Suzy Goes See’s Best Of 2013

Images from a few 2013 stand-outs: A Sign Of The Times, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, All My Sons, Hamlet, Empire: Terror On The High Seas, Hay Fever, Bodytorque.Technique, Waiting For Godot.

Images from a few 2013 stand-outs: A Sign Of The Times, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, All My Sons, Hamlet, Empire: Terror On The High Seas, Hay Fever, Bodytorque.Technique, Waiting For Godot.

This is a wrap up of special moments since the commencement of Suzy Goes See in April 2013. A personal selection from over 100 productions seen in Sydney. Thank you to artists, companies, publicists and punters who have supported Suzy Goes See in 2013. I cannot wait for more shenanigans with you in the new year!

Update: Click here for the Best Of 2014 list.

Suzy x

♥ Avant Garde Angels
The bravest and most creative experimental works in 2013.

♥ Quirky Questers
The most unusual and colourful characters to appear on our stages in 2013.

♥ Design Doyennes
Outstanding visual design in 2013. Fabulous lights, sets and costumes.

♥ Darlings Of Dance
Breathtaking brilliance in the dance space of 2013.

♥ Musical Marvels
Outstanding performers in cabaret and musicals in 2013.

♥ Second Fiddle Superstars
Scene-stealers of 2013 in supporting roles.

♥ Champs Of Comedy
The cleverest, sharpest, and funniest performances of 2013.

♥ Daredevils Of Drama
Bold and excellent acting in dramatic roles in 2013.

♥ Wise With Words
The most interesting and intelligent scripts of 2013.

♥ Directorial Dominance
The most impressive work in direction for 2013.

♥ Shows Of The Year
Nice coincidence to have different genres represented: drama, musical, dance, comedy and cabaret.

♥ Suzy’s Special Soft Spot
For an exceptional work I saw in Melbourne.


Best of 2018 | Best of 2017 | Best of 2016Best of 2015Best Of 2014

Our Home ‘Ngalpun Mudth’ (NAISDA Dance College)

naisdaVenue: Carriageworks (Eveleigh NSW), Dec 11 – 14, 2013
Creative Director: Raymond D. Blanco

Theatre review
NAISDA Dance College on the NSW Central Coast offers a four-year diploma course to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and Our Home ‘Ngalpun Mudth’ is their 2013 end of year performance showcase at Carriageworks in Sydney. The event celebrates the graduation of 5 students, with over two hours of dance, featuring ten choreographers including Frances Rings an Artist in Residence at Bangarra Dance Theatre and Australian dance legend Graeme Murphy.

The program is structured around contemporary Australian Indigenous dance forms, but influences from Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa are infused, reflecting the multiculturalism of modern Australian life. Kristina Chan’s work Two Players Games is a highlight. Set to the mid-20th century American music of Santo & Johnny, the piece utilises the talents of dancing sisters Taree and Caleena Sansbury to great effect and shows a very thorough and interesting study of their collective physical language. Graeme Murphy’s The Protecting Veil brings an air of sophistication to the evening, and challenges the students with a more technically demanding piece.

Comedy elements were found in Shouse, a devised work under the guidance of Aku Kadogo and Vicki Van Hout’s Colonial Idiot, which uses sound bites from Ross Noble’s stand up performances. Both are intelligently constructed, and allow the young talents to shine with their exuberance and enthusiasm. Frances Rings takes a more serious perspective of her student subjects in Dismorph, and we see a successful exploration into the lives and emotional landscapes of young Indigenous people.

The evening ends with the entire ensemble flooding the performance space for a Moa Island Cultural Dance. Created alongside live musicians, and their cultural tutors, this finale is grand, magnificent, and euphoric. This is where the students are in their element. They lose their youthful inhibitions and perform with extraordinary passion and a level of assuredness rarely seen on any stage. The audience granted a standing ovation on opening night, heralding an auspicious start to the careers of NAISDA’s newest group of talents. May they flourish swiftly, and welcome every success that arrives with open arms.

5 Questions with Frances Rings‏

francesringsWhat is your favourite swear word?
Holy shit fuck!!!

What are you wearing?
Vintage dress. Salvos Special.

What is love?
The bottomless well of emotion when you meet your bubba (and credit to the Baby Daddy that helped make it).

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
My 7 year old just did his end of year school concert. Like any neurotic stage mother I was preening/rehearsing and poisoning him with hairspray. Of course he’s an absolute natural and by far the most talented kid onstage!

Is your new show going to be any good?
Any Black Fulla show is going to be highly entertaining and I expect that this show will have people laughing, crying, jumping up and down and incredibly proud of Naisda College, and the diversity of stories and cultures that our young people will be performing on the night.

Frances Rings is choreographing a work for Ngalpun Mudth (Our Home), NAISDA Dance College’s end of year performance.
Show dates: 11 – 14 Dec, 2013
Show venue: Carriageworks

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow (Unpathed Theatre Company)

dreamerexaminesVenue: TAP Gallery (Darlinghurst NSW), Dec 10 – 21, 2013
Playwright: John Patrick Shanley
Director: Vashti Pontaks
Actors: Ainslie Clouston, Scott Lee, Peter McAllum
Image by Tom Bannerman

Theatre review (of preview performance, Dec 11)
The best stories in theatre and film contain messages and morals that are applicable to lives everywhere. The Dreamer Examines His Pillow seeks to unpack profound truths of our shared experiences, and present on stage an enlightened point of view that can enrich and inspire everyone. John Patrick Shanley’s script was written early on in his career, but is masterful in the way it expresses its philosophies, mainly from the perspective of a middle-aged character.

Peter McAllum plays Dad, the aforementioned role, with powerful conviction and exquisite relish. It is evident that McAllum has a good affiliation with the material, and many of the play’s complex ideas are articulated effortlessly and clearly through his portrayal. McAllum is thoroughly enjoyable to watch. He dominates in his scenes, and is quite obviously having the time of his life in this unique gem of an opportunity.

Direction by Vashti Pontaks relies heavily on performances from her three actors, who are all keenly energetic, but who also vary in experience and ability. While they are all focussed and charismatic, the depth of some sections do not always translate well when in the hands of the younger performers. Chemistry is also lacking between the young leads, and humorous moments are sometimes missed. Pontaks’ strength lies in the more serious aspects of the play, but the length of the work requires that its lighter sections deliver the laughs, in order that interest is more effectively sustained.

A lot of Dreamer is about courage, and Pontaks drives that message through beautifully. She also constructs a world where the concept of fear is palpably believable. The courage we need for living full lives, and the courage artists need for bringing their work to fruition, are explored and on display in this earnest and dynamic production. It is up to us to rise from our slumber, and to decide for ourselves whether an unexamined life is worth living.

5 Questions with Lana Kershaw

lanakershawWhat is your favourite swear word?
*Bleep* face – if well articulated it’s a delightful blend of vulgarity and humour.

What are you wearing?
Some hideously gorgeous 80’s-inspired-patterned-florescent-lycra-bike-pants, and a black shirt (or what I like to call ‘evening attire’).

What is love?
Love is a deep and unrelenting longing, whose momentary satisfactions justify a lifetime of desire.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
The last show I saw was King Lear at The Old Fitz. It was a lovely production, with some really beautiful and poignant moments. Five stars!

Is your new show going to be any good?
The Brevity team are working to develop a show that audiences will find engaging, entertaining, and enjoyable. It’s a fantastic script, and I’m honoured to be part of the company that is introducing it to Sydney.

Lana Kershaw is appearing in Wittenberg.
Show dates: 7 – 25 Jan, 2013
Show venue: The Old Fitzroy Theatre

5 Questions with John Michael Burdon

rsz_john_headshot_2What is your favourite swear word?

What are you wearing?
Billabong singlet and St George Dragons footy shorts.

What is love?
Love is believing in a time where wishing still worked.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
The last show I saw was Dying For It at New Theatre, 4 out of 5 stars.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Our new show is going to be a great eclectic visual representation of an era I grew up in with great actors and awesome creative team, so I do believe it is going to be great otherwise I wouldn’t do it.


John Michael Burdon is performing in Pinball, part of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2014 festival.
Show dates: 11 – 28 Feb, 2014
Show venue: TAP Gallery

Cowboy Mouth (Such&Such Productions)

rsz_img_8354Venue: TAP Gallery (Darlinghurst NSW), Dec 4 – 7, 2013
Playwrights: Sam Shepard & Patti Smith
Director: Kate Wadey
Actors: Bianca London, Jake Lyall

Theatre review
The script is a challenging one. It is full of incoherence, and has consistent stylistic allusions to intoxication. Abstraction is its addiction, and effort is required of both artist and audience to embrace and appreciate it. Words on stage function differently from when they are in a book. We listen to them at a speed dictated by actors, and do not have the luxury to ruminate on complex sections at our own leisure. Fortunately, Kate Wadey’s direction is careful to tell the story visually and through music, creating a show that relies on more than the delivery of lines to connect.

Wadey’s creative decisions are interesting and well thought through. She utilises her actors’ skills well, showing them off in the best light possible, thus drawing us into their bizarre love story. Wadey has chosen to play the characters’ conversation relatively straightforward, which helps with grounding the abstract nature of the writing, but sacrifices the opportunity for more outlandish theatrical expression. There is a sense of restraint that makes for an elegant interpretation, but could at times come across slightly conservative.

Jake Lyall plays Slim with great conviction and power. Within the confines of script and direction, he does a beautiful job of bringing to life a character that we do not necessarily understand a great deal of. He portrays a wide range of emotion with authenticity and clarity, and it is his emotional journey that forms the main plot trajectory on which we travel. Lyall is a charismatic performer who commands attention easily, and shows intelligence in the measured way he tackles the role.

Bianca London’s portrayal of Cavale highlights the innocence of the couple. London has the valuable quality of affability, and the wide-eyed wonder she brings to the piece lightens the work, making it more palatable, although the bleak inebriation that characterises the writers’ legacy from the period is missed. Nostalgia and reminiscence is not a major driving force in this production of Cowboy Mouth, but as an exploration of intimate theatre, it succeeds in creating something unconventional, landing at a space that is certainly off the beaten track.