Image: Photography by Trent RouillonWilly Russell’s Blood Brothers (1983) is supposedly based on Alexandre Dumas' novella, The Corsican Brothers (1844). Each tells the tale of babies separated at birth; each spans decades, and there is love, betrayal, death - Blood Brothers does seem to have Dumas’ stamp of high drama - but, dig a little deeper into Russell’s own life, and you’ll find the seed of Blood Brothers was planted in his own childhood. When the Olivier Award winning West End production of Blood Brothers closed in 2012, after 24 years, Mr. Russell gave a rare interview which shines some light on the matter. “I am very interested in nature versus nurture. When I look at myself or catch sight of a gesture I make and see my father … I also know I might have drunk myself to death at 30. Luckily, I was saved by my in-laws, who nurtured me.” He also speaks at length about the lack of trust he felt for his father, and his belief that the extensive amount of time spent with his mother, grandmother and aunts growing up enabled him to write convincing female characters. Continue reading Review: Blood Brothers – Harvest Rain Theatre Company at Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
A note from the Editor: I've always wanted to see a children's show through the eyes of a young person. When Greenroom was invited to Ink and the Unknowns, I approached one of our reviewers, Sita Borhani, and asked whether her regular theatre-buddy (her 7 year old daughter Layla) would care to write about the experience for us. I was delighted when both Layla and Layla's mother said, 'Yes.' So, here it is from Greenroom's latest reviewer. Thank you, Layla and thank you Sita for transcribing her verbatim response to the show.The Night I Went to See Ink and the Unknowns by Layla Borhani. The night I went to see Ink and the Unknowns was a Friday. When we walked into the theatre, it was kind of freaky because it was really dark and there were frozen people. It made me feel scared because the lights were all the same colour - blue, and the people were camouflaged. When we sat down the set looked black and grey and I could hardly see anything that was on it, but when the show started and more lights came on, I could see shelves with little boxes, and all sorts of things, and also where the people were hiding. It looked like a mysterious place where I’ve never been before, a really old place, everything was torn to rags. It was pretty cool when the Unknowns found Ink, because no one in the audience noticed that he was under the cloth - he was really camouflaged!! Ink was really funny because he kept putting all these weird faces on, that made me laugh. He was my favourite character! The Unknowns were funny and scary at the same time, their costumes were black and dark purple and grey and they suited the set. Ex was my favourite unknown because she could do magic with string. I think Ink was confused to meet the Unknowns, because he’d been in another world and he didn’t really know where he was. He was starting to enjoy himself in the new world, but some of the Unknowns didn’t like Ink, because he was causing a big difference in their world. There was a lot of dancing in the show. I liked the part where the machine kept telling the characters what type of dance to do. When it said “Bush Dance” they all danced with a bush! And when it said “Hula” they all danced with a hula hoop! It was funny. The dancing was cool, because they did really amazing arm tricks, and hip-hop, and it wasn’t boring. The music really matched the dancing, and the set and costumes. It was awesome when they took light from Ink’s lightbulb and threw it at all the places that didn’t have light, to make them light up. I think the Unknowns had never discovered that light before and they needed Ink to light up their home. There was a fight over Ink’s light, and they dropped it and it smashed. I didn’t understand why Ink died. I didn’t like how they didn’t talk, I would have understood it more if they talked. When they made sounds I kept getting excited that they were going to say something, but they never did. Next time they do the show maybe they could talk. Also, it was hot it the theatre, and I couldn’t see very well. I think if there were cushions to sit on, that would be better for short people. But I still had a good time. The End.
A Mother’s note: The show was fabulous. Original, winning work from composer Maitlohn Drew and choreographer Callum Mansfield, who is, in my opinion, Harvest Rain’s greatest asset. Dancers Cameron Whitten (Ink), Maureen Bowra (Ex), Hannah Crowther (Why), Lauren Heidecker (Dubble) and Tom Markiewicz (Zed) were all incredibly accomplished and engaging within the post-apocalyptic setting. Funny, captivating and a show for all, Ink and the Unknowns had an all too short season from 27 Feb - 2 March.About the Reviewer: At the ripe old age of 7, Layla is already quite the theatre buff. When she’s not taking in a show or fending off two younger brothers, Layla likes rap music, wearing boys’ clothes, reading books, and playing the drums. Although never shy of voicing an opinion, this is her first written review.