Theatre’s been my life and passion for as long as I can recall. Even as a child I remember getting the **tingles** in my fingers as the house lights went to half, and the overture swelled or the curtains parted. The curtains may have gone from most theatres, but not much else has changed … you can add sweaty palms, and sometimes churning stomach to the list above when I became a professional.
I’ve had quite a few tingles this past year as audience and professional … tingle junkie me. Time to jot them down.
Mad Forest by Caryl Churchill: A USQ Performance Centre production which I directed. Modest blushes here but a fine ensemble outing for a new cohort of acting majors. It’s a very good and testing play and they did it and themselves proud in English and Romanian. Lots of tingles and moderately sweaty palms … no churns.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Queensland Theatre Company. A
co-production with the State Theatre Company of South Australia. When
you have a play that an audience can virtually sing along with the
company, you look for new angles, and new lights to illuminate
well-known corners. The audience were wrong-footed beautifully this
time by a fresh, vital, good-looking and spare production of perhaps the
greatest play ever written. 3-star tingles here.
St Joan by George Bernard Shaw National Theatre of Great Britain and featuring a brilliant ensemble of actors led by Ann-Marie Duff who is not only lucky enough to be married to James McEvoy, but who also went on to win the 2007 Evening Standard award for best actress. Big play, big hearted work from everyone. 4-star tingles.
The Philistines by Maxim Gorky in a new translation by Andrew Upton: National Theatre of Great Britain. Utter perfection in writing, design, performance, direction. A night like this renews your faith in the power of theatre. 5 star everything.
Good luck Andrew and wife Cate Blanchett. They take over as co-artistic directors of Sydney Theatre Company from today.