This is not a Shakespeare production. It's a play about the problem of studying Shakespeare's plays in high school or, as the programme has it, 'Studying Shakespeare sucketh.'
Statespeare, written by Nelle Lee with material from a range of Shakespeare's plays, is all about the relevance of the works for kids who are dragged, often kicking and screaming, to study the plays - or bits of the plays - as the syllabus demands. The premise of Statespeare is that the plays are hard, studying them really doth suck and that people who like Shakespeare are most probably drama nerds or losers. At one of yesterday's schools' performances I heard an audible gasp from a few quarters in the audience at a line about Drama not counting for an OP score. There were clearly some Drama geeks (old and young) in the house. PS tell me it isn't so - about Drama not counting for the OP!
For a good 40 or 50 years now - and probably well before that - Australian school kids have been introduced to the plays in the Shakespeare canon via small, touring companies of actors. I remember the Young Elizabethan Players - the 'Young Lizzies' - when I was at high school. They were all serious in black before it became de rigeur in theatre circles, and we duly fell in love with at least one of the young male actors in tights - I think they really did wear tights back then. Then came the famed Grin and Tonic 1.0 (recently 2.0) and now there's Shake & Stir theatre company. Continue reading Review: Statespeare – Shake & Stir and La Boite Theatre @ The Roundhouse
As we chat last week about his latest project, I begin to wonder whether Nigel Poulton's been working too long with ballet companies; he's got his current company - the Dead Cargo cast - training at 5.30am during the rehearsal week. Now, that's intriguing in itself. How has this come about, I wonder.
Nigel is one of Australia's - and possibly one of the world's - busiest fight directors for the stage. Recent gigs abroad have taken him to the NYC Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, the Washington Opera as well as to assignments closer to home like Opera Australia, Circus Oz, MTC, STC, QTC, Belvoir, Kooemba Jdarra and Playbox. For Bell Shakespeare he has been the Company Fight Director since 2003. He's the past President of the Society of Australian Fight Directors Inc., and a respected, meticulous, and very patient teacher who demands the best of his students. I can attest to this having studied under his direction some years ago. Continue reading A system made for actors: Nigel Poulton (Interview 14)
I've often found myself using the caveat about something outrageous from real life ... mostly behaviour ... you know how it goes, 'If they put that on stage, no one would believe it!' Well, someone did. Adam J Cass, in fact. The writer of I Love You Bro' La Boite's latest, directed by David Berthold takes the real-life extraordinary circumstances of a 14 year old from Manchester in the UK who conspired to kill himself. He and his dupe, an online chat friend 'MarkyMark' were eventually arrested and charged with attempted murder and incitement to murder. Yes indeed, an unbelievable (almost) real story and another in the 'troubled teen' genre, one that's absurd, tragic and hints at that bogeyman of the 'dangerous web.' I thought in passing as I left the building after the performance that La Boite could quite easily have sub-titled their 2010 season as 'People behaving crazily at full stretch.' It's been one of those years at the Roundhouse so far. Continue reading Review: Domestic Violence in the Chatroom – I Love You Bro’ at La Boite Theatre
For session dates and times check company websites. Click on the logo on Greenroom’s homepage to access.
The Year of Magical Thinking: Queensland Theatre Company at QPAC Closes SaturdayThe True Story of Butterfish: PowerhouseThe Dream: La Boite Theatre Company at the RoundhouseCloses SaturdayAs You Like It: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble at the Roma Street ParklandsThree Blokes and Their Barbie: Tropic Sun on tour
Lazarus Won't Get Out of Bed: AS Theatre at !Metro ArtsCats: Empire Theatre (Toowoomba)