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.
Monday, 27 January 2003
One Night in the Well, Jan 27 to Feb 7, 2003
One Night in
the Well by Well Theatre
La Mama at The Courthouse
7.30pm Jan 27 until February 7, 2003
There is one
strength in the trio of plays called One Night in the Well. It is the live quintet
is the first play, Stitch. The tangos of Argentinian
composer, Astor Piazzola, create
The musical ensemble,
composed of piano accordion and string instruments, plays the sensual tunes
with great skill. The problem is that the plays cannot do justice
to the musicians. The other element
worth seeing over the evening is the video design (Matt Gingold).
In Stitch, images are cunningly projected onto screens only to transform
into real objects. A projected rose suddenly appears as a real rose. There are several
life size puppets in the final piece, On Time. written and performed by Dario VaCirca.
All three pieces
utilise the physical and visual. There is even the addition of Australian Sign
There are so many disparate elements that none is sufficiently well realised to
make these pieces work as theatre. They are more akin to incomplete pieces of
There is plenty in the
program, as we see in performance art, to explain the concept of the pieces.
However, very little of it is visible or comprehensible on stage.
Stitch, says the
program, is based on Papillon and
his incarceration. A depressed boy (Nik
Garcia) pursues a rat and then falls asleep. In his dream, his older self (Peat Moss) pursues a tango dancer (Willow Conway) who is seduced and later murdered
by a Spanish Don. (Ryan Schofield)
The second play lacks
style or form. Director, Ben Cittadina, stands on stage doing snatches of Auslan. A boy and girl (Renato
VaCirca, Ania Reynolds) sit on a bed, tear paper, put on lipstick, play piano
and kiss. Sometimes they just sit or twist into palsied shapes. It seems to be an attempt at
contemporary physical comedy but it misses by a country mile.
On Time is a
narrated story (Tim Townsend) with action by Dario VaCirca. Va Circa has some skill as a physical
performer. However, his representation of the story is so literal and the writing
so lacking in craft that, by the end, the piece is incoherent.
It seems that an amount
of Australia Council money funded this. We should expect better.