Notables ~ theatre notes

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Your faithful blogger has had an indifferent week, struggling with a cold and a short story and losing on both fronts...but I will heroically refrain from boring you with my personal laments; instead, in the spirit of Tim Sterne over at Sarsparilla, I will tally up some of the theatre I am not seeing. Which is quite a lot, as the Fringe is in full swing.

In town, there's Gigoloed!, featuring plays by two young writers, Sarah Robertson and Briony Kidd. Entertaining Mr Orton and Death By Television promise some "Ortonesque burlesque", which sounds fine to me. At the Pony, 68 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, until October 14. Bookings: 8412 8777

I missed Incognito's Chasing Pegasus, which closes tonight, but it is on at Mt Martha House from October 18-22. This play intrigued me, because it's about a fantasy author (who says we don't go to the theatre to see ourselves?) I'm sure it is more exciting than watching me at work... More information at To my chagrin, especially as it was all my fault, I also missed A Quarrelling Pair and Apples and Ladders, the Malthouse Theatre's contribution to the Fringe. Last shows tomorrow but, guess what, they're sold out.

Meanwhile, Richard Watts is bravely stepping once more into the breach and doing a noble job of seeing as much theatre as is humanly possible, and then some. So keep an eye on his blog, which has some good recommendations that I haven't doubled here, while I return to my long, hard, bitter and uneven struggle with prosaic form...


Alison Croggon said...

Chris Boyd posted this below, but I thought I'd lift it here in case people missed it:

A ripper opened last night at Red Stitch. Not part of Fringe, but still...

It's a recent play from Mark O'Rowe of Howie The Rookie fame -- a play that put the steel cap into kick-arse -- it's called Crestfall.

This one is more ambitious and more confident than Howie, though not quite as good. More poetic, less funny.

Great physical production of a violent and bleak little story told by three women. Some terrific performances.

This one was premiered by Gate Theatre in 2003 and might have been part of a cruel theatre season. (Haven't checked that tho!)


Anonymous said...

I am here just to bow and raise my imaginary hat. I've moved to Australia (from Europe) a year ago, and have since been trying to find the theatre culture. Apart from being the only person I know that cares about going to theatre, I was also quite disoriented by the complete lack of critic talent&effort in the newspapers: thoughtful, educated analysis missing completely, lukewarm praise and lukewarm criticism instead, both usually unsupported by argumentation, and too short for one to develop anyway.

I only discovered your blog last night, by accident, because nobody links it!, nobody mentions it!, and since then I've been following the links, reading the review/essay backlog, and simply revelling in the regained confidence in the Australian culture. I am so happy to have found properly informed, educated writing on culture, that doesn't give brief yes/no reviews, indulge in the funding statistics, not even swing Chardonnay and soy sauce as metaphors for the quality of cultural content!, and particularly doesn't bash anything un-suburban as unworthy of Australian attention.

The broad knowledge and informed appreciation of art you present in this blog actually fill a hole in my Australian life I wasn't too aware of. This is the inter-cultural competence found in the (particularly smaller) European countries, based on the active experience of other cultures through reading, travelling, cultural dialogue. It gives one hope that the world can be comprehended, discussed, that solutions can be decided collectively, that we can find order, rules, in the complicated reality. That there is shared knowledge, or at least a global conversation. This is so important, and so missing from much of my everyday life here, where the rules sometimes seem to be created after the measures of a suburban family house, while everything else is alien, unwanted and feared.

You've found a very happy new reader. And so have a few people you link and debate with.

Alison Croggon said...

Jana, thankyou. What a fantastic note.

I like especially what you say about the ways in which culture can give you hope. You are so right.