Tag: Suze Smith

REVIEW: Riot Stage Presents FOREVER CITY

Sharp wit from young creatives

By Amy Planner

What does the end of the world look like? What will it feel like and what happens after? These are the hot topics that Forever City ferociously explores in this youthful post-dramatic production.

Forever City

Directed by Katrina Cornwall, Forever City follows a group of school leavers who begin to consider life after graduation when yet another plane goes missing and hints of end of the world start to form. The teens start question themselves, their world and life, as they know it, and of course, there’s a dinosaur.

Filled with inner monologues and fraught with cultural angst, this story studies apocalyptic ideas and doesn’t disguise teenage anguish as anything other than what we’re all thinking. There is no doubt this show is funny: there were spurts of laughter, rolling chuckles and an audible snort or two. It is witty, current and unique.

The performers (Ellen Campion, Mieke Dodd, Kes Daniel Doney, Kate Dunn, Yash Jagtani, Daisy Kocher, Alanna Marshall, Marie Mokbel, Amelia Newman and Jack Zapsalisare) a group of ten teenagers from the Moreland area with fresh faces, creative energy and novel story-telling abilities. There were a few stumbles along the way, stirred undoubtedly by nerves and excitement. Some second-guessing of their instincts was evident, but overall these spritely teens have real promise. The refreshing sense comes from the youthfulness of the performers and the fact that they don’t feel the need to be quirky or cunning. Their ingeniousness comes from an innocent place and even surprised the performers themselves at times with an unexpected smirk or two after glorious audience response.

The minimal set by Casey Scott Corless complimented the complexity of the story, as did the great use of lighting (designed by Suze Smith) both on stage and off. A little unbalance between audio levels and vocal projection at times, but the sound design of the show was interesting, pleasantly unusual and darn creative.

Writer Morgan Rose deserves props for her use of current events and cultural phenomenon combined with deep-seeded concerns and comedic elements. The messages the story was trying to send were stimulating but perhaps a little clouded; an unusual and unexpected twist left us unsure of the story’s aim.

Forever City is part of a new wave of contemporary theatre exploration taking current events and local news as the inspiration for a powerful story.

Venue: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton

Season: 16-19 April 2015, Friday 1pm & 7.30pm, Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 4pm

Tickets: $25 Full, $15 Concession, $15 Group Bookings (10+), $15 School Group

Bookings: http://lamama.com.au/ticketing/buy-tickets

More information: www.riotstage.com

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REVIEW: Kate Hunter’s MEMORANDUM

Sinking delicately into the depths of remembrance

By Margaret Wieringa

Smoke drifts across the stage in layers, twisting and turning with the gentlest movement. The air is filled with the sounds of summer, of insects and birds and the past. Slowly, so slowly, a figure in red is revealed off in the distance corner of the stage, obscured by the smoke and several long, semi-opaque banners that hang from the ceiling to the floor. And the remembering begins.

Memorandum_KateHunter__Photoby_LeoDale

You know what it is like, when you recall your childhood. You remember a story, but cannot be sure if the facts are right, or if you are blending two stories, or if any of it actually happened. But you can remember the full names of your primary school classmates and what they were known for. Sometimes it comes in a rush, sometimes in dribs and drabs. Sometimes, bits layer on top of each other like a dream, or a memory of a dream.

Kate Hunter has captured those feelings in this performance of Memorandum. Being in her company in the space at Theatreworks was like being invited into her memory; or a version of someone’s memory. It was a beautiful and surreal experience that was at once mine and not mine.

Kate’s performance is both mesmerising and hypnotising, at times funny and at times heartbreaking, and it is complemented so perfectly by the use of light and set to create a world that is vague and dreamlike and enthralling. Lighting designer and lighting operators Richard Vabre and Suze Smith build with light from traditional theatre sources as well as using projections and offstage lighting to create the vague, magical mood. Having two separate projections of similar images projected on a angle upwards through the three banners gave a layering effect of images, both clear and sharp, and fuzzy and distorted, and with Kate standing in front of them seemed to place her within the memory, within her dream, within her mind.

Then there was the sound, operated by Michael Havir; layers of voice that synch and clash with what Kate herself is saying, adding detail, removing meaning. Revealing, slowly and gently. Even the freezing cold of the theatre was bearable as we were absorbed into the world of memory.

Venue: Theatreworks, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Dates: May 20 – June 1, Tuesday-Saturday 8pm, Sunday 5pm
Price: $25 Full, $20 Concession $20, Groups of 8+ $20
Tickets: www.theatreworks.org.au