Tag: Hannah Bolt

REVIEW: Sly Rat Theatre’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

A truly wonderful evening of entertainment

By Margaret Wieringa

Cancel your plans, pack a picnic and get yourself to Pipemaker’s Park. This is a show that you won’t want to miss – and if that hasn’t sold you, it’s free!

A Midsummer Night's Dream.jpg

In case you don’t know, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a Shakespearean comedy, set in Athens one hot summer’s night. There are characters in love and characters betrothed and characters running away, and then the faeries and the like get involved, and things go crazy. Ultimately, the perfect play to watch as the sun sets in a beautiful Australian park.

The Pipemaker’s Park is a place that has been let got for a long time; walking from the carpark, you pass some ugly concrete and rusted fences. Director Alan Chambers and playwright Andy Harmsen have clearly drawn inspiration from these contrary surrounds, with the central feature of the set a rusted old pickup truck beneath a most beautiful and expansive tree.

And then the cast arrive – it was like Elizabethan Mad Max, a dystopian future-feel with ripped clothes and skinheads and a bit of ‘Am I Ever Going to See Your Face Again’. I cannot praise the cast enough. They were just fabulous – to a tee. Even the smallest role was filled with humour and delightful little quirks. As always, Puck was the favourite of the crowd – Brendan Ewing played the cheeky fawn with perfect comic timing, slipping through the crowd on the most mysterious stilt/legs. I want to go on about all of the performers, although space won’t permit – the wonderful lovers played with so much humour by Katharine Innes, Hannah Bolt, Letitia Sutherland and Seton Pollack; the hilarious Mechanicals lead by Jimmy James Eaton as Bottom. Just brilliant.

A couple of things for your comfort – plan a little. Bring a blanket and a jumper and maybe a picnic (though there are snacks, including a delicious smelling BBQ). And if it looks like the weather may turn, don’t cancel your plans – there is an undercover area where the show can move if need be. We were very lucky – there were a few drops of rain, but once some umbrellas were handed out, the rain stopped.

This was truly a community event – the audience was full of families and kids, couples and people on their own, young and old. It was a lovely feeling, and in a delightful park that I had not until this night even known existed.

Where: Pipemaker’s Park, The Living Museum of the West, Maribyrnong
When: 63:0 pm February 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th and 28th
Tickets: Free! Just arrive, spread out your blanket and enjoy!

http://www.slyrattheatreco.com/

REVIEW: La Mama Presents THE ART OF FUCKING

Trying hard to shock

By Myron My

In The Art of Fucking, four friends are holding an intimate reunion for the return of one of their own who has spent the last year overseas. Through the course of the evening however, there are mentions of something that happened the previous year which has left its mark on each of them…

The Art of F---ing

The play is divided into three parts, with everyone meeting up for the reunion in the first. James Shaw excels in directing the cast and keeping the mannerisms and characterisations between the five long-time friends as natural as can be. With the characters confined to a living room for 45 minutes, keeping audiences entertained could have proved an arduous task, but Shaw explores the connection and relationships these characters ought to have carefully. and pushes for the minutest of interactions to occur.

Unfortunately, the same realism and appeal is not foregrounded in Phoebe Anne Taylor’s script which, try as the actors might, was full of dialogue that felt forced and unnatural. There are constant awkward silences scripted between a group of friends we are led to believe are very close and feel completely relaxed with one another, and much of this initial conversation was repetitive and seemed to have no purpose.

The second act is a monologue performed by Isabel Hertaeg who is great to watch as an actor, and delivers one of the more convincing performances of the evening. Hannah Bolt also manages to bring authenticity and emotion to her character throughout The Art of Fucking but it appeared some of the other cast needed to invest more in their characters to convey the honesty and depth they should have been feeling.

The third part of the show would have to be the weakest and is only saved by Shaw’s direction. The actors take turns in delivering the details of the night in question with rhyming couplets that could even have embarrassed Dr. Seuss. The revelation at the end of The Art of Fucking is more absurd than shocking and feels as if the narrative was forced as far as it could go to create that “shock value”, but sadly misses the mark.

The Art of Fucking is an example of trying to do too much in a limited time; the writing, the themes and the unfolding of the narrative all need more refinement in order to be able to leave any sort of lingering impact on the audience.

Venue: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street Carlton
Season: Until 6 July | Thurs-Sat 7:30pm, Wed, Sun 6:30pm
Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Conc
Bookings:http://lamama.com.au
 or 9347 6948