Thursday 25 November 2021

Archimedes War, (NO REVIEW) 24 Nov 2021

THEATRE

Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, until 2 December 2021

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

After repeated cancellations and postponements during Lockdowns, Archimedes War by Melissa Reeves is finally on stage. Phew! I have not seen this production yet but here are some images and info for you. KH

 

Harry Musgrove with Richie Hallal, pic by Pia Johnson

Written by Melissa Reeves

Directed by Susie Dee

Performed by Daniela Farinacci, Jim Russell, Richie Hallal, Harry Musgrove, Jordan Fraser Trumble and Eva Seymour 

Set and Video design: Romanie Harper

Set and Costume Bethany J Fellows

Lighting design: Lisa Mibus

Sound: Ian Moorhead

From Media Release:
Fifteen-year-old Arki can’t shake the dead bodies of the players he’s killed in his online combat games on his PS4. His mother takes him to a psychiatrist who thinks he has PTSD. In her quest to help her son, she turns to those involved in real world war afflictions including a Major from the Australian Army and refugees from Afghanistan.

“Archimedes War was inspired by reading about the devastating effects of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on combatants and civilians. It explores the terrible mental cost of fighting or living with a war from the perspective of what happens back here at home. There is a cultural centrality to films and games about war that sits oddly with the fact that even as we were deeply involved, fighting a war in Afghanistan, back here in Australia, we were curiously unaware, even uninterested in what was going on,” said writer Melissa Reeves.

 
 Eva Seymour with Harry Musgrove, pic by Pia Johnson

Wednesday 24 November 2021

As You Like It, MTC, 18 Nov 2021 ***1/2

 


THEATRE 

By William Shakespeare

At Southbank Theatre, MTC unitl 18 Dec 2021

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Stars: ***1/2

 This review published only on this blog. KH

 

 James Mackay, Georgia Flood, Christie Whelan Browne


Welcome back, Melbourne theatre! We’re back in venues and shows are coming thick and fast in this festive season. Get thee to a theatre!

 

The MTC leaps out of the blocks with Simon Phillips’ lavish production of As You Like It which captures the playful strangeness of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy with a nod to its more introspective and philosophical moments.

 

The production looks glorious with an evocative design (Alicia Clements) that counterbalances the soaring pillars of a palace with the lush green and floral slopes of the magical Forest of Arden – sans woodland trees.

 

The show begins with faithful, old Adam (Richard Piper) and Orlando (James Mackay) crouched planting seedlings in the (fake) turf at the lip of the stage. The first half gallops along gleefully but the production stalls after interval when the novelty of the design and the cheery liveliness of the characters start to wear thin.

 

Musical interludes (music by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall) are welcome in the first half, but there are too many tunes in the second half and snatching songs from other Shakespeare plays seems unnecessary.

 

There are some delightful performances, particularly Piper’s Adam. Christie Whelan Browne is perky and playful as Rosalind, the young woman who cross-dresses as a boy and is giddy with love. Mackay plays Rosalind’s beloved Orlando as a romantic, na├»ve lad who is easily duped by Rosalind’s cross-dressing.

 

Despite feeling overly long, this is a diverting and visually compelling production.

 

by Kate Herbert

 

Cast

Phebe / As cast Natalie Abbott

Silvius / Band / As cast Laurence Boxhall

Celia Georgia Flood

Touchstone Daniel Frederiksen

Jaques de Boys / Band / As cast Jack Green

Audrey / Band / As cast Xani Kolac

Orlando James Mackay

Adam / Corin / Band Richard Piper

Oliver / Amiens Chris Ryan

Charles the Wrestler / William / Band / As cast Richard Sergeant

Jaques / Le Beau Tim Walter

Rosalind Christie Whelan Browne

Duke Frederick / Duke Senior / Band / As cast Shivantha Wijesinha

 

Creative Team

Director Simon Phillips

Set & Costume Designer Alicia Clements

Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper

Composers Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall

Musical Director & Additional Composition Ian McDonald

Associate Costume Designer John Van Gastel

Associate Lighting Designer Tom Willis

Assistant Director Tim Paige

Intimacy Coordinator Amy Cater

Fight Choreographer Lyndall Grant

Choreographer Andrew Hallsworth

Stage Manager Christine Bennett

Deputy Stage Manager Lisette Drew

Assistant Stage Manager Meg Richardson

Production Photography Jeff Busby

Rehearsal Photography Charlie Kinross