• 29 May 2010 /  Random

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  • 08 May 2010 /  Random

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  • 06 May 2010 /  Random

    TO THE END

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  • 30 Apr 2010 /  Random

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  • 27 Apr 2010 /  Random

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  • 07 Apr 2010 /  Random

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  • 28 Mar 2010 /  Random

    THIS IS WHAT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE!

    THE END

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  • 23 Mar 2010 /  Random

    Among other good news of late I have been gifted a Macbook by Gay McAuley from University of Sydney Performance Studies Department. The story of the past few months has involved a number of behind-the-scenes dramas including the crash of my PC – and nearly losing my half-written Currency Press Platform Paper among other stuff. I had always been a Mac guy – and the PC era was not a great phase .But how was I gonna afford a new machine?  So this wonderful new Mac whose name is Rex (after Carmphorn) is an incredible gift – and  thank you Gay so much for your lifesaving  generosity. It is allowing me to do all sorts of things including sort out the hundreds of photos I have in myriad folders. For example – look what i found here! Some of you have seen the photo of the little palamino  foal we called Romeo – here with mum Lyric -  the last we bred up on the farm before I came back to the city and theatre world.

    But I have found a photo of him grown up – gone to the  great (transsexual) Arab  breeder, Dianna de Silva, who has named in Indescent de Rothbury. Dianna and her Maltese truck repair boyfriend are a story in themselves. But hey how handsomely did little Romeo grow up!! Dianna always had a great eye for top colts – and I see know why she so wanted this handsome guy to breed with.

    y

    THE END

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  • 16 Jan 2010 /  Reviews

     

     

    This is one of those four am postings – but it is not a bleeder! I am in quite good spirits. It’s just that I wake up most nights around this time – some times several times a night – as I have this chronic pain thing since I got beat up, nearly a year ago now. It is not a bad pain and I just get up and have a shower or hot bath and read or sometimes I even come to my desk. I don’t do porn so posting is the better option for me. On that beating up on the train thing, one guy is in jail, his twin brother has now been charged and all the documents are with a law firm. I’ll either get a lot and pay off my bills or nothing. The possibility of being ripped to shreds in the witness stand – me sitting there composed under a black veil – by a brutish SC gives me a hard on. Mind you, I’d rather a good night’s sleep now and again.

    But life has been full to overflowing since 1 January 2010. I have not been posting coz my every waking hour has me locked horns with a Currency Press Platform Paper I am writing on the STC Actors Company – life and times – whatever happened to? That kind of thing. It was an offer I could hardly refuse coz I found the whole project from the stalls fascinating, and to have a chance to go backstage as it were and find out what went on ‘behind closed doors’ has been worth the effort. I did create something of a rod for my back by choosing to base the essay on inteviews with participants. But hey I have meet up with some great people. Will I get the story right – I don’t know. It’s complicated. But I am giving it my best shot. Out in April – all going to plan.

    It just means I haven’t had – haven’t got – a lot of time to write up my SydFest experiences. Which I kinda feel bad about, especially since Fest PR look after me so well and there is a heap to say. So I thought I would just jot down a few paragraphs and come back over next few days and tease out a bit more in particular. Because of the essay I am not doing what I had wanted to do, which is go to heaps and heaps of stuff – like the talks etc – and really eat up this festival which to me looked very good on paper.

    And from what I have seen so far – very interesting! It’s been a random experience for me so I can’t offer anything like an overview. But I can say the star turn - the Ostermeier Hamlet  – did not work for me to the extent that it did for many others. I had no problem with turning the so-called text upside down, I am the guy who a year ago wrote ten thousand words on why I loved The War of the Roses.

    I just didn’t get into the groove of this Berlin Hamlet – I didn’t know what I was watching or why. If it was a bus, and it hurtled like one going downhill and over a cliff, I kinda missed it. I felt like I was watching it fly by rather than enjoy the ride from aboard. That’s not to say it wasn’t impressive. First up the use of the Sydney Theatre space: a massive ‘Elizabethan’ stage thrust into our midst. Every set designer in this city should go have a look. This tricky auditorium has never worked better. Anyways, more for another day.

    Paul Capsis has a show at Stables later in year

    Optimism at the Drama Theatre was a bit of ride too – heaps of it set on an airplane. It’s a Melbourne Malthouse/STC co-presentation. And it is so horrible from the opening moments I declined to climb aboard. It is a rare occasion that reviewers share their thoughts after a show, but after this one we couldn’t help it. How could someone of director Kantor’s reputation come up with something as physically busy and thematically barren as this? I was going to say it’s a dog and should be put in a barrel and shot: but I would never do that to a dog. Basically it’s one of the worst productions I’ve ever seen. Amazing turnaround after Kantor’s beautiful Happy Days just finished.

    I'm a stage-door johnny

    Possibly not the fault of the dramatist Tom Wright working from Voltaire’s Candide, impossible to tell. And certainly not the fault of the cast – there are some lovely people in it. But what they are asked to do is quite ridiculous. Or more waht they are not asked to do. Frank Woodley and David Woods are both stand-outs despite so much going against them. And I was disappointed not to be able to post a rave for Barry Otto. He and I are cursed. He is one of our most senior actors and yet, going back to the 1980s, I keep stumbling into shows which appear to offer Otto’s gifts little chance to fly. There is something very lovely about his performance in this too. But the show overall: what on earth were we watching? and why? These are questions I put to my readers if any of you have seen the show.

     

    Another show I plan to do some writing about is Urban Theatre Project’s The Fence. It’s playing in an outdoor setting behind Riverside Studios in Parramatta, and is the third Sydfest commission for this bold and innovative company. I have been given the opportunity to follow its progress from early rehearsals to opening night. It has been a fascinating experience: and all hail the crew and cast. This work, created from the ground up by the cast under the directorial guidance of Alicia Talbot explores the lives of a group of characters, most of whom having been brought up in institutional care. The work is vulnerable and had only just found its legs by opening night. Yes I am close to it, and feel a kind of loyalty: but it is also exceedingly bold in conception and has a huge heart.I went to the opening night of this with my friend Augusta Supple. On the way to theatre I showed her one of the more interesting shops in Parramatta: a guy that sells toys on a military theme. He has a pretty cool window setting happening at the moment.

    puppy has sausages 4 lunch

    puppy has sausages 4 lunch

    set design for gay Mother Courage: "we're knocking up a creme brulee"

    Anyway back to Darlinghurst – aka 2010

    Obscure at times, but entrancing was Tempest: Without A Body. Essentially a dance piece from a New Zealand-based ensemble, of tremendous beauty and eloquence – in my view. Some people hated the ear-scorching score, and others the slow pace. Unlike the Hamlet, I fell into the groove of this one and had the best time. I loved the physical discipline, its treatise on themes from the Shakespeare in a post-colonial setting, and the sheer visual beauty. Very difficult to write about, so will just jump along to something else now. And attempt to rise to the challenge -  yes I am putting everything off. Let’s call this a survey shall we?

    The Festival is emptying the Indie shows around town. But I was not going to miss Eliza Logan – one of my ex-students from Theatre Nepean (U Western Sydney) in Crestfall, currently playing at the Stables, directed by Shannon Murphy. Eliza was from a great year and a whole bunch of us still hang out together.

    The production, which involves three torrid highly poetic monologues, is very engaging if not fully realised – nearly. The text is demanding and requires huge imaginative commitment from each of the actors. They all do well, most of the time. We went off for drinkies after. Hey fellas walk into the Darlo Bar with six hot chicks on a Friday nite and see the heads turn. Every guy in the place wants to know what you got that they don’t. Had some fun chat, especially with a cupla gungho young advertising dudes who have recently created the Tot Mum campaign that’splastered up around the streets right now. I have noticed it and it’s very groovy. So that was good convo.

    Eliza has a tiger in her tank

    The younger more vibrant lasses went off to their next port of call, and me and Eliza  sat on the steps of the church there where talked about the stuff like when was Todd and Richella’s baby due. Turns out it was being born as we spoked! (text message just arrived: “Quiola Kay born 02.43 16/1 mum and bub well – 4.275kg. Todd”) YeaH!@!!!

    And then we mucked around taking photos with my dinky camera as we headed towards Eliza’s vehicle. No people shots, no crowd shots – sorry. Just a few grabs of images where there was a bit of light.

    Me in front of my old flat in Royston Street

    I used to live here

    THE END

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  • 04 Jan 2010 /  Random
    Neil Armfield's Dad

    Mr Armfield

    Theatre is born at the intersection between the actor/audience relationship and time/space. This year as a resident of Surry Hills/Strawberry Hills – aka Belvoir Street precinct - I will be living in 2010 (time) in 2010 (postcode/space). Actors – I am your audience. Bring it on! To celebrate my return to this site after suich a long break I thought I might broaden the creative brief this year by framing my theatre attendence with a little more about daily life in 2010. I am sorry you can’t have the nitty gritty – my private life is way to colourful to publish online, well sometimes it is. And sometimes just like theatre it is way too boring! But hey I am getting into my photography and so I thought I would launch the year with my first ever serious paparazzi shot. I go to to see The Book of Everything tomorrow night. But I crashed the opening a couple of nights back so I could mill with a-listers (ie familes with kids in this instance). So many people were there – but from a photojournalist’s point of you, one with an eye for theatre history – this picture speaks 4 itself.

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