Tag: Tom Molyneux

REVIEW: It’s Happening in the Space Between My Face and Yours

Throwing surrealism to the wolves

By Myron My

A woman has gone missing and her friends are left to go on with their lives, not knowing what has happened to her. Despite attempts of normalcy and moving on, the wolves are always at their door waiting for the right moment to strike.

My latest venture into this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival was It’s Happening In The Space Between My Face and Yours. Written by Izzy Roberts-Orr, it’s a surreal look at love, sex and death through the eyes of a bunch of twenty-somethings sharing a house together. There is strong direction by Nick Fry, and the cast have done well in creating a sense of unity in their movements on stage.

It's Happening in the Space

The sound and lighting design by James Hogan and Nick Fry respectively are a highlight of the show and create an atmosphere of foreshadowing and something more sinister at play but this is not complemented by the acting or the script. The biggest issue I had with It’s Happening… is that I don’t know what it wants to be. Is it a romantic comedy for hipsters or a supernatural suspense? Either way, the two do not mesh with success here. Whenever surrealism is attempted in theatre, it either works incredibly well or not at all and in this situation, it does fall into the latter. There were also storylines that occurred very awkwardly like the introduction of a new housemate who rents out Jack’s room and the romance between El and Ali (Elle Kulesza and Rebecca Hunt).

I was captivated by Tom Molyneux and Meaghan Lawrie as the two ‘wolves’, almost to the point where I was watching them even when they weren’t actively participating in a scene. However, I was not convinced by the rest of the cast in their roles and their emotional scenes did not feel real to me. More development was required for all the characters, especially Jack (Jennifer Speirs) who needed more of a presence if she is to be the central character and theme in the play.

Melbourne Fringe Festival is about trying new things and doing something different: seeing what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately the debut performance of It’s Happening In The Space Between My Face and Yours doesn’t quite hit the mark.

Venue: Sketch and Tulip, 364 Victoria St, North Melbourne
Season: Until 02 October | Tues – Sun 9:15pm
Tickets: $19 Full | $15 Conc
Bookings: http://www.melbournefringe.com.au or 9660 9666

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REVIEW: RePlay Theatre’s THE WOMAN TAMER

Ambitious production of an Australian classic

By Myron My

Originally written in 1911, The Woman Tamer by Australian playwright Louis Esson has just been given a makeover over a 100 years later by RePlay Theatre for a limited run this week at The Owl and the Pussycat.

The play begins in the foyer of the theatre with a man and a woman (Jack Beeby and Clara Pagone) dressed in period costume, singing a song with a ukulele. However, they are also covered in ghoulish make-up and at the end of the song they guide us into the theatre. The two stand in the doorway strumming away until the doors close, evoking a strong and uneasy emotional response and offering a hint of the horror that is to come.

TheWomanTamer

Unfortunately, I found the story very difficult to follow due to the overwhelming visuals: the choreographed ‘dances’, the make-up and costumes, the music and at times, the two completely different scenes occurring at the same time. Whilst all this was engaging and captivating to watch, it resulted in me losing a lot of the actual narrative.

Robert Reid‘s direction is strong overall, but does allows things to get a little convoluted and left us trying to figure out what’s going on. There are some profound themes in this play including an examination of domestic violence against women, so adding all these other layers and levels to it jeopardized the focus on the issues and created a haphazard experience for the audience.

However, the cast (Beeby, Pagone, Tom Molyneux and Kate Brennan) were quite skilled in their roles. This play is peopled with emotionally and physically-demanding characters, and they were all committed, with particular mention going to Beeby who seemed to relish his character and really gave it his all.

RePlay Theatre have succeeded in producing an interesting contemporary reinterpretation of the original text of The Woman Tamer, but  unfortunately have managed to also ostracize the audience in our endeavours to connect with the play.

Venue: The Owl and the Pussycat, 34 Swan St, Richmond

Season: Until 25 May | 7:00pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $20 Conc

Bookings: http://www.owlandcat.com.au/thewomantamer.html