Three Sisters

I got to thinking during the drive home last night that there’s an awful lot of drama about three women, often sisters … not sure why three rather than two or four. Now these couplings are inevitably memorable. A few that spring to mind include the (in)famous sisters Lear (Regan, Goneril and the goody-goody Cordelia), and Chekhov’s Masha, Olga, and Irina. Australian drama has produced Hannie Rayson’s Falling From Grace, Stephen Sewell‘s The Garden of Granddaughters, and Hotel Sorrento by Hannie Rayson. The American theatre has given usThe Sisters Rosensweig from Wendy Wasserstein (one of my favourite writers), Three Tall Women by Edward Albee and another from the modern American theatre, Neil Simon’s wonderful triple treat from The Prisoner of Second Avenue: Pearl, Jessie, and Pauline.

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Another Night in the Theatre … but O, what a night!

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Those of us who spend our lives working in theatre are used to the disappointments that come all too often it can seem. One production somewhere is OK, or doesn’t work … quite, despite the best efforts of all concerned; we forgive and perhaps forget. Another somewhere else can be plain awful … and at times like that you sit in the darkened theatre thinking murderous thoughts about ticket prices and wasted time, and whether leaving at interval is the right move. Every so often though a pearl of a production comes along … a joy of an experience that makes the ho-hum, the ordinary, the disappointments fade away. Hell, they can’t all be fabulous after all, you say … and yes, this is why one works in and for the theatre. Continue reading Another Night in the Theatre … but O, what a night!

Being There: On Tour

That Tour

An enormously important and formative experience in my life as a young actor was that of being on tour for many weeks, and schools’ tours at that. It was 1971, and I was fresh from drama school in the UK, and back home in Queensland. The new state theatre company (Queensland Theatre Company or QTC as it was and still is known fondly) had been formed while I was away. I immediately auditioned, and was hired to work in the TIE (Theatre in Education) program which in those days had a touring schedule to knock your socks off … and which dispelled any preciousness you might have been harbouring since drama school about being an artiste. Continue reading Being There: On Tour

Hanging Out on the South Bank

Silver Balls

There’s a widespread view that not much happens during the summer … culturally speaking … in Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city. Wrong! I’ve just returned from a couple of days spent primarily on the south bank precinct of the Brisbane River. This is home to QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre), the Queensland Museum, the State Library, and the fabulous GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) where currently we’re all catching up with Andy Warhol in a super exhibition. And just up the road is Queensland Theatre Company‘s home at 78 Montague Road. By the gently flowing brown waters, the south bank is rocking. Continue reading Hanging Out on the South Bank

Farce and Furious Females and a Few Guys

Not me!

Spent a lovely evening this week at the opening night of Queensland Theatre Company’s first up for Season 2008. It’s Joanna Murray-Smith’s Female of the Species, a new wave look at old feminism, and my, how we laughed. The sacred cows flew gently and not so gently upwards under the direction of Kate Cherry, soon to be westward-ho as the new Artistic Director of Black Swan Theatre Company in Perth. We will miss you Kate. Continue reading Farce and Furious Females and a Few Guys