Penelope (Siren Theatre Co)

penelope1Venue: TAP Gallery (Darlinghurst NSW), Sep 12 – Oct 6, 2013
Playwright: Enda Walsh
Director: Kate Gaul
Actors: Nicholas Hope, Thomas Campbell, Arky Michael, Philip Dodd, Branden Christine

Theatre review
Attending a work by independent theatre companies in Australia is unpredictable. We hope for the best, and expect the worst. Resources are limited, and it is a challenge for semi-professional groups catering to audiences who are accustom to productions by dominant, well-funded companies. Siren Theatre Co rises to that challenge with a formidable cast and crew that have come together successfully and exceed expectations. Penelope showcases excellent work by all its actors, designers and technicians, with Kate Gaul at the helm, directing, producing, and proving herself to be a woman of exceptional ability and a brilliant visionary.

The show is at once intelligent, funny, emotional, audacious and confounding. Artistic licences are de rigueur, and no moment is spared of theatricality. The actors, all equally impressive, constantly negotiate the spaces between narrative and extravagance in their performances. There is a strong element of vaudeville in their work, and it is their commitment to the creation of a distinct style that gives the production a specific and memorable voice. Nicholas Hope shows himself to be quite the force of nature, playing the role of Quinn with extraordinary focus and strength. His no-holds-barred mode of performance is disarming and wonderfully mesmerising. Arky Michael’s Dunne is an amalgamation of rock star and Norma Desmond, an outlandish and madcap portrayal that is absolutely joyful.

Production design features prominently. It services the plot perfectly, transforming the relatively small space into one that is full of possibilities for the actors, while carving out an aesthetic for the production that is vibrant and innovative. Indeed, this is a show characterised by its vibrancy and innovation. This company has created something that overflows with ideas and enthralment, and because Enda Walsh’s script is not a simple one, one is compelled to revisit Penelope to experience her more deeply. The femme fatale beckons.

www.sirentheatreco.com

5 Questions with Michael Cutrupi

michaelcutrupiWhat is your favourite swear word?
A tie between Cunt Face and Fuck Knuckle.

What are you wearing?
Right now… not much in the throws of dressing for the day, I think. A dark green jean and French striped top.

What is love?
“Oh baby don’t hurt me anymore.” Love is understanding, passion and knowing when to shut up.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Penny Plain by Ronnie Burkett in Geelong, Vic. I give it 5 stars; a beautiful one-man marionette show about the end of the world. It was stunning.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Good? No! It will be great. 4 of the funniest men in speedos in a drained swimming pool speaking the words of one of the world’s contemporary theatre masters, Enda Walsh.

Michael Cutrupi is stage manager for Penelope.
Show dates: 12 Sep – 6 Oct, 2013
Show venue: TAP Gallery

5 Questions with Diana Popovska

dianapopovskaWhat is your favourite swear word?
Fuck.

What are you wearing?
Black high waisted skinny jeans, a black football jersey and black creepers.

What is love?
I’ve come to realize that love is loving someone without placing conditions or expectations on that love. It is the ultimate state of being present, where you abandon all your blissful dreamers notions and hopes of permanence, but rather, appreciate what you have now.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead. I give it 3.5 out of 5.

Is your new show going to be any good?
Good is boring. Our show, Penelope, is going to be fantastic!

Diana Popovska is assistant director of Penelope.
Show dates: 12 Sep – 6 Oct, 2013
Show venue: TAP Gallery

5 Questions with Julian Dibley Hall

juliandibleyhallWhat is your favourite swear word?
Shit. Simple, effective and multi-purpose.

What are you wearing?
A navy blue knitted jumper and my old, comfy, falling-apart track pants.

What is love?
Honesty, compassion and the desire to always give more of yourself to the person or thing you love.

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
STC’s Rosencrantz And Guildenstern – 4 stars

Is your new show going to be any good?
YES!

 

 

Julian Dibley Hall is assistant director of Penelope.
Show dates: 12 Sep – 6 Oct, 2013
Show venue: TAP Gallery

5 Questions with Kate Gaul

kategaulWhat is your favourite swear word?
FUCK (Has to have caps!)

What are you wearing?
Black jeans I found in an op shop and a black T shirt from Supre – charming!

What is love?
Breath on my neck – oh hang on that’s lust… LOVE? Love is being flirted with even after all these years…

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
Einstein on the Beach – 5 out of 5.

Is your new show going to be any good?
FUCK! It will be MAGNIFICENT – funny, dark, perilous, slightly weird, unexpected, beautiful and an amazing achievement for everyone who helped make it.

 

Kate Gaul is director of Penelope.
Show dates: 12 Sep – 6 Oct, 2013
Show venue: TAP Gallery