Chris Beckey (Interview 44)

Image: Morgan Roberts

I met with Chris Beckey in July for coffee and a chat at The Three Monkeys in West End. Chris was then appearing in CALIGULA for The Danger Ensemble. As I edit this long-overdue post, he is preparing for the Brisbane Festival’s production of Ibsen’s A DOLL’S HOUSE in an adaptation by Lally Katz. Once again, he is working under the direction of long-time creative collaborator Steven Mitchell Wright.

That afternoon I asked Chris, as I do all artists I interview, what had brought them to where they are now. We end up talking about process as the afternoon ticked away. Continue reading “Chris Beckey (Interview 44)”

Review: The Glass Menagerie – La Boite Theatre Company at The Roundhouse

Image: Kathryn Marquet and Julian Curtis | Photography: Dylan Evans

We believe in theatre not just plays. (La Boite: About Us – programme THE GLASS MENAGERIE)

So it comes as no surprise that David Berthold‘s production of Tennessee Williams‘ classic play THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1944) is nothing if not theatrical. Perhaps only radio drama can do it better than the stage – you know, the old line about the pictures in radio being better – but this production takes Williams’ poetic play about memory, loss, and especially illusion and recontextualises it beautifully to give us a boldly fresh take on an old classic. Continue reading “Review: The Glass Menagerie – La Boite Theatre Company at The Roundhouse”

Jason Klarwein (Interview 15)

The last time I sat down with Jason Klarwein to talk about theatre was 10 years ago, shortly after I had been appointed to the Board at Queensland Theatre Company. At that time Jason was in the first intake of the Company’s Emerging Artists program. I followed all of the artists over the course of the year and touched base with them from time to time about the experience. I had hours of  audio interviews which I subsequently had transcribed and filed away for an article which has yet to be written. (Note to self: do something about this).

There’s an old saying that goes if you’re still in theatre 10 years after you begin that you’re there for life. If it is true, then Jason – actor and now Artistic Director of Queensland’s iconic Grin and Tonic Theatre Troupe – has passed the point of no return. He laughs when I point this out. With his first professional job for Disabled Arts The Glass Cage in 1996, he agrees that he is definitely well beyond the 10 year turning point. He joins what is becoming something of a league of newly-appointed artistic directors around Australia, many of whom cite ‘actor’ or ‘designer’ or ‘producer’ before ‘director’ as their theatre ‘speciality.’

I wanted to talk with Jason about what he’s been doing in the years since we last spoke in depth and, of course, about Grin and Tonic and his vision for its future. He’s already got a 5 Year Plan under way, and I managed to winkle out some of the ideas informing the first year at least. We spent a good 45 minutes or so having a mutually enjoyable rant about theatre things. There’s a lot to talk about. As to what he’s been doing in the interim, Jason lists five career highlights. Continue reading “Jason Klarwein (Interview 15)”