Friday, 3 October 1997

THEATRE ROUND UP column, Melbourne Sept-Oct 1997

 Herald Sun
Reviewer: Kate Herbert, Oct 3, 1997

Meat by Nick Meenahan Universal 2 until Oct 5, 1997
This solo show by ex-butcher Nick Meenahan, a lovable clown with a wicked gleam in his eye, explores The Joy of Meat. Meenahan blends pathos with comedy in this hilarious, touching hour. Stan the butcher has a charming vulgarity. He seduces female customers, carves a lamb on stage and peoples his world with off-stage characters.

Circus Oz Melbourne Town Hall until October 5, 1997
There's one thing about Oz. We give good circus. The new Circus Oz show is like being on the bus in the movie, Speedˇ but with better music and wilder stunts. The skills of this company of multi-talented performers increase exponentially, yearly. David Carlin's direction is slick and the show is stylish. Terrific family entertainment.

Moonlodge at La Mama from Oct 7 to 12, 1997
Canadian Native American actor Margo Kane brings her warm and moving solo show Moonlodge to La Mama for one week after a hit season at the Festival of the Dreaming. Kane people's the stage with quirky characters met by the young Native American, Agnes, who was stolen from her family as a child. She satirises stereotypes of 'Injuns' and penetrates the pain and joy of her oppressed people.

The John Wayne Principle by Tony McNamara.
Sydney Theatre Company for Playbox at Merlin Theatre until Oct 4, 1997
The egocentric and cut-throat world of corporate business is cleverly satirised in Tony McNamara's acerbically witty play. McNamara, prior to his writing career, worked in the money market and he provides a vicious indictment of the mercenary, narcissistic and inhumane corporate world.  His witty, rapid-fire dialogue is often hilarious and the plot moves swiftly and relentlessly to its totally immoral conclusion. Included in the cast is Frontline's Alison Whyte.

Cloudburst by Steve Wheat La Mama until Oct 12, 1997
Steve Wheat's writing is intelligent, witty and often poetic. His characters use words as weapons or caresses and his analogy of the impending cloudburst highlights the potentially explosive love affair. Craig Goddard plays Dave with the right amount of jittery neediness while Sarah  Chapman is intense and brittle as the often dislikeable Beth. The game of truth or dare in the bathtub is terrific.

Kennedy's Children by Robert Patrick Athenaeum Upstairs bar until Oct 19, 1997
JFK and Marilyn Monroe were not the only casualties of the swingin' 60's.U.S. Robert Patrick crawls inside the sad lives of some lesser known tragedies who lived on into the nostalgic 70's. This adaptation concentrates on two women. Carla (Deborah Robertson) is a Marilyn wannabe and failed club singer. Rona (Suzie Cardiff) is a latter-day hippy who pines for the days of real causes and idealistic kids. You get to drink in the bar with them.

Hysteria by Damien Richardson at La Mama until Oct 5, 1997
No matter what name we give them: neurosis, sadness, depression, melancholia, mania - nervous disorders are not to be sneezed at, so why not make theatre about them? Writer-performer, Richardson, has used factual information based on French analyst, Charcot, and hilariously exaggerated autobiographical details to create a quirky, engaging piece. He takes risks on stage, improvising with audience and dealing with psychosis and taboos: sexual, religious and theatrical.

The Operated Jew by Gilgul Theatre at Athenaeum 2 until Oct 9, 1997
The latest production directed by Barrie Kosky.

Ablaze, Lower Melbourne Town Hall Sat Oct 5 5pm Thurs Oct 9, 1997
Six exceptional improvisers go beyond Theatresports with narrative and musical improvisation that burns.

CAT by Stephen Sewell Courthouse until Oct 12, 1997
Syd Brisbane performs this in-your-face one-man show which is the story of a deeply disturbed individual with a dark past and living in a country town . It is quite a challenge for an audience.


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