2013 Groundlings Awards: Editor’s Choice

For the first time I thought I’d add my Greenroom Editor’s pennyworth to the mix.

Of all the productions I saw in 2013 these remain as some of the highlights and for all kinds of reasons. In places, I’ve added a brief note from Greenroom’s reviews to each to expand.

My thanks to all the artists and creatives and the producers whose generosity have made it possible for me to see their work during the year.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS: Barbara Lowing
Bea Pontivec in The China Incident.
In a year notable for some thrilling performances by women, I found it hard to choose but finally it is Ms Lowing’s extraordinary creation of Bea Pontivec that gets my pick. I noted at the time it was “… a tour de force by an artist at the top of her game.” I still think this.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR: Julian Curtis
The Gentleman Caller in The Glass Menagerie at La Boite Theatre
Not one of the big roles in this or in other plays during the year but in one of the classic supporting and absolutely pivotal roles in modern drama Mr Curtis gave a “relaxed, pitch-perfect performance,” giving sense and substance to a character often passed over in Williams’ play.

DIRECTION: Caroline Dunphy for Motherland.
Shaping a new play, one with multiple characters and casting, and a narrative that crosses temporal and spatial planes in a confined space – surely more than enough of a challenge for a director – but Ms Dunphy’s secure grasp of the shape and tone of the text was also superbly translated on to the tiny stage at Metro Arts.

COSTUME DESIGN: Simone Romaniuk for her always beautifully rendered, sensitive designs.
Venus in Fur; The Wizard of Oz.

SET DESIGN: Penny Challen for The Glass Menagerie.
Ms Challen’s bold and definitive design caught the tone of the production superbly.

SOUND DESIGN OR COMPOSITION: Gordon Hamilton: The Glass Menagerie
Thrilling stuff this – “the composition and sound design slices and rearranges fragments of other times’ moods and melodies.”

LIGHTING:  David Walters Motherland; End of the Rainbow.
One of the most experienced, accomplished, creative and innovative lighting designers working anywhere in the world.

NEW PLAY IN AN INAUGURAL QUEENSLAND SEASON:
Motherland by Katherine Lyall Watson
Beautifully written and expertly crafted, a gem of a play that weaves the epic and the personal and creates the kinds of roles actors long to play. 

PRODUCTION:
Motherland by Katherine Lyall Watson Directed by Caroline Dunphy
“This lovely ‘anti-epic’ – production is enormously accomplished, and the intimate tone at its heart fitted so beautifully into the little black-box of the Sue Benner Theatre at Metro Arts.”

MUSICAL PERFORMER:
Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele
Adele’s songs are brought to life by Naomi Price “with heart and soul and terrific technique.” It’s “an extended monologue that feels like a conversation with friends … irreverent, deliciously wicked, funny, mouthy stuff … ”

CONTRIBUTION TO THE THEATRE
The independent theatres and their makers, the dreamers and doers who are the lifeblood of our community. Thank you!

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