11 October 2006

Two nights at the theatre

Last Friday, Heather and I went to The Crypt Theatre to see Turning Up, a play directed by a fellow teacher at Canterbury Boys and written by a friend of his. It is a very small venue, allowing for at most about twenty-five in the audience. The set was very simple: solid pink walls, solid blue table and folding chairs, solid yellow props, including a mobile phone, laptop, and milk carton. The play was about a woman who is married to an ambitious businessman and gets reacquainted with a high school classmate who rails against social and environmental injustices. The characters were very extreme and stereotypical, but that was the point. Hyperbole makes a statement. There were plenty of lines that were both amusing and cutting. However, the review in the paper gave it 4/10. Director Daryl wasn't too concerned--he said he was going to get a t-shirt made that said 'uninspired', the criticism leveled against him in the review. Daryl said he would have been upset if he was in the Sydney Theatre Company, whose professional performance got 6/10 one column over.
On Monday we made our second trip to the Sydney Opera House for a performance of Bell Shakespeare's The Tempest starring John Bell. The performances were very good but we both left rather unimpressed. We think it had more to do with the play selection. Heather compared it to something Ben Folds said at his concert. He had had a big hit and was under contract to write five more songs that year. Now that he was wealthy and uninspired, he couldn't write anything. As his deadline approached, he ripped out a few bad songs to meet his contractual observations. Heather said The Tempest must have been a similar situation. I'm waiting for them to perform All's Well That Ends Well.

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