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Showing posts from August, 2018

REVIEW: Blasted by Sarah Kane – Malthouse Theatre

The dread sets in from the first scene. A foul-mouthed journalist (Ian) brings a young woman (Cate) to an expensive hotel room in the north of England. He wants sex and he believes, because she’s there with him, she wants it, too. They’ve had sex before, years before. She’s already much younger than him, so how old was she when this all began?

The play, at this point, is about expectation and transaction. Ian has brought Cate to this room for one thing and one thing only. It’s about consent and the dangers of the male ego. And you can see why the Malthouse programmed this now; in a time where we know violence against women has hit plague proportions, this one-on-one moment captures that violence in microcosm.
When Sarah Kane’s Blasted was first performed in 1995 at the Royal Court in London, it caused a scandal. This opening scene is confronting enough; Ian is racist, misogynist, homophobic and his work as a journalist does nothing to redeem him. And nothing prepares the audience for…

A Doll's House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath - Melbourne Theatre Company

Imagining what happened after a story is over is natural, especially if the ending is ambiguous or unclear. There’s a lot of dramatic tension to be mined from the question “what comes next” - the audience will probably discuss the possibilities as soon as they leave the theatre. When Nora walked out on her family and slammed the door behind her at the end of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, it caused widespread controversy when the play debuted in 1879. Ibsen’s German agent had him re-write the ending for that country, which he later regretted. In 2014, Belvoir theatre produced Nora by Kit Brookman and Anne-Louise Sarks, a contemporary re-telling of A Doll’s House that followed her out that door. The concept of a sequel is tempting; writing it for a bone fide classic is a risky proposition. Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2 picks up fifteen years after Nora left her family. She returns to finalise a divorce that her husband Torvald never formalised. In turn-of-Twentieth-Centu…