Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2020

REVIEW: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – Ridiculusmus

Oscar Wilde’s 1895 play, The Importance of Being Earnest, is subtitled “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People”. In its satirical way, though, it’s not so trivial at all, even as it appears farcical. Yes, the story is about two men who lie about their identities to get out of numerous obligations, but in his criticism of a certain social strata, Wilde is effectively calling out the people sitting in the audience. And with its clockwork like structure, in some ways it’s really a Serious Comedy for (or about) Trivial People.
Back in 2011, the Melbourne Theatre Company produced a star-studded production of the play, with director Simon Phillips recreating his 1988 production, reuniting some of his original cast with some new theatrical stars like Christie Whelan-Browne and Toby Schmitz. This was a gorgeous rendering of the play in full, savouring Wilde’s delicious language and turning up the tension of his finely-tuned plot with some incredible physicality and top-notch performances.
A few…

REVIEW: The Feather in the Web by Nick Coyle

A woman has baked her friend a cake to celebrate surviving the year – she’s been through chemotherapy and a divorce. Her friend tries to be grateful for the gesture, but it’s clear that the cake tastes bad and –
Next thing we know, both women are smeared in cake and one has hot coffee poured all over her.
Kimberly is leaving home forever and this is her final destructive moment there. No wonder her mother is glad to see the back of her.
Kimberly is chaos and driven by pure impulse. She has no social graces and adheres to no societal norms. She humiliates and assaults a shopping centre make-up artist and he leaves her smeared with red lipstick, which she wears as a kind of war paint for most of the rest of the play.
All of the above sounds grotesque, which it is, in an absurdly delightful way. It’s uncomfortable and shocking and hilariously funny. The comedy comes from the outrageousness of every single character, slammed against their reactions to Kimberly, who is an unrelenting for…

REVIEW: New Balance by Christopher Bryant - Midsumma

Christopher Bryant is a playwright. I know that, because I’ve seen plays he’s written. He’s queer, because I saw his one-man show, Intoxication, which was about his sexuality but also about his addictions and the accident that almost killed him. Each show I see of his tells me more about him; even if it just tells me how good of a writer he is - how insightful and thoughtful he is about the world around him and his process of making theatre.

Chris is also disabled. His new show, New Balance, partly reckons with that new facet of his self and identity - and it also places his story in the wider context of the queer community. How does Chris see his cis, queer, disabled self? How does he see himself inside the community he lives in? How does that same community see him? Complicated, thorny questions to be addressed in only an hour of theatre - but potent and galvanizing.

Chris is a fine storyteller, whether behind-the-scenes or on stage in front of us. When I saw Intoxication, it was i…