Theatresports Cranston Cup Grand Final 2013 (Impro Australia)

rsz_113-12-01cranston_cup1052_winners_hans_and_ottoVenue: Enmore Theatre (Enmore NSW), Nov 30, 2013
MC: Jim Fishwick
Director / Referee: Marko Mustac
Judges: Michael Gregory, John Knowles, Susie Youssef, Ewan Campbell, Lyn Pierse
Participating teams: Yay! It’s Pat Magee and Friends, Middle Rage, Bridie of Frankensteen, Hans and Otto, The Browntown Three, Kavalier
Image by Stephen Reinhardt

Theatre review
The annual Cranston Cup sees teams compete through several rounds to reach the grand final, a night that celebrates the best of improvisation and unscripted comedy. Theatresports has thrived for nearly thirty years, and judging from the turn out and response at the Enmore Theatre, it is a part of Sydney culture that has a particularly loyal and colourful following. In fact, the crowd is an important element to the night’s proceedings, and they are a group who are up for a big laugh and know how to get it.

Early rounds see two teams, The Browntown Three and Kavalier, battle it out for the Fresh Cranston Cup, which rewards the best of young and emerging improvisers. All players presented no hint of green, and performed as well as their more seasoned counterparts. As a result, both groups tied for the fresh cup, although an all girl three-way affair depicted by Kavalier remains particularly memorable.

For the main event, a pair of “German gargoyles” Hans and Otto took out not just the Cranston Cup of 2013, but an additional Clem’s Chicken Award was also awarded to one of the duo Edan Lacey for most consistent performance throughout the various stages of competition. Although not always the clear winner, they demonstrated many moments of genius and were a definite crowd-pleaser. Bridie of Frankensteen were first runner-up in spite of a particularly powerful performance in their final challenge, showcasing a vicious tuck shop conflict. Third place went to Yay! It’s Pat Magee and Friends, who are made up of four members of varying abilities, and Middle Rage came in fourth even though their onstage bravado was most impressive.

It is unclear what the winners receive in prizes on top of the flamboyant trophy and prestige, but all performers were certainly fighting hard to put forward their very best. Each segment might be short and sweet, but the participants work hard at delivering incessant waves of laughter, and this tremendous collection of comedic talents undoubtedly found our funny bones and tickled us pink on their night of nights.

www.cranstoncup.com.au

The Star Child (The Genesian Theatre)

rsz_starchildVenue: The Genesian Theatre (Sydney NSW), Nov 23 – Dec 14, 2013
Book & Lyrics: Roger Gimblett (based on story by Oscar Wilde)
Music: Nicholas Edwards
Director: Roger Gimblett and Stephen Lloyd Coombs
Actors: Ben Bennett, Elizabeth MacGregor, Robert Green, Martin Searles, Amber Wilcox, Michael Jones, Dominic Scarf, Timothy Bennett
Image by Mark Banks

Theatre review
Based on a children’s story from Oscar Wilde, The Star Child is a new family musical about a boy acquiring the virtues of humility and generosity. It is a moral tale told through humour and fun, and would appeal to audiences across different religious backgrounds. Most of the songs are well-written, with several memorable jazz tunes standing out. Choreography is careful to accommodate the various skill levels in the cast, who all appear to be comfortable with their moves.

Ben Bennett plays the Star Child, with impressive vocal range and power. He is a confident performer and has a youthful vigour that is perfect for the role. Bennett’s keenness for the comedic elements in the story helps with keeping the show buoyant, and his chemistry with co-performers is a joy to watch. Dominic Scarf’s scene as the Rabbit is cheeky and delightful. His performance adds colour and pizzazz to the proceedings, and delivers some of the funniest moments in the show. Timothy Bennett and Daniel Hitchings play multiple roles and although they do not have solo numbers in the show, both shine with the comedy they introduce throughout the course of the production.

Children are impressionable. It is important they hear stories that feature worthy role models and extoll true virtues. The Star Child is a show that will hold every child’s attention, entertain them and most importantly, inspire them.

www.genesiantheatre.com.au

5 Questions with Amy Scott-Smith

amyscottsmithWhat is your favourite swear word?
“Abott” and “sprance”…

What are you wearing?
Everyone else’s patience.

What is love?
It’s something you put your hand in to keep it warm… Oh wait that’s wrong. Then I don’t know.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Our director, Richard Hilliar did a sexy dance for me the other day… that was pretty good. Two stars.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Our new shows: King Lear and Measure For Measure are going to be sprancing amazing they will be the motherabotting epitome of epic.

 

 

Amy Scott-Smith is appearing in Sydney Shakespeare Festival.
Show dates: 20 Nov – 21 Dec, 2013
Show venue: The Old Fitzroy Hotel

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2014 Theatre Highlights

Here’s a list of theatre productions in the 2014 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festival season.
These are the most exciting events in the Mardi Gras calendar for me, and I cannot wait to go see them!
Other events including cabaret performances and visual art exhibitions can be seen at www.mardigras.org.au.

Falsettos Darlinghurst Theatre Venue: Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst Date: Feb 7 – Mar 16

Falsettos
Darlinghurst Theatre
Venue: Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst
Date: Feb 7 – Mar 16

Privates On Parade New Theatre V enue: New Theatre, Newtown Date: Feb 11 – Mar 8

Privates On Parade
New Theatre
Venue: New Theatre, Newtown
Date: Feb 11 – Mar 8

Pinball Duck Duck Goose Theatre Co Venue: TAP Gallery Date: Feb 11 - 28

Pinball
Duck Duck Goose Theatre Co
Venue: TAP Gallery
Date: Feb 11 – 28

The Death Of Kings Adam Deusien Venue: Gingers Oxford Hotel, Darlinghurst Date: Feb 13 - 19

The Death Of Kings
Director: Adam Deusien
Venue: Gingers Oxford Hotel, Darlinghurst
Date: Feb 13 – 19

Discovering Eugenia Devisor: Mark Tedeschi QC Venue: Police and Justice Museum, Sydney Date: Feb 13

Discovering Eugenia
Devisor: Mark Tedeschi QC
Venue: Police and Justice Museum, Sydney
Date: Feb 13

Jump For Jordan Griffin Theatre Company Venue: SBW Stables Theatre Date: Feb 14 - Mar 29

Jump For Jordan
Griffin Theatre Company
Venue: SBW Stables Theatre
Date: Feb 14 – Mar 29

The Dead Ones Vitalstatistix Theatre Company Venue: Seymour Centre, Chippendale Date: Feb 18 - 22

The Dead Ones
Vitalstatistix Theatre Company
Venue: Seymour Centre, Chippendale
Date: Feb 18 – 22

Everything I Know I Learnt From Madonna Devisor: Wayne Tunks Venue: Old Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo Date: Feb 18 - 22

Everything I Know I Learnt From Madonna
Tunks Productions
Venue: Old Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo
Date: Feb 18 – 22

Desperate Houseboys Matthew Management & Neil Gooding Productions Venue: Seymour Centre, Chippendale Date: Feb 18 - 28

Desperate Houseboys
Matthew Management & Neil Gooding Productions
Venue: Seymour Centre, Chippendale
Date: Feb 18 – 28

Bata-Me! (Popwitch) Director: Diego Bagagal Venue: TBA Date: Feb 25 - 28

Bata-Me! (Popwitch)
Director: Diego Bagagal
Venue: TBA
Date: Feb 25 – 28

5 Questions with Irma Woods

irmawoodsWhat is your favourite swear word?
Can I offer a line not a word? One of my favourites is Kris as Dolly Pickles in the adaption of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet, by Nick Enright and Justin Monjo. Love the way Kris McQuade delivered the line. I will never be able to say it like Kris but i can’t resist it… the sound of the entire sentence, if you’re going to say it you must say it all.

Dolly: Thank you Lady Luck, you rotten slut.

What are you wearing?
A nice red lipstick.

What is love?
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
I’m Your Man by Roslyn Oades. How are you rating shows – does it go up to 5? 5 out of 5 stars. Saw Billy Mc and the team deliver a rockin’ show in Perth.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Why don’t you come and find out? Read Suzy’s review of The Cake Man here

Irma Woods stars in The Cake Man.
Show dates: 14 Nov – 8 Dec, 2013
Show venue: Belvoir St Theatre

5 Questions with Ainslie Clouston

ainsliecloustonWhat is your favourite swear word?
Definitely ‘motherfucker’ but pronounced ‘moderfucker’. Appropriate at any time of the day and in all situations. Especially as a term of endearment.

What are you wearing?
PJ’s… the best time of day moderfuckers!

What is love?
Demanding, consuming, addictive, inspiring, passionate, gentle, firm – life’s ultimate roller coaster… to quote a line from the play, “it won’t bow, it won’t serve, it won’t do what you want, what it should, it won’t be how you thought, or was taught how it was meant ta be. You can’t lead it cause it’ll be draggin’ you wherever it wants.”

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
The Floating World at Griffin. Blew my mind! Great writing, fantastic acting and surprising as hell!!! Loved every second of it.

Is your new show going to be any good?
It’s John Patrick Shanley… need I say more – the master of Brooklyn prose! It’s going to rock. We have a cast and crew who love the shit out of each other and the play! It’s raw, powerful, funny and honest – your ultimate lover! 😉

Ainslie Clouston is starring in The Dreamer Examines His Pillow.
Show dates: 10 – 21 Dec, 2013
Show venue: TAP Gallery

The Cake Man (Yirra Yaakin / Belvoir St Theatre)

thecakeman1Venue: Belvoir St Theatre (Surry Hills NSW), Nov 14 – Dec 8, 2013
Playwright: Robert J. Merritt
Director: Kyle J. Morrison
Actors: Luke Carroll, Oscar Redding, George Shevtsov, James Slee, Tim Solly, Irma Woods

Theatre review
The Cake Man was written and staged originally in the early 1970s, from the perspective of Aboriginal Australians, about life on a mission in country NSW. Forty years on, a contemporary staging remains relevant and poignant. There is nothing dated or unfamiliar about the characters and their plight, and therein lies the tragedy. Robert J. Merritt’s script is colourful and textured. It is also honest and brave, giving voice to the original occupants of our land who are now ethnic minorities as a result of systematic genocide over generations. Works of this nature are highly important, and fundamental to the rebuilding and atonements that need to be made.

Director Kyle J. Morrison’s use of space is sensitive, instinctual and intelligent. He creates a sense of campfire storytelling that draws us in, and the earthiness he evokes by keeping all actors on stage at all times, gives the production a rare intimacy and purity. The work has a beautiful languidness, but a couple of scenes could benefit from a tighter pace, or maybe slight edits would add further interest to the plot.

Young actor James Slee is certainly one to watch. He has a natural ease on stage, and performs with a kind of naturalism that is striking in its simplicity but also lively and passionate. Irma Woods is above all, a performer with great sincerity and authenticity. There is no sense of a character being put on, only the most thorough blurring of lines between actor and role. Luke Carroll in The Cake Man shows himself to be one of the best actors of his generation. His charisma is undeniable, magnetic and powerful.  His use of voice and movement is animated yet realistic, and completely delightful to watch. The fearlessness in Carroll’s portrayal of Sweet William elevates the play, giving it an emotional quality that all audiences will find irresistible.

At the heart of The Cake Man is a burning desire for recovery, progression, and emancipation. It is a small morsul of the Aboriginal experience, but it encapsulates so much that is true in contemporary Australian lives, and so much that needs to be examined and advanced. We need stories like this, and we need them to propel from the fringes to the big, wide mainstream.

www.belvoir.com.au
www.yirrayaakin.com.au