Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

August 16, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Geoff Brittain) Adelaide University Theatre Guild, 15 August 2015 This ivy-league Greek tragedy, a superb three-act melodrama by Edward Albee, was filmed in 1966 by Mike Nicholls, using camera-men suspended from ropes to achieve the claustrophobic intimacy the piece requires. The action occurs in the sprawling living room of George and Martha, a New England University history professor and his wife, the daughter of the Vice Chancellor.  A Saturday evening faculty party has been in swing and Martha wants to party on, inviting newbies Nick and Honey back to their house.  As the night unfolds, Mario-Lanza-amounts of liquor take effect, tempers flare, and secrets are…

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Much Ado About Nothing

May 3, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, Ulalume |

"This looks not like a nuptial."

(W. Shakespeare) (1598) (Dir. Kenneth Branagh) (1993) (Dir. Megan Dansie) (Theatre Guild, 2 May 2015) This is not the Bard’s best comedy but it endures as pure rollicking farce, with Beatrice and Benedick as a prototype Martha and George from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  TVC quite likes the Kenneth Branagh film with him and ex wife Emma Thompson as the leads, staged in Tuscany with a roving, loving camera.  And on Saturday last, we walked our pleurisy into the night and caught the nice production at the Adelaide Theatre Guild.  Bronwyn Palmer and Adam Tuominen starred as the verbally-crossed lovers…

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Eleanor’s Story

March 2, 2015 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | THEATRE, WW2 |

Hitler promised a chicken in every pot and a VW in every garage but failed to add that soon there would be no pots or garages...(Photo c/- German Federal Archives)

This review comes from our Guest Reviewers – thank you Denise and Margaret!  Guest reviews are always welcome. “Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany”. (The Fringe, Rymill Park, Adelaide, 19 February 2015) Denise writes: A stellar performance by Ingrid Garner, adapted from her grandmother’s autobiography.  Performed on a small set all but bare of props, and with some intermittent sound effects and voice-overs to enhance the sounds of conflict, this young actress drew us deeper and deeper into the daily business of survival in a foreign country at war.  She showed us how a family unit can remain strong…

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No Man’s Land

February 13, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Plays, THEATRE, Ulalume, WRITING & LITERATURE |

(Harold Pinter) Adelaide University Theatre Guild, 2014 Clive James described this piece as akin to “a chess game being played out long after a draw should have been declared, since there are only two knights and two pawns left on the board.”  Whilst this could not describe a real game, you get his point. It’s another psychodrama but with enough keen sense of modern discourse to give us (pardon us for this) pause… Pinter’s stronger characters can never resist the chance to crush their weak or shifty (usually self-delusional) adversaries.  Here, two men with literary pretensions, watched and ‘waitered’ by…

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Der Freischutz

February 5, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, Opera, THEATRE, Ulalume, WAGNER |

(By Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber, premiering in Berlin on 18 June, 1821) It is good news that Melbourne Opera staged this neglected gem not so long ago – bad news that TVC couldn’t get there to see it, and at the Athanaeum what’s more!  It was reviewed by Peter Burch in ‘The Australian’.  Quite daring when first staged in 1821, as much for the lower class characters as the ghostly theme that enchanted a young Wagner, Weber’s music is accomplished and highly accessible (touches redolent of Beethoven, and even, in overture, AIbioni) with effects used to great advantage, especially in the…

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