edward Orton) and daughter-in-law Penny (Devon Lang Wilton) attempt to deal with his rapidly failing health. All the performers in the ensemble cast give exceptional performances as individuals and work well together. Fraser-Trumble and Orton both do a particularly good job of playing men/boys at a variety of ages.

Jurassica

However, for me the play did not hang together exceptionally well: the script was slightly tired and took a well-trodden path that was not aided by the addition of the interpreter Kaja’s (Olga Makeeva) Serbian background story, which seemed slightly clumsily included. Director Bridget Balodis has done a terrific job in the six weeks she had to put the play together, but the story was not quite up to the standard I have come to expect from Red Stitch. However, the writing was not without merit, and the play maintained a steady and relatively engaging pace throughout.

As always at Red Stitch the staging and lighting were excellent: Romaine Harper (Set & Designer) and Amelia Lever-Davidson (Lighting Designer) have both done a wonderful job of evoking a variety of environs on stage.

In some ways this is a story of fragile masculinity within a family, and while it was certainly told with its heart in the right place, it unfortunately did not strike a chord with me. This may have been due to the heavy use of Italian, which I do not understand or speak. Luckily I attended with someone who does so she was able to translate, but this somewhat distracted from the intentions on stage. I look forward to seeing what playwright Dan Giovannoni does next.

Dates: Until Nov 9th 2015

Red Stitch Actors Theatre
Rear 2 Chapel Street
St Kilda East, Vic 3183, Australia

Bookings: http://redstitch.net/gallery/jurassica/

Image by Jodie Hutchinson

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Review: CUT SNAKE at Theatreworks

Comic, crazy, commendable tale in a three-actor circus

By Christine Moffat

If you know the phrase ‘mad as a cut snake’, you have an inkling of what to expect from this award-winning show by the two years-young theatre company Arthur.  The show is mad, but thanks to playwrights Amelia Evans and Dan Giovannoni, there is fabulous method to the madness.

Although the show is acrobatic and surreal, with all emotions heightened, there is a base note of reality running underneath.  Evans and Giovannoni examine the central themes of friendship, love, death and the small moments in a life that change the world.

Cut Snake

The play revolves around four zany characters, Trix the snake, Kiki Coriander (Catherine Davies), Bob (Julia Billington) and Jumper (Kevin Kiernan-Molloy), any of which could justify their own circus act.  Despite this, the actors beautifully construct relationships that are accessible, relatable and touchingly domestic.

The direction of by devisor Paige Rattray is a great lesson in ‘less is more’.  The show takes place in a small circus tent on astroturf.  The ‘rough around the edges’ appearance is actually great stagecraft.  The show feels roughened, not rough: worn-in like a favourite pair of jeans.  This made the audience immediately comfortable in the high-energy, crazy, tiny theatre space.

Cut Snake is a strange, moving, funny, high-energy bundle of love and loss with a dash of experimental physics thrown in for good measure.  If you’ve ever had a best friend, ever thought about science or magic or asked yourself “What if?” then you will find yourself entertained and a little bit happier for having seen it.  As a bonus you will also find the answer to the million-dollar question: who would win in a fight between a horse and a hippo?  That alone is worth the ticket price.

Date: 25 Feb 2013 – 09 Mar 2013

Time: March 2- March 9 at 7:00pm, 11:30am matinees Wed and Fri

Price: Student groups $20, adults $30, conc/non-student groups $25 (plus booking fee)

Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au

Location: Theatreworks, 14 Acland St, St Kilda

Please Note: This production is performed at an outdoor location near Theatre Works; meet in the foyer at least 15 minutes before performance commences.