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

Decadence (Apriori Projects)

decadence1Venue: Old 505 Theatre (Surry Hills NSW), Dec 4 – 7, 2013
Playwright: Steven Berkoff
Director: Serhat Caradee
Actors: Katherine Shearer, Rowan McDonald

Theatre review
Steven Berkoff’s script Decadence is essentially about morality, and it displays thoroughly and explicitly, the manifestations of immorality within the context of 1980s Thatcherite Britain. It is bold writing in verse form, with emphasis on language and character dynamics, and minimal reliance on conventional narrative structures. Berkoff’s characters are cold and obnoxious. This is not the kind of play that inspires empathy or identification, but it is persistently fascinating.

Serhat Caradee’s direction focuses squarely on the performances of his two leads, and his efforts pay off with excellent work from the actors. Caradee is particularly strong in sustaining the high energy, almost chaotic tone of the show, while giving texture and layers to what is basically a play based on a singular idea. There are a few moments, however, where one could imagine a greater user of space. Whether it be additional performers, multimedia elements, or set and props, various supplementary components could have been introduced to magnify some of the dramatics, even though the relatively bare staging does have its charms.

Katherine Shearer’s infectious playfulness endears her instantly to the audience. There is an old-fashioned sensibility to her mode of performance which is full of allure, and perfectly suited to the era in which the action is set. She brings a joy to the stage, providing a welcome counterbalance to the dark cynicism of the writing. Rowan McDonald is a highly animated actor, who obviously enjoys the absurdity and biting social criticism of the play. The range of physical, vocal and facial expressions he introduces into his work is truly breathtaking. There is a dogged tenacity to McDonald’s stagecraft that is magnetic, and he holds our attention to present concepts that are sometimes subversive, and always entertaining.

Indeed, Berkoff’s subversive spirit is represented with great success in this production. The energetic and entertaining performers prevent things from being too alienating, but the work’s political edge is thankfully not lost. The message might be a difficult one to take in, but the thrills and spills of the ride are certainly rewarding.

5 Questions with Rowan McDonald

rowanmcdonaldWhat is your favourite swear word?
Fuck only knows. They’re all so useful in different contexts. I like ones that put a new spin on the old. Arsehat. Cockgoblin. Felchmaster. Or if I really want to insult someone, really disgusting phrases like “choke on my shit” or “go fuck a dead dog’s eyeball”. But sometimes less is more, so it can be just as effective saying something like “he wears the full-fungal jacket downstairs, if you know what I mean”. It’s al about knowing your audience.

What are you wearing?
I’m currently wearing out from the constant barrage of fashionistic pressure to fit in with societal expectations. It’s wearing thin.

What is love?
Love is a symptom of that great irreversible universal condition: gravity. It’s a myth that love is hard to find, don’t let anyone fool you – it was there all along. But whole industries are built around the idea that it’s elusive, so naturally that’s the perception we’re told and that’s what most of us accept. So people go around thinking they haven’t got any, or if they do they need to keep it to themselves, or take someone else’s. Which you can’t do, for love to be any use at all you need to put it out into the world. Because it’s in all of us. It’s what holds us together. The trick is knowing that’s something you give, not something you can have or hold or keep for yourself.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Cristina In The Cupboard, by Paul Gilchrist with subtlenuance. It’s fascinating, full of ideas and implications about history and human behaviour and hermitude. I’m still turning over some of the philosophical nuggets in my mind. I don’t really do star ratings, but if it were mine to give, I’d give it the planet Neptune, because it’s small and beautiful and far out and mysterious and probably overlooked for all its hidden secrets.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Decadence? It’s a new Australian play, written by a British writer (Steven Berkoff) in the 1980’s – also we’ve done it before and got an award from the Sydney Fringe Festival, which doesn’t necessarily make it good. Or Australian. Or New. But if you haven’t seen it then it’s a new work for you, right? And it has Australian actors and an Australian director, so that’s good. And it has some great swear words you hardly ever hear any more, like “bleeding” and some I would never say to anyone in real life, like “slut”, which is very bad. It’s a lot of fun to play, we really throw it out there for the audiences, who seem to have a good time. So that’s good. And I have to wear one of those ridiculous moustaches everyone seems to get these days, so that’s bad. Although my hair is very retro, which if you’re into fashion, is very good. But I get to play two characters, both of whom are very bad. And it’s very physical and verbally demanding, which is good. There’s some terrible eighties dance music, which is bad, but I have an excellent co-star in Katherine Shearer, which is good… well, anyway – you get the idea. We’re doing a short run in Sydney before hitting the Adelaide Fringe Festival in February. You can book tickets through our pozible page (link below), so come and see for yourself!

Rowan McDonald is appearing in Decadence.
Show dates: 4 – 7 Dec, 2013
Show venue: The Old 505 Theatre

5 Questions with Katherine Shearer

rsz_katherine-shearer-headshotWhat is your favourite swear word?
Jesus. My parents would kill me if I ever said that in front of them. My mum already said I’m not going to heaven.

What are you wearing?
Not much. I’m a bit of a nudist at heart, but only when I’m home alone. I have underwear on though, I find my sports bra a comfort, and I always love my pair of diamond studs in the ears, which I’m wearing now. And my belly ring.

What is love?
The greatest thing on earth. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and knowing you are in safe hands.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Seeing a legend like Tony Sheldon perform was a thrill. Matt Hetherington, who was super funny and wonderfully engaging, was walking next to me on George St…”Hey, I just saw you on stage!” We had a chat – what a humble guy! Show was slick, which is why I’m not a huge Musical Theatre fan, but the performances are top class. 4 stars. Lost a star for John Wood’s French accent and lack of dance ability. Anne Wood deserved a better dance number!! She was superb and a rocking figure on her!

Is your new show going to be any good?
I’ve been in some shows that have been turkeys. Decadence is not one of those.

Katherine Shearer is starring in Decadence by Steven Berkoff.
Show dates: 4 – 7 Dec, 2013
Show venue: The Old 505 Theatre