Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director; produced playwright (21 plays). Scripts pub. Currency Press. She worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Coordinator of Prof. Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read her reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Friday, 16 May 2003
Waiting by Dina Ross, May 16, 2003
Waiting by Dina Ross
fortyfivedownstairs, May 16 to June 1, 2003
Herbert on May 16
Waiting, written by
Dina Ross and directed by Greg Carroll, comprises three short monologues about
three different women in Melbourne.
Petra Schulenberg. plays all three characters. The monologues
are not connected, each being a discrete snatch of one woman's life. They are character
sketches rather than short plays because they have less theatrical action or
dramatic tension than a play.
In Maybe Bach, Schulenberg is Andrea, a 36 year old woman desperate for love, waiting
in a Carlton café for the arrival of a blind date from the personals column. Andrea shifts between
passionate and romantic fantasies about love and lust, music and novels until
she finally reaches the grim
realisation that the man is not coming.
MRI sees Fran, a younger woman, in a hospital gown dealing with the terror
of neurological tests and a potentially fatal prognosis. Intercut with her
own trauma is that of her Jewish grandmother in Dachau.
Both Andrea and the
grandmother are interesting but the link between the two threads is not quite
resolved in this story. The flashbacks to grandmother are repetitive and do not
move Fran's story forward.
The final monologue,
Boo Boo Be Do, is entertaining.
Schulenberg plays Courtney, a
Marilyn Monroe look alike complete
with Marilyn's sexy, white pleated dress and platinum wig.
Courtney whispers, pouts
and wiggles her bottom at us in order to win a look alike contest. We are part
of their inner world and part of Courtney's audience. The staging is sometimes
awkward and the placement of the other contestants is unclear.
There is potential for this last to be a poignant piece. It could delve deeper
into the degradation of being an out of work actor, failures in her personal
life and losing the look alike competition.
Schulenberg gives a strong performance in all three roles although there are
moments when she looks uncomfortable in Maybe Bach and Boo Boo Be Do.
Some of the script
feels more like prose than theatre but they are interesting if not compelling.