Friday, February 20, 2009

We've just past the halfway mark

It may be hard to tell from the overweight baggage I'm carrying beneath my eyes, and how I find it hard to string two sentences together coherently but ...



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Outrageous Fortune meets Footrot Flats

Our first review is out! and it's great! and! I am named! and! I am maybe ever so slightly, just a little, a teeny bit excited about that ...

Petruchio & Katherina - Selected

Reviewed by John Smythe, 18 Feb 2009

Outrageous Fortune meets Footrot Flats: that's the look, anyway, of the costume choices for Katherina and Petruchio in this all-woman Bard in the Yard production of The Taming of the Shrew, directed by John Marwick as the Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe's contribution to Fringe 09 and the Compleate Workes project.

Not that Katherina and her sister Bianca are bogans born and bred, they're too well-spoken for that. But each has rebelled in her own way against their more respectable father, Baptista Minola; if the feral Katherina is redolent of Cheryl West (sans cigs), Bianca is more Pascalle.

Petruchio might be all black singlet and gumboots, but he's doing pretty well given the number of blokes working on his backblocks property. While other men vie to woo the sexy and manipulative Bianca, he relishes the challenge offered by "Katherina the curs'd". And Baptista has decreed she must be wed first before Bianca goes.

The way Liz Sugrue and Rowan Macrae work it through, Pet and Kat instantly see their match in the other and so play the game full on and for keeps. A line in Katherina's controversial final scene speech, "That seeming to be most which we indeed least are" seems to be the key: Petruchio knows she's wired to be loyal and loving, and that she's protecting that vulnerability with her stroppiness; Katherina knows he is a lovely big softie beneath his 'dog boss' exterior. They just need to know it's finally safe to let their guards down ...

Ideologically correct sexual politics aside, there are plenty of real-life examples to validate this behaviour and it's this core of truth that gives this production its spine. But despite a number of other good performances, a few players have yet to pursue a stronger intention than remembering their lines and this tends to weaken the sub-plots.

Elspeth Harris is deliciously manipulative as Bianca and Florence McFarlane nails old Gremio so clearly - got up as a fairground impresario and/or successful gambler - that it's hard not to see them best suited to each other. Harris and McFarlane also offer excellent cameos as a tailor and haberdasher respectively.

Other strong performances include Kat Angus as Hortensio, Tamsin Bertaud-Gandar as Biondello, Sarah-Rose Burke as Grumio and Sue Jones, contrasting a Cooch-like Curtis with a gentlemanly Vincentio.

As an ensemble the 12-strong cast gives good support to the on-stage action with collective reactions and live sound effects. In place of the induction, the actors arrive in branded t-shirts, bop to 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' then change into costume in front of us, which takes a while. The ghetto-blaster music backing is weak, and when it failed briefly, on opening night, and the cast spontaneously sang live, I couldn't help feeling that was better.

The Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe has set a good standard with their annual Bard in the Yard productions. The Taming of the Shrew is a well-conceived addition, intelligently approached with strong central performances and a clear intention to share the fun.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

From the Archives

London, 29 September 2007

Borough Market

Borough Market

Adding sauce

Craig and his beloved Roast

Craig and his beloved Roast

Borough Market

Borough Market

and finally? Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

p.s. SO TIRED. The Taming of the Shrew opened tonight! Come along!

Taming of the Shrew

Where: Muritai School Yard, Eastbourne

(Outside but moves inside in poor weather)

When: 7.30 p.m. Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 Feb

Tickets: $15, $12 (concession) & $10 (Fringe Addict/child)

Dymocks Bookseller, Lambton Quay

Rona Gallery, Eastbourne

Door sales from 7 pm

Booking line: 0832 77790

Monday, February 16, 2009

Train Breakdown, Twitter Breakdown!

Sometimes Twitter is very very good, like when @stephenfry is stuck in a lift, but when it is bad? it is horrid.
I tweeted away this evening as I was stuck on the train, and they have still not arrived on twitter itself.

Train Breakdown! Twitter Breakdown!

Stuck at Ngauranga

At least the view while stuck at Ngauranga was quite nice.

Train Step

So, naturally, I amused myself by taking photos.

Dry Patch

Taunting us

Leaving now???

Pauvre broken train

Four trains and 1.5 hours after getting on the train at Wellington, we made it home.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week Seven

365 in 2009!

Sunday: Gelato after Rehearsal
Gelato with Sir C after rehearsal.

Monday: Hoping for Sun
Charlotte's plant yearns for the sun.

Tuesday: Foggy in Eastbourne
The fog (or cloud) closes in on Eastbourne. It was completely still.

Wednesday: Koala amongst the devastation
Amongst the death, an adorable Koala.

Thursday: Grey grey rain
A wet wet softling grey day.

Friday: Sticker hopefully unnecessary
I really hope that the sticker wasn't necessary.

Saturday: Kitten and Mac coordinated
Kitten and Mac: perfectly co-ordinated.


Grumbling cause I'm out of focus??