I reviewed Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of Coma Land for Perth Walkabout:
In the space between life and death lies Coma Land, a snowy purgatory that lonely child genius Boon wakes up in at the beginning of the play.
I reviewed 10,000 — presented by by the Perth Theatre Trust and Umbrella Works Inc. as part of the Subiaco Theatre Festival — for Perth Walkabout:
In 10,000, we are introduced to Edie and AJ through the characters they are playing in a video game. The game, which AJ bought when he and Edie first got together, acts as a metaphor for their troubled relationship. 10 years on, they are married with a three-year-old daughter, but Edie has recently moved out. A keen gamer, AJ hopes to repair their marriage by sharing one of his passions with his sceptical wife. But before long, the lines between reality and the game’s science fiction adventure world become blurred, and Edie and AJ find themselves fighting for their very survival.
I reviewed Enoch Arden, performed by John Bell and Simon Tedeschi, for Perth Walkabout:
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I headed into His Majesty’s Theatre on June 14 for Perth Theatre Trust’s one-night-only presentation of Enoch Arden. The night began with acclaimed classical pianist Simon Tedeschi introducing the show, setting the mood by performing two pieces by Schubert and Brahms, before award-winning actor and Bell Shakespeare founder John Bell entered the stage.
I reviewed Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of The Lighthouse Girl for Perth Walkabout:
As I waited for the Perth premiere of The Lighthouse Girl to begin, I felt like I was on a boat drifting towards an island, with the sound of waves crashing around the intimate theatre, the rocky landscape on the stage in front of me, and even the way my chair shook as the audience walked down the steps to find their seats.
Adapted by Hellie Turner from Dianne Wolfer’s award-winning books, The Lighthouse Girl and The Light Horse Boy, the play is set during the outbreak of World War I. Fay lives an isolated existence on Breaksea Island, south-east of Albany, with her father and old Joe. Fay’s father is Breaksea’s lighthouse keeper; her mother died several months earlier, and her only other companions are her donkey and her diary. Meanwhile, in country Victoria, best friends Charlie and Jim lie about their age to enlist as soldiers, anticipating a great overseas adventure together.
I reviewed The Blue Room Theatre’s production of [PORTO] for Perth Walkabout:
Entering the theatre for The Blue Room’s production of [PORTO] felt more like walking into a cosy laneway bar than a play. I was immediately drawn in by the set – the unassuming bar counter next to a stage with a microphone, and the funky little couch in the corner. When , the omniscient, fourth wall-breaking narrator stepped up to the mic in his ostentatious red outfit, I knew this was going to be an intriguing show.
I reviewed Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of A Perfect Specimen for Perth Walkabout:
Haunting squeals and whistles echoed around the room as the audience descended into the theatre for the opening night of A Perfect Specimen. On a dimly lit, two-tiered circular stage stood three A-frames, featuring provocative headlines like Behold! The Monkey Woman. Then Theodore Lent emerged from the curtains, tapped his cane sharply on the ground and – in an ominous, booming voice – invited us to the show.
A Perfect Specimen, by Perth-born award-winning playwright Nathaniel Moncrieff, is inspired by the true story of Julia Pastrana. She was born in the 1830s with hypertrichosis and gingival hyperplasia, which resulted in hair that covered her body, as well as enlarged gums and irregular teeth. Dubbed the “Bear Woman” and an “ape”, among other things, Julia travelled the world as part of a freak show managed by her husband – Theodore Lent.
I recently reviewed From the Rubble, a production by Perth Theatre Company in association with PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts). It explores the lives of civilians in war zones and was inspired by the work of Walkley Award-winning journalist Sophie McNeill.
Torn, white buildings. A man with a gun. Piles of paper strewn across the floor like debris.
This was the stage that greeted us when we entered the theatre. As the lights dimmed, the humble stage was transformed through cleverly projected video footage; animation; puppetry; and a haunting soundtrack.
It’s been a while since I wrote a review of anything, having focused in more recent times on fiction. But when I was asked to review White Rabbit, Red Rabbit presented by Perth Theatre Company, I was immediately intrigued by the opportunity:
To describe White Rabbit, Red Rabbit as a unique experience would be an understatement. More than just a play; it is a theatrical experiment by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. Soleimanpour was barred from leaving his country because he refused to take part in compulsory national service, and so his mysterious script travels the world in his place. Every night, Soleimanpour’s play is performed by a different actor, who is not given the script until they step onto the stage.