Tag: Laura Jane Turner

REVIEW: La Mama Presents TROLLS

Under the bridge and behind the keyboard

By Myron My

In 2013, four writers (Alan Grace, Nic Stevens, Elaine Cope and head writer Neil Triffett) created fake online personas and went on the internet coaxing out trolls and exploring what freedom of expression can actually mean. Most of the dialogue in Trolls is a verbatim conversation the actual writers had, and with this core material, Triffett has created an absorbing and discussion-provoking play.

Trolls

The whole cast (Scott Gooding, Cat Commander, Gabriel Partington, Emma Tufrey Smith and Laura Jane Turner) – must be congratulated on their efforts. No-one missed a beat with their almost frenetic performances of the various characters they played, from the reenactments of the interactions the writers had, to portraying the writers themselves and presenting their findings to us. Commander and Turner were particularly impressive in their achievements.

Fleur Kilpatrick’s effective direction is evident throughout Trolls. As with her writing, Kilpatrick has a knack for creating sophisticated experiences for audiences which allow us to see and to consider things we wouldn’t otherwise. She has clearly given the actors the confidence and support to further explore their characters and successfully take us along for the bumpy ride.

My only concern was that the script seemed to lose itself at times and I was left feeling confused as to which story it was I was following and which ‘character’ was being depicted. I can only imagine what a huge task it was for Triffett to go through all the correspondence and conversation and whittle it down to 60 minutes but I’m sure as the work develops, the script will get tighter and more finessed.

Trolls focuses on some important issues underpinning online communities and social media usage and also explores the somewhat blurred line of when and how one actually becomes a troll, and when good intentions give way to darker motivations. I will be very keen to see how this work progresses into its next phase.

Trolls was performed for the first time as a partly-staged performance and part-reading for La Mama Theatre’s Explorations seasons which supports new works in various stages of development.

Advertisements

REVIEW: Red Stitch Presents GLORY DAZED

Tense, difficult, wonderful drama

By Margaret Wieringa

The house lights have been brought down slowly. The audience remains in the quiet and dark for a long moment before the lights snap on and three actors stand, staring off stage: inert, but not quite frozen. Then banging and shouting from offstage, fear flashes on their faces, and the tension of the next hour or so is set.

2014 REDSTITCH

Premiering in Australia after winning awards as a radio drama and during its season at the Edinburgh Festival, Glory Dazed by Cat Jones is the story of a soldier returned from serving in Afghanistan who cannot settle back into life in Northern England.

It is Andre De Vanny as ex-soldier Ray who carries this performance, capturing all of the anger, fear and vulnerability of a displaced young man who feels hard-done by his circumstances – but demands to be acknowledged. It is a familiar character, the type of man who you may see in a pub or stumbling down the street and you know to avoid because his emotions are expressed through aggression and derision. In the tiny theatre at Red Stitch, it is impossible to escape, and De Vanny made this a wonderfully difficult play to watch.

While Ray is a man I don’t want to encounter, it is the other characters that I empathise with, trapped with this unpredictable time-bomb. Jonathan Peck captures the vulnerability of Simon who is no physical match for Ray, yet needs to find a way to stand up to him. Then there is Leanne, played by Laura Jane Turner, the young staff member who is naïve enough to flirt with the handsome, charming Ray and be taken into his games even when his darker side is revealed. And then Carla. Oh, Carla. Emily Goddard broke my heart as the ex-wife who needs to be free from this animal, yet can see the broken man beneath the bravado.

It was as much the space and the silences that made this performance: director Greg Carroll let the story unfold slowly, with all the pain that this involved. Sometimes, theatre hurts.

Venue: Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel Street, St Kilda East
Season: 23 July – 23 August
Tickets: $20-$39
Bookings: 9533 8083 or boxoffice@redstitch.net