Tag: Emma Annand


Violence comes to light

By Myron My

My second play by writer Adam J. Cass during this 2015 Melbourne Fringe festival continues with his running critique of society and the treatment of its people. However, unlike the refugee theme of Fractured, Bock Kills Her Father contemplates the long-lasting effects a group of women must deal with after being at the mercy of one man.

Bock Kills Her Father

Penny Harpham‘s strong direction never allows the action on the small La Mama stage to become overwhelming or cramped, especially when there are five aggressive and angry characters on stage. The choreography for the fight scenes is executed well, with some very convincingly painful moments. There is only one time where the fight scenes disappoint and that is when Sarah (powerfully played by Annie Lumsden) is attacked. Due to the hardness of the adult women we had previously seen, it felt more like something young children would do to each other and as such, its intensity was lost.

Despite this, Cass has created a script that draws the audience into the pressure cooker of how a patriarchal society – and in this case, a cowering unseen man – still has the power to control these women’s lives. For the most part, the language is raw and authentic and I could not help but be reminded of Patricia Cornelius’s Shit, which played during MTC’s NEON season earlier this year. In fact, thematically Bock Kills Her Father could easily be appreciated as a natural prequel to Shit, in considering how the cycle of women being victims will continue to repeat itself if society does nothing.

These women however – the five actors on stage – do a great job in these physically and emotionally demanding roles. Emina Ashman, as the slightly unhinged D’Agostino, captures the attention of the audience in every scene she is in. Ashman’s portrayal is a perfect combination of endearing, annoying and incredibly frightening. Together with Marissa O’Reilly and Ruby Hughes (as Taylor and Chambers), the three women are all highly convincing in their characters and in their relationships with each other. I would have liked to see Emma Annand be pushed slightly more with difficult title character Bock, to ensure all her character’s choices seem genuine and not forced.

While Bock Kills Her Father isn’t the most polished of works, the grittiness and dirtiness of the world we find ourselves in makes this work in its favour. Nothing is ever going to be perfect for these women; they are unlikely to find inner peace and let go of their inner rage until those who have done them wrong are forced out of hiding and held accountable for what they have done. Bock Kills Her Father is an enthralling piece of Fringe theatre that has a lot to say about society’s treatment of women.

Venue: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton

Season: Until 27 September | Wed 6.30pm, Thurs-Sat 7:30pm, Sun 4:00pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Conc

Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival



Telling, amusing musings

By Myron My

We read about the countries where homosexuality is illegal and even punishable by death. In fact, it’s not so long ago that homosexuality was still illegal in Australia. But what if Australia was in fact, the worst place to be gay? This is what I Still Call Australia Homo speculates over in a clever and humorous way.

I Still Call Australia HomoWritten and performed by Emma Annand, Sonja Bishopp, Adam Ibrahim and Ryan Forbes, the laughs in this performance come through thick and fast whilst the narrative still gets its poignant message across. I enjoyed the fact the writers chose a lighter tone to tell this story rather than going down the dark and serious path. Even though this alternate-Australia is now persecuting homosexuals and experiencing a bombardment of rallies, protests and violence, we don’t see any of that. In fact, apart from some news grabs, we really don’t deal with this powerful backdrop at all.

What we do see are two married couples living the suburban dream, a Stepford Wives-like existence, and this is in part to do with Jack Fordham’s simple yet creative and effective set design and costuming. The couples both have their perfectly kept lawns and rose bushes and their white picket fences while enjoying their BBQs, dinner parties and yoga classes… unfortunately, the two “husbands” are actually falling in love with each other, and it’s here the struggle and turmoil occurs.

With regards the acting, all the cast are admirable, but Bishopp more or less steals all her scenes as the extremely uptight and frustrated Pippa: her nuanced facial expressions, physicality and voice epitomised the overwrought and repressed housewife. Forbes also does well with the male macho bravado of Jake, and with revealing his internal struggle to be true to himself in a world that just won’t allow it.

I would love to see I Still Call Australia Homo get a second life at some point, as more people should have the opportunity to see this play. It is a highly enjoyable piece of theatre, which cleverly mixes humour with an important and meaningful message about equality: does it really matter if the guy next door could in fact be the gay next door?

I Still Call Australia Homo was performed during Fr!sk Festival at the Victorian College of the Arts, as part of the 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival.