Tag: Deborah Leiser Moore


Musical and poetic homage to a remarkable woman

By Leeor Adar

Few Australian audiences would be familiar with Leah Goldberg and her marvellous creative life.

For those who don’t know, Goldberg was one of Israel’s great poets, and the first woman to receive the coveted Israel Prize for literature.  It was only after receiving a PhD from the Universities of Berlin and Bonn that she travelled to Palestine and settled in a bustling Tel Aviv to find a home amongst the cafés and poets of her time.

The Leah Goldberg Variations.jpg

Goldberg’s fluency in multiple languages and beautiful prose solidified her as an extraordinary woman. Unsurprisingly, Goldberg would be a compelling subject for collaborators Deborah Leiser-Moore and Adi Sappir, who come together in The Leah Goldberg Variations to bring us storytelling, poetry and music.

Cellist Sappir brings to life the tragedies and rhythm of Goldberg’s life, immersing her audience in the melodies of the East with her beautiful Hebrew vocals and cello. There was richness to Sappir’s delivery that would strongly appeal to Israeli expats and appreciators of the Jewish cultural heritage. As someone who has travelled to Israel, I felt a profound sense of longing for the country as footage is shown of the old bus route Goldberg took between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Through reading her diaries, and reciting her poetry, Sappir and Leiser-Moore perform a lovely tribute to Goldberg’s legacy. It’s a worthy story – that is for certain.

There are however some teething issues in this first full-length collaboration between Sappir and Leiser-Moore. At times segments of the work are disjointed and difficult to follow. Both performers are stylistically differing, and occasionally there is no real cohesion between the two. In one moment we are drawn into the mysticism of Goldberg’s life through music and spoken poetry, and then jolted by short bursts of dialogue that detract from the immersive quality of the work.

The Leah Goldberg Variations is beautiful conceptually, but in presentation it will require further tenderness and care to bring it to the rounded life Goldberg’s story deserves. It was performed at The Butterfly Club from September 8th-11th, 2016 and is well-worthy of future seasons.

Review: La Mama Presents DITTO, A STORY

Unusual look at the theatre in theatre

By Myron My

Ditto, A Story is a love tale between three actor friends trying to get all they can out of life. Not only are they looking for the one but they are also in search of their one big break.

The most intriguing part of Ditto…A Story is when the three friends attend their ‘audition’. It’s an audition performed live that is taken by a different director each night.


On opening night, Deborah Leiser Moore, a director who creates a lot of physical and immersive performance-based works takes the actors through her own audition process. It’s very much art imitating life and you can’t help but feel nervous and anxious for the actors and that you are intruding on a very personal moment where they are genuinely vulnerable.

Unfortunately the three characters of Freya, Que and Moqui upon whom this story turns (Malina Maria Mackiewicz, Mischa Grunenberg and Reece Vella) lacked believability, and I felt more exploration was needed regarding their desires and wants. There were times I felt reminded that I was watching actors on stage rather than the actual characters.

The set consists of a number of sheets as curtains hanging on a line from one side of the stage to the other that the actors slide open and closed to go “backstage”. The busker (Annie Schofield) sits at the end of the stage and sets the “chapter” of each scene by playing drums and at times naming locations such as ‘bar’ or ‘taxi’. I quite enjoyed this process as it allows the visual to be created as you see it.

Lech Mackiewicz’s script has moments of sharp and witty dialogue, however there are times where things occur out of nowhere that seem implausible or there is no development on these revelations. In the final scene for example, there is a change in the relationship between Que and Moqui and Freya that seems out of place but is left up in the air.

Ditto, A Story takes a very innovative approach to theatre with its audition element and breaks the barrier of observer and participant in interesting ways, but it falls short in allowing its characters to establish an enduring connection with the audience.

Guest directors:

Deborah Leiser Moore (June 19)

Melanie Beddie (June 20)

Suzanne Chaundy (June 21)

Cheyney Caddy (June 22)

Daniel Schlusser (June 23)

Venue: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street Carlton

Season: Until 16 June | Thurs-Sat 7:30pm, Sun 6:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Conc

 or 9347 6142