5 Questions with Kathy Petrakis

kathypetrakisWhat is your favourite swear word?
It would have to be ‘shit’. I probably say it the most frequently. I save ‘fuck’ for the more serious occasions.

What are you wearing?
I have to admit it’s afternoon and I’m still in my pink striped PJs. Writer’s prerogative.

What is love?
Putting someone else’s needs above your wants. A respect and desire to bring out the best in the other person.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
The Crash Test Drama finals at New Theatre. The best of the 10 minute plays for the season with excellent performances all round – a tough one for the judges. I would give it 4.5 stars.

Is your new show going to be any good?
It’s going to be fantastic! If it can make you shed a tear, it’s done its job. A talented cast really brings the script alive and it’s definitely different to anything else out there right now.

Kathy Petrakis is directing her own play Black Rainbow.
Show dates: 13 – 24 Aug, 2014
Show venue: TAP Gallery

A View Of Concrete (G.bod Theatre)

gbodtheatreVenue: King Street Theatre (Newtown NSW), Jul 22 – Aug 2, 2014
Playwright: Gareth Ellis
Director: Peter Mountford
Cast: Taryn Brine, Tim Dashwood, Matt Longman, Rebecca Martin

Theatre review
There is a side to life and human nature that is dangerous and destructive. Many of us are fortunate enough not to have to dwell too deeply, physically and mentally, inside those spaces of terror. They are on the periphery and we battle constantly and unconsciously to keep them at bay, to protect ourselves from those dark sides, believing the unthinkable to be too unbearable for our fragile and feeble existences. In A View Of Concrete, Gareth Ellis writes about that darkness, featuring four characters each with quirks so offbeat and intense, that one might prefer to term them obsessions. Their shared experiences through illicit drug use proffer a view into their compulsive indulgences, and into our own fears about impulses we might secretly harbour and repress. Ellis’ script is an energetic one, with interesting personalities that are outrageous yet realistic.

Peter Mountford’s direction of the piece introduces considerable dynamism to the stage. There is a prominent choreographic aspect to his work that aims to engage us visually, which also demands of his cast, a level of exertion to keep energies high and sustained. Actor Tim Dashwood’s proficiency with the work’s physical requirements sets him apart, delivering a performance that combines seamlessly, speech with movement, for a theatrical form that is delightfully poetic. The fluency Dashwood displays with his actorly capacities is richly entertaining and impressive.

Also captivating is Taryn Brine, brimming with sensitivity in the role of Billie. Brine’s presence is raw and palpable like an open wound, contributing effectively to the production’s aura of decrepitude. Rebecca Martin plays the treble notes in the group, using her naturally vibrant demeanour to provide volume and power to the show. Matt Longman is subdued by comparison, but like others in the cast, he is genuine on stage and the focus and commitment to his part is clear to see.

This is a team keen on experimentation, and their creative approach to performance has conceived a show that is surprising and fresh. It does not make strong emotional connections, but it is thought-provoking nonetheless. The play is rigorous in its efforts at originality, but it feels distant, even clinical at times. A View Of Concrete reveals some of modern life’s difficulties, and shows us the insidious pain that exists. Its concepts are seductive, but the form it takes is slightly alienating. We want to feel the tragedy that we see before our eyes, but that indulgence is kept elusive.

www.facebook.com/Gbodtheatre

5 Questions with Henriette Tkalec

Henriette SuzyWhat is your favourite swear word?
I say fuck more than I can poke a stick at so… Fuck is barely my favourite but I’ve spent so much time with the bastard by now that he may as well be. Like a dirty uncle who tells the best jokes but you wish didn’t come around quite so often. On second thought. I do love to say cunt once in a while. Or not so once in a while. It’s a feel good word.

What are you wearing?
A mink scarf and my pajamas. It’s cold god damn it.

What is love?
Respect. Knowing your own life could mean less than theirs. Not being able to get through the simplest of tasks without wishing they were there too.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
A 5 year old giving an impromptu stand up comedy/ acrobatic/ beauty pageant routine (hey, a show’s a show). It was pretty fucking good. I’ll give it a not so modest 4.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Well I always say – you’re only as good as your script. And Chekhov’s genuinely got his shit sorted, so hopefully by omission we will have ours. And there’s a great dynamic in the cast and that always translates on stage!

Henriette Tkalec is Appearing in Three Sisters with Sydney University Dramatic Society.
Show dates: 30 Jul – 9 Aug, 2014
Show venue: Studio B, University of Sydney

In Rehearsal: Constellations

Rehearsal images above from Constellations, part of Darlinghurst Theatre’s 2014 season.
At Eternity Playhouse, from Aug 8 – Sep 7, 2014.
More info at www.darlinghursttheatre.com
Photography by Gez Xavier Mansfield

5 Questions with Tim Reuben

timreubenWhat is your favourite swear word?
Fuck. It’s so versatile. Take it anywhere. It’s the swiss army knife of swear words.

What are you wearing?
A red thermal top and trackie pants. I’m a fashionista. Also I’m about to go and help paint the set at ATYP.

What is love?
Love is a surprise party on your birthday.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
I saw A Good Person Of Szechuan at the Malthouse in Melbourne. 5 stars. It was gripping, comical and poignant.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Yep. I love the play, and we have an amazing director in James Dalton. He’s in his element. I think the show is gonna be a real ride for the audience.

Tim Reuben is starring in Mr Kolpert.
Show dates: 30 Jul – 16 Aug, 2014
Show venue: ATYP

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (The Genesian Theatre)

genesianVenue: The Genesian Theatre (Sydney NSW), Jul 5 – Aug 9, 2014
Playwright: Steven Dietz (based on the original by William Gillette and Arthur Conan Doyle)
Director: Michael Heming
Cast: John Willis-Richards, John Grinston, Emma Medbury, Mark Nagle, Marty O’Neill, Tom Atkins, Rebecca Piplica, Marley Erueti

Theatre review
Steven Dietz’s 2006 adaptation has elements of intrigue, suspense, comedy, and like many retellings of iconic literary figures, ample amounts of self-references. It obviously holds greater appeal for fans of Sherlock Holmes, but it is by no means a prerequisite for its enjoyment. The plot is classically structured, with characters that are distinctly conceived, and vibrant dialogue designed to entertain and amuse.

John Willis-Richards plays Holmes with delightful campness. He brings an effervescence that keeps the show lively, but needs to take time with wordier speeches so that nuances are uncovered more clearly. Mark Nagle’s very animated King of Bohemia is completely farcical. He delivers many laughs with his confident physicality and ridiculous German accent. Marley Erueti plays several supporting roles, but has an excellent stage presence that consistently draws our attention. He performs his parts with excellent conviction and wins us over with his charisma.

The production features a great deal of hammy acting, which can be a problem when it gets in the way of the narrative. There are moments when posturing and vocal embellishment obfuscate the story, leading to some degree of confusion. Design elements help immensely, especially Martin Searles’ work for costumes. His pieces contribute efficiently to the portrayals of personalities, time and space, and his attention to detail gives the production a very polished look. Searles’ talent with colour, shape and texture is a star of the show.

This might be touted as Holmes’ “final adventure”, but his popularity will no doubt see him reincarnated, revived and re-adapted for all manner of media. The mystery and wit that characterises his stories can be found in some of this production, and enthusiasts in particular would find it a charming effort.

www.genesiantheatre.com.au