Tag: Sam Rankin

Melbourne Fringe 2017: THE WAY THE CITY ATE THE STARS

Beautiful and beguiling

By Joana Simmons

Every once in a while, the stars align and the perfect string of events plays out. This was how I found myself in Wil Greenway’s poetic storytelling show The Way the City Ate the Stars. Saying “yes” to a last-minute review can certainly pay off, as this production is a poignant, simplistic piece of theatre that warms and breaks your heart at the same time. Accompanied by live music, it’s a story about childbirth, a summer drive, a mis-sent text, a broken heart and a bird.

The Way the City Ate the Stars.jpg

The black-box theatre space is the perfect setting for the subtle simplistic story that evolves. It’s stunning how Greenway and the accompanying musicians Kathryn Langshaw and Sam Rankin transform it into this wonderful world with their poetic words and authentic performances. Greenway, with a sparkle in his eye and the type of beard you want to rub your cheek against, energetically transports us from Melbourne Fringe to Christmas eve, where it’s hot, and everything smells like pine needles. His dry roguish humour puts us at ease, and the story’s beginning is relatable to the point where I could taste it, taking place on Sydney Rd with kebab in hand on a hot summer night, or morning. There’s more poignantly familiar elements in this story, some that are wildly fantastical and philosophical, and all are so skillfully painted with Greenway’s poetic colourful choice of words and interesting energetic physicality. I loved the way he comfortably broke the fourth wall, even when the story was in the grips of breath-taking suspense. It added a real Aussie ‘we can get serious but, yeah nah, don’t take ourselves too seriously’ charm.

The songs, played on acoustic guitar, have that light folksy vibe that is sweet and warm but with somewhat twisted lyrics, and they make humourous yet emotional additions to the show.  The music is by Langshaw and Rankin, and the show was directed by Kellie Tori: I imagine all involved are beaming with the success they had at Edinburgh Fringe, selling out and walking off with a few awards, and I have no doubt this show is going to have the same success this festival. Accolades aside, it’s the audience members who are fortunate enough to see the show that will be the true winners. My heart is still warm: I had a lump in my throat, and was on the edge of my seat at points of the show. Come the end, there were tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face.

This Melbourne Fringe, where “Everything is Art” there are countless shows with all sorts of amazing bells and whistles. It’s overwhelming the amount of creativity all swirling around the city. But this show is so simplistically stunning, it’s one not to miss. Give yourself the emotional and intellectual hug that is The Way the City Ate the Stars, it’s uplifting, it’s weird, and it’s well worth your time.

Wil Greenway: The Way the City Ate the Stars

Venue: Fringe Hub: Arts House – Studio 2

Dates: 15-22 September (no Monday) Tue – Fri 9:15 PM, Sun 8:15 PM

Bookings: https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/wil-greenway-the-way-the-city-ate-the-stars/

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MICF 2016: George and Pam IN CONVERSATION WITH SIR GEOFFREY RUSH

Move over Godot

By Joana Simmons

This year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival brings a host of big names, the greats of comedy and television. George and Pam are going to host the BIGGEST name – Australia’s favourite actor of the stage and screen- Sir Geoffrey Rush. George & Pam: In Conversation with Sir Geoffrey Rush is a brand new, absurdist character comedy starring siblings Pam (Arts Administrator) and George (Administrator of the Arts.) As the middle-aged Camberwell-born and bred duo prepares to interview their – our – esteemed guest, they shine a laughable and lovable light on theatre, fandom and the arts in all its absurdity.

George and Pam.jpg

Like a gingernut complements a cup of tea; these idiosyncratic individuals complement each other. Their storytelling and transitions to reenactments through song and voice overs is seamless and hilarious. The thing that struck me the most was how natural and believable the characters are for people who are so batty and absurd. I guess it shows there’s these little twists in all of us, and shows us how talented and clever the brains and bodies behind this operation are. Written and performed by Australian comedians Anna O’Bryan (Al & Anna’s Music Rant) and Sam Rankin (Wake Up, Sheeple!) and directed by award-winning Rachel Davis (EDGE!, Best Comedy, Melbourne Fringe 2013; Weekly Award, Adelaide Fringe 2014), it shows us that two/three heads are better than one. (Unless the one head is Sir Geoffrey’s)

It was Monday night, I’ve got a cold from the late nights of comedy and early mornings of writing and I honestly felt like climbing in a cocoon of tissues and hot toddies. It took about 30 seconds to change my mind. There’s not many days left of this festival, if you feel like you have heard every joke about Tinder, Tony Abbot and topics of the year, then you are in for a real treat, as George and Pam: In Conversation with Sir Geoffrey Rush is refreshingly sharp and witty. There’s no forced laughs or fizzles, it’s delightfully different and it’s a “YES” from me.

Venue: The Tuxedo Cat

Dates: Thursday 7th – Sunday 17th April (excluding Wednesday 13th April)

Time: 8:30pm (Sundays 7:30pm)

Tickets: Con $15, Full $20, Group of 4 + $10

Bookings: http://www.trybooking.com/175050