28 August 2010

Review: Pin Drop

Pin Drop
Tamara Saulwick and Arts House
28 August 2010
North Melbourne Town Hall
to 29 August

Pin Drop makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and might leave you scared of the dark.

Tamara Saulwick (Strange Fruit, Born in a Taxi) recorded conversations about physical threat and fear. Working with sound designer Peter Knight, choreographer Michelle Heaven and lighting designer Ben Cobahm, she's created a remarkable relationship between the real stories, the theatrical telling and the gut-felt reactions of the audience.

The narrative is chosen moments from the stories, told by the original recordings merged with Saulwick's voice and Butoh-inspired movement. The stories include an actor receiving a threatening phone call after an audience member foud her address in the phone book, a child being chased by an adult and a woman getting up in the night to go to the toilet and seeing someone trying to get in her balcony door. There's no need for fiction, as there is nothing more fascinating or frightening than a story about someone just like us.

Each story brings a visceral sensation of fear or threat, which could be viewed safely from the audience, but is heightened by a sound and lighting design that leave the audience in the dark with footsteps approaching, or trying to make out shapes and sounds on the stage.

I don't get to everything at Arts House (which is managed by the Melbourne City Council), but I try because the artistic team curate a program that consistently presents the most challenging and fascinating contemporary art from all over the world and supports local artists, like Saulwick,  to develop personal and challenging work. Seasons are short, so there's no time to wait for opinion.

Pin Drop finishes tomorrow (Sunday), so there's still a chance to see it.

And please check out the Arts House wonderful Green Tix for Nix offer. Use a planet-friendly mode of transport to get to a show and be rewarded with free ticket.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com

25 August 2010

Review: All About My Mother

All About My Mother
Melbourne Theatre Company
19 August 2010
Sumner Theatre
to 26 September

I'm not sure why anyone would want to adapt a Pedro Almodovar film for the stage when there's a perfectly good film that can be popped into a DVD player. But the Melbourne Thearte Company liked the script (by Samual Adamson) and it's hard to resist the lure of casting Paul Capsis, Alison Whyte and Wendy Hughes.

As all adaptations should be, this All About My Mother is unlike its source. It's been taken off the streets and into the internal worlds of the characters. With a greater focus on the story and characters, the atmosphere of Barcelona backstreets, drugs, prostitutes, transvestites and transexuals is missing and it heads towards being a living room/backstage drama.

Manuela's (Whyte) son Esteban (Blake Davis) is killed in an accident when he's trying to get the autograph of great actress Huma Rojo (Hughes). Searching for Esteban's father (Lola, who is living as a woman), Manuela find her old friend Agrado (Capsis) and a pregnant nun (Katie Fitchett) and becomes Huma's personal assistant.

It's meant to be melodramatic and extreme and its super-high stakes and ridiculous coincidences make the story irresistible.

In Act One, Simon Phillips' direction stood back and let the story and the characters capture the audience's hearts and interest. This was supported by Stephen Curtis design, which nods to the film while leaving room for the story to unfold, and Alberto Iglesias' composition, structured by Ian Macdonald's sound design.

In Act Two, the melodrama takes over and drowns the story. It becomes less about caring and more about seeing how much emotion can be squeezed out of it. All the emotion is on the stage, as the audience are told how they should feel (complete with the underlining score), rather than letting us discover our own real emotions. Does anyone like being told how to feel?

This was especially apparent to me when I realised that not once in a piece about motherhood did I think about my mother.

All About My Mother is Almadovar made nice, which could be great if it brings new people to his films. But what I found especially distracting and a bit insulting was that Agrado – the transvestite prostitute – is played as the clown. Capsis performance is superb, but Agrado is the character who is getting laughed at. Almadovar does not laugh at his characters.  He laughs at the absurdity and universality of human weakness. He certainly doesn't laugh at the sexual, social or identity choices of the people in his world.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com.

24 August 2010

OFFER: Eagle's Nest Theatre

Local independent company Eagle's Nest Theatre  have three shows running at the Northcote Town Hall.

M.The Scottish Play finishes on the 25 August. There's a review on their Facebook page.

Outlaw by Michael Healy and directed by James Adler is prophetically about a Greens party leader and asks an outlaw is a criminal or a hero. It runs until 3 September.

TruthMachine is a devised piece from emerging theatre company, Grounded Astronaut,  and presented in association with Eagle’s Nest. It runs until 1 September.

Eagle's Nest would like to offer Sometimes Melbourne readers discount tickets to any show for $22 and $15. Just mention Sometimes Melbourne when you reserve  on bookings@eaglesnesttheatre.com or call or SMS 0415 183 824. 


Due to a technical error (read me stuffing up the email link), the Kunst ist Scheisse giveaway deadline has been extended to lunchtime tomorrow.

If you want to get along to this bloody terrific cabaret email kunst@internode.on.net by 2 pm tomorrow.

Review: The Trial

The Trial

Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company and Thinice
18 August 2010
Merlyn Thearte, CUB Malthouse
to 4 September 2010

Director Mattew Lutton says, "The writings of Kafka create an addictive riddle of the soul that has no solution." I am shamed to admit that I haven't read Kafka, so I'm not sure if this stage version of The Trial is indeed Kafkaesque.

With a script by Louise Fox, sound by Kelly Ryall, lighting by Paul Jackson and wonderful actors like Ewen Leslie, Peter Houghton, John Gaden and Rita Kalnejais on the stage, there's a whole heap of consistent greatness to enjoy in this production. And Lutton's direction balances threat and comedy, while maintaining a sometimes manic pace that should be keeping us on the edges of our seat.

Kafta readers tell me that this pace pushed away the threat and tension that make his writing so addictive. I found that the pace kept me interested, but not engaged. Each scene was exactly what it should be, but as a whole the work felt fragmented, despite the terrific scene transitions with the best use of a revolve I've seen in a long time.

But for me, the ending was on the stage from the beginning and no one in this world had any belief or hope of a happy or even mediocre ending. Even if dreams are futile for Kafka, it is our hope and the possibility of a better life that makes every one of us get out of bed each day. We need a glimpse of hope to draw us through a story. From the moment Josef K wakes up to find thugs in his room, he knows where he's going to be in a year's time. There's no riddle because everyone knows the answer. If he doesn't have hope and no one he meets has hope, what hope does an audience have to care?

photo by Jeff Busby

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com

22 August 2010

GIVEAWAY: MORE Kunst ist Scheisse

Well, we don't have a federal government and our federal fate may still come down to Julia and Tony having a game of rock, paper, scissors – but the seat of Melbourne is now Green. Lets hope it's the beginning of positive change.

If you're sick of politics, there's always kunst.

The wonderfully sexy, sassy and savvy Kunst ist Scheisse is back at 24 Moons this Wednesday (25 August). It'll be hot, it'll be funny and there may be one or two observations about the state of our political system. And there's a bar with a cocktail menu that proves why we love Melbourne.

This week's line up includes Benn Bennett and Wes Snelling’s absurd and infectious Black Bag (4 Stars, The Age), a preview of multiple award nominee Telia Nevile’s new comedic poetry show, 4.5 star performer Eva Johansen, the inner monologue of irregular performer Kip Brennan, Painfully Audacious’ unique modern burlesque and the Caravan of Love who are “every bit as balmy and intricately arousing as a bubble bath with Bertolt Brecht" (4 ½ stars, Helen Razer, The Age). Check out their Facebook page for more info.

Kunst ist Scheisse has three double pass for Sometimes Melbourne readers for Wednesday 25 August at 8pm. Email your name to kunst@internode.on.net by 5 pm on Tuesday 24 August with "Sometimes I want kunst" as your subject. The winners will be emailed on Tuesday night.

If you don't win, tickets are $10 at the door and 24 Moons is in ACDC Lane (off Flinders Lane).

Due to a technical error (read me stuffing up the email link), the deadline has been extended to lunchtime tomorrow.

If you want to get along to this bloody terrific cabaret email kunst@internode.on.net by 2 pm tomorrow.

Review: Do not go gentle...

Do not go gentle…
11 August 2010
to 29 August

In 2006, Melbourne playwright Patricia Cornelius won the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award and the RE Ross Trust Playwrights award for Do not go gentle… Finally, we get to see a production (thank you fortyfivedownstairs) and the full theatre, longish run and sold out nights are proving that award-winning plays aren’t real until they are produced and shared with an audience.

Cornelius uses the metaphor of Scott’s Antarctic expedition (yep, the one that didn’t end well) to tell the story of six people dealing with the consequences of aging. They trudge through the frozen world and are in a “home”. Some fight their pasts and disappointments at not having fulfilled a single dream, others find happiness and total acceptance, and some struggle with their own brains and memories that won’t let them understand.

Told with delicious humour, Do not go gentle… takes the rage that Dylan Thomas speaks of in his famous poem and makes it palpable. The experienced cast (Paul English, Jan Friedl, Rhys McConnochie, Terry Norris, Anne Phelan, Pamela Rabe and Malcolm Robertson) prove the value of experience and bring a personal element to their characters. Rabe is especially powerful as a woman facing early onset Alzheimer's and Phelan wins every heart as she loses her inhibitions and finally feels loved.

Marg Horwell’s design, Irine Vela's sound and Richard Vabre’s lighting use the vastness of fortyfivedownstairs beautifully, letting the emptiness and the collapsed roof infuse the world with unspoken emotion and gave the script room to fill in the spaces with humour or poignancy. And, under Julian Meyrick’s clear direction, this is the production that Cornelius must have dreamt about.

But for all it’s goodness, I was left as cold as Scott’s team – and I so wanted to warm to it. Cornelius language brings stunning images to the stage, but I felt that the metaphors were overused and that issues were leading the story rather than the characters. With so much time spent telling us about each character’s old-age problem, there was little space to start loving the person. Instead of dispelling myths about age, they almost confirmed the stereotypes they were trying to liberate from assumptions.

But this show is enthralling and talking to its audience, who will happily rage, rage against any dissenting opinions.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com

18 August 2010

GIVEAWAY: Daisy Chain

Sometimes I have to miss shows that I'd really like to see  – but you don't. And you can win a free ticket.

Rouse House Theatre Company's Daisy Chain is on at Theatre Works until Saturday.

It's described: "A re-telling of the Orpheus and Eurydice legend, where a young couple are separated while on a picnic. The young man's search for his missing friend leads him to a small, isolated village where nothing is quite what it seems to be. Or, then again, maybe it is.

Pain, punishment and consequence; hope, love and death; notions of Hell and the difficulty of just getting life right, are all thrown into the pot. In the tradition of drama that challenges, Daisy Chain
confronts our ideas and presents new perspectives for our scrutiny - never forgetting that humour is the best sugar for a intellectually challenging pill."

Australian Stage said:
"Rarely do we get an opportunity to engage with life's big questions that offers both intellectual and philosophical nourishment in a way that is also life-affirming and tremendous fun. Daisy Chain is such an opportunity."    Danu Poyner

Rouse House Theatre would like to offer two complimentary double passes for a Sometimes Melbourne reader. If you'd like to come along to any of the remaining performances, email your name to theatreworks@fastmail.fm by 4 pm Thursday 19 August with Sometimes Melbourne as your subject.  The first two people to email will each win a double pass and will emailed with a confirmation by 5 pm on Thursday night.

12 August 2010

Guest Review: Catalpa

itch productions
5 August 2010
Euphemia Anderson Thearte, Portland

Review by John Hargreaves

“Lest I forget, wherefore I go – so you know, wherefore you go.”

The Year is 1875. The place is New Bedford, Massachusetts. Struggling George Anthony’s beautiful but sad wife Gretta is reduced to wearing a tatty silk gown. George must go to sea one last time to make his fortune. Engaged by the Irish Republican Brotherhood to rescue the ‘Freemantle Six’ from the clutches of the British, our hero captains the whaler
Catalpa on a secret mission across the waves to our shores. To escape and claim his prize, he must outrun the omnipotent and ubiquitous Royal Navy.
Creating a panoply of characters to negotiate these high adventures through the agency of a solo performer is no mean feat. But then Catalpa is no ordinary production. It is daring and innovative theatre.
Playwright Donal O’Kelly uses the intimate story telling talents of a lone actor to sweep us along a forgotten and intricate historical trail. He enhances this by an artful combination of sublime wordsmithing and ingenious constructs. For although we never leave a set depicting the comfy confines of a writer’s garret, O’Kelly zooms, tracks and pans us half way around the world by enlisting the language of film.
A feisty seabird spreads its wings as narrator and caries us swiftly aloft. Its raucous commentary scopes a bird’s-eye view of the grand spectacle unfolding far below.
The singularly challenging role of being everyone is effortlessly mastered by Des Fleming. With humour, grace and energy, he marshals his diverse characters’ voices and postures to great effect. His versatility etches them in stark relief against a fast evolving plot. From the infant Pearl, our captain’s coddled daughter, to the predatory and dangerous Irish agent John Breslin, Fleming articulates all with panache. And who better to chaperone us through the dark intrigues of the Fenians than this native of Cork?
Another device borrowed from cinema, the incidental music contributes an added dimension to the drama. The score written by Ballarat maestro Wally Gunn ebbs and flows and soothes and stirs and provokes. Pianist Biddy Connor plays from the wings, supported by recorded instrumentals, heightening the filmic qualities of the experience.
The lighting and set design are stark but adaptable. Less is more. Fleming transforms bedstead and mattress into ship’s poop. He drapes bed sheets on clothesline to hoist sails. There is humour and satire in this playful child-like make-believe.
To director Alice Bishop goes great credit. Tuning the critical elements of this minimalist production must require great finesse and a critical eye for detail. There are no fancy props or boisterous ensemble to mask blemishes in this performance. That she has succeeded is unquestionable.
But the medium of the one-man show is not without pitfalls. This plot is so intricate and the characters so numerous that occasionally one is apt to lose concentration and become momentarily disoriented. The voice of a line delivered may not be recognised. Some of the chanted sound effects are discords that startle and irritate; “cliperty cloperty, cliperty cloperty.” But the engaging Fleming always brings you back on track with a change of pace, a squawk or a familiar word from the hero George.

“All heroes are not created equal,” and Captain George Anthony’s feats of bravery and navigation are poorly rewarded. But the cast and crew of Catalpa do his saga justice. It is a great story boldly and brilliantly performed.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com

11 August 2010

Review: Madeline

Jenny Kemp and Black Sequin Productions
Arts House
6 August 2010

Madeleine is the second in a cycle of works by Black Sequin Productions exploring mental illness.  Following bi-polar Kitten in 2008, Madeleine explores the effects of schizophrenia.

Director and writer Jenny Kemp says, "I am interested in how we can deal with mental illness, in a way that is positive and not one of denial." She is fascinated by the logic of the mentally ill and details her fascination on the stage.

Maddy is 19 and hears voices (as do the audience) that tell her she is a bride of Christ and responsible for the creation and care for the new Garden of Eden. Maddy's prodigal sister is desperate to get her help, her mother (also Madeleine) is angry that Maddy is controlling their lives and her father is doing what he can to help her survive her own world.

Like Kitten, Maddy is almost a textbook study of a disease.  She has lived with trauma (her twin drowned in the bath as a baby), is obsessed with menstrual blood, hears logical voices and dreams that she is raped by whispering voices in the dark – voices that could belong to God. And, also like Kitten, for all the moving performances and visual beauty, it feels too much like an academic study trying to be a community service announcement.

The dialogue is honest, but never sounds real because it lacks subtext.  Lines like, "Drugs are not the solution, she needs love" are at home in nightly soaps and don't feel right coming from the mouths of a family whose coping method is denial and non-communciation.

Nikki Sheils's performance as Maddy is engaging and brave, but she is played like a disease, not a person. Ironically by the end of the night, we know all about Maddy's illness, but too little about Maddy. This story about damaged people coping and could be so much more powerful if the obvious religious symbolism and  "this is what the disease is like" scenes were reduced to glimpses and moments, so that the audience (of intelligent people) could be free to care about the people rather than watch the disease at work.

It's hard not to compare Madeleine to Malthouse's current Sappho...in 9 Fragments as they both developed from academic perspectives. Sappho is far more academic, but it reaches our hearts because it sits in a recogniseable world with people who we understand, while Madeline, which has the stronger story, distances us, even if it does give us a lot of information about mental illness.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com

Review: Sappho... in 9 Fragments

Sappho... in 9 Fragments
Malthouse Theatre
4 August 2010
Beckett Theatre, CUB Malthouse
to 21 August 

With passion, honesty and humour, Jane Montgomery Griffiths makes Sappho... in 9 Fragments a show not to miss if you like theatre with guts, heart and brain,

Sappho was born in Lesbos and wrote in the sixth and seventh centuries BCE. Her remaining fragmented poetry speaks of desire and love and, as Griffiths says, she is as dykonic as Martina and k.d, and as much loved by the cliterati as Jeanette Winterson.

Writer, researcher and performer Griffiths weaves her impressions of Sappho with the story of a young woman's steps into a sexual world of passion and indifference, longing and humiliation. With images like trying to warm a room with a hair drier, she brings this poetic and metaphorical world into our own awkward lives, and adds a relevance and understanding to the academic nature of the study as she laments that Electra became a more popular name than Sappho, because a matricide is preferable to a lesbian.

First seen naked with a shaved head, Griffiths's toned androgyny is as open and complex as Sappho's work. The addition of comfy undies help to define her gender and outlook, and a lush fur coat adds power, control and something to hide behind.

Anna Cordingley's clever costumes wrap Sappho in meaning, and her beautiful design, featuring a glass case slowly emptying of honey in a world that could be cut from an ancient Greek temple or newly-designed coastal home, underscores the text with its own revelations. This is the first time, I've seen Cordingly's design at one with the text and it makes her work shine, as does Paul Jackson's exquisite lighting.  Jackson knows the power of light and colour and lets it be so much more than a statement about what we can or cannot see.

Originally performed three years ago, Marion Potts has re-staged  Sappho... in 9 Fragments for Malthouse. Potts, who recently directed Griffiths as an unforgettable Goneril in Bell Shakespeare's King Lear, lets her actors find a very personal response to their characterisation, but ensures that the character stays in control, while her staging creates an unconscious reaction to the text by always keeping the whole picture alive. With these performances as the bar, we can hope to see more of Griffiths, as Potts become Artistic Director of Malthouse Theatre in 2011.

This review appears on AussieTheatre.com.

Malthouse preview

And look who was cool enough to be in Red Dwarf...

04 August 2010

Review: Human Interest Story

Human Interest Story
Malthouse Theatre, Lucy Guerin and Perth International Arts Festival
24 July 2010
Merlyn Theatre, CUB Malthouse

Lucy Guerin's choreography speaks louder and clearer than most words on our stages.  Human Interest Story explores the overlap of our domestic lives with the "news" and current events. Is it as hard to care as passionately about wars and stuff when Callum might beat Adam at Masterchef?

Be it the nightly news, daily papers or Facebook updates, we each have some connection and interest in the world beyond ourselves, and when Presidents Ahmadinejad and Obama are presented alongside the gossiping of Michael Jackson's former nanny, it's no wonder we feel unable to understand or react in the most positive manner.

Human Interest Story opens with the dancers watching a big screen TV with a monotone narration of the news. In the background, a barely lit, full-size tank sits like a tamed wild cat wondering if it can still attack.  In brightly coloured camouflage outfits, the dancers' words are their music in a world where slicing strassburg (fritz or devon for non-Victorians) at Coles is as important as getting a text about your euthanised dog,  giving your kids scrambled eggs, oil spills and Julia Gillard's view on climate change.

With a wow soundscape created by Jethro Woodward and lighting by Paul Jackson (whom I can never say enough good about), colours turn to grey and black as heartbeats, breath, scrunching newspaper and finally music accompany the dancers, whose intensity and emotion moves from the personal to a deeply personal reaction to a world they are part of and unable to control.

The physical language of dance is often foreign to people like me who love words, but dance like this reminds us of their limitations. Guerin and her dancers (Stephanie Lake, Alisdair Macindoe, Talitha Maslin, Harriet Ritchie, Stuart Shugg and Jessica Wong) create a balance where their skill creates the emotion and response, so rather than watching and wondering how bodies can do that, we feel deep in our guts; feel what we really think about the overwhelming nature of our multi-media contradictory society, even if we can't find adequate words to express it in a tweet. They bring the human response back to the stories.

As this review got unintentionally lost in a week of film festivals and musical openings, the short Melbourne season is over, but Human Interest Story will be at the Perth International Arts Festival next year.  It's great excuse to go to Perth.

This review appeared on AussieThearte.com.

01 August 2010

Review: Let the Sunshine

Let the Sunshine
Melbourne Theatre Company
31 July 2010
Playhouse, the Arts Centre
to 4 September

Let the Sunshine opens with a scruffy, but still attractive, 50-something trying to put an IKEA-like book shelf together. The audience are instantly his. We all know how hard it is to put those shelves in place. When his still-looking-good-but-not-denying-her-age wife comes in and jokes about his Richard Dawkins book and that he buys books that he never reads...well let's just all go home and make sure we have a spot in our Billy bookcases for unread plays by Australian playwrights and famous atheists.

I watched Dawkins on QandA (that's the same as reading isn't it?) and I have a shelf full of plays in my IKEA bookcase (that I assembled all by myself!); I've even read some of them. Ones I read in the 80s, like Don's Party, The Club and The Removalists, still inspire me. David Williamson is one of the reasons I learnt to love theatre. With astute observation and wit, he gave Australian theatre a voice that... Yeah, yeah we all know that Williamson is a national treasure and that his plays are as popular today as they ever were and ensure good box office.

Why? I don't know.

Let the Sunshine (co-produced by the Melbourne and Queensland theatre companies) is the theatrical equivalent of the great Gillard/Abbot political debate on the telly.

Academy Award– nominated documentary maker Toby (Robert Coleby) and his successful lefty-book publisher wife Ros (Jackie Weaver) have moved to Noosa. They are 'friends' with fat (sorry John), racist, homophobic, obscenely wealthy property developer Ron (John Wood) and his wife Natasha (Andrea Moor), who ran a successful fashion boutique for three years until she got bored.  Toby and Ron don't get along! And if that isn't enough, their Sydney-living, 30-something offspring come to visit. Emma (Rachel Gordon) is nearly a partner in her law firm (daddy Ron is impressed) but she finds it difficult to be a woman in such a tough environment. Rick (Paul Ashcroft) is a musician but works in a bar because the world hasn't noticed his talent (Toby and Ros think he's a genius).  Emma and Rick don't get along either...or do they?

Astute play-goers will recognise the subtle satire about the left and right politics in Australia. They may even understand the joke about Ron and Natasha's John Olsen painting and the follow up Jeffrey Smart joke in Act 2 (when everyone goes back to pretentious old Sydney).  Olsen's paintings are wild and organic – like Noosa – and Smart's are all clean and ordered – like Sydney. But everyone who goes to the theatre knows that. These are people who read Crikey and New Matilda (just like Toby) and nudge each other with recognition when silly old Natasha tells Ros that the book club doesn't want to read Geraldine Brooks. I mean who would even go to a book club that doesn't love our Geraldine? And then there's the jibes about Maggie Thatcher editing The Australian and a good lefty can't get through the day without bagging Janet Albrechtsen.

Or there are plenty of jokes about "horrible right wing journalist thugs" and "nanny-state lefties" for people who have trouble putting part A into slot B and don't know the difference between a flat- and a  phillips- head screwdriver.

Tell your own story is wonderful advice to any writer – but David, please stop telling us your story. If you don't want to live with the disillusioned ex-hippies and soul-less developers on the Sunshine Coast and you hate Sydney so much, move back to Melbourne. We'll have a bowl of pasta at Ti Amo and head across to La Mama, then you can come over the river to see a Red Stitch show. Probably best that you avoid some of the inner-city suburbs because the developers are destroying them and you'll have to wear thermals if you want to go down the coast... Adelaide maybe? They love you there. Or Perth? It's warm and surely those miners are crying out for a bit of well-crafted wit.

But come on Anne-Marie – it's satire! That thing that makes fun of extremists and the middle class.  David is laughing at these people. Perhaps if you read more plays and less Geraldine Brooks, you'd understand.

David may be laughing at, but the audience are laughing with him. The jokes about a monkey in a turban (an Indian cricketer) and "at least it was a bloke" (Emma shagging no-hoper Rick is better than her nuding-up with a woman) get more laughs than the Al Gore joke. These throw away giggles could be removed from the script and make no impact on the story. So why are they there?

This is writing that supports and boosts the status quo. If old Ron is really a good guy at heart, surely there's nothing wrong with a harmless joke about hating Indians and him not wanting his daughter to go carpet munching?

This is the attitude that gives us an election campaign where the left and the right are fighting so hard for the bland middle ground that the debate between our 'leaders' was telecast at 6.30 because they knew it didn't stand a chance against the Masterchef final. And the theatre crowd prefer Masterchef because they laughed at the Tetsuya joke more than the sub-prime one.

And, it was directed by Michael Gow,  the man who wrote Away.

This review appeared on AussieTheartre.com.