Suddenly Last Summer

Sydney Theatre Company, Opera House, March 2015 A  thin story, not as shocking now as it was when Tennessee Williams wrote it, or even when it was filmed in 1959. Presented here as a sort of live cinema – for much of the play the actors are videoed as they perform in a pot-plant garden behind the screen on which the video is shown. Doors and windows open and shut.  Robyn Nevin doesn’t really have much to do.  Eryn Jean Norvill as Catherine and Mark Leonard Winter as Dr Cukrowicz  are impressive. Sebastian’s part  is  effective and powerful.   An odd choice of play for such an…

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The Lonely Critic Laments

March 13, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | PETER'S WRITING, Plays, Ulalume |

'The Critic' by Allen Robert Branston (1817) (Wikimedia Commons Images)

I sense the ending, lack the script, A familiar story’s meaning stripp’d, Of what and when and who and how Whatever, I want the ending now.   I go to shows and realize The makers of them do despise Their customers; ’tis crystal clear Mammon not art, is worshipp’d here.   But have I miss’d a salient point? Got it wrong, destroy’d the joint? Confounded meaning with the clear Unconscious cause of being here?   Art is always doomed to flunk. From highest brow to utter junk, Through countless, low, fun-free travails To rare, derided, epic fails   And as…

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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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Twelfth Night

December 21, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Plays, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Twelfth Night or What You Will (William Shakespeare) (1601-2) Adelaide 18 December 2014 TVC saw a theatrical reading of the Bard’s best comedy on a blustery summer evening in Victoria Square, the Square expensively revamped with little evidence of revamp.  Yet kudos to the Council for the initiative of returning some varnished culture to the city’s jaded heart.  Twelfth Night, produced by Holly Myers (also an excellent Viola), was played as Harold Bloom prescribed – “at the frenetic tempo that befits this company of zanies and antics.”  Unlike much of the cast’s aspect in Trevor Nunn’s (1996) sombre film, here…

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The Book Show

 Summer 2014, Ultimo TVC loves this show, although the initial set was a shameless rip off of “Hidden”.  A great argument for the national broadcaster, although surely the Fry-B-C could muck along for a few millions less?  We attended a taping some time back (incognito) and thus got stalker-close to Ms Byrne, Ms Hardy and Mr Steger plus guest. Jennifer Byrne is the perfect host – charming, open-minded, enthusiastic (but no pushover – she does generally not abide shite).  Marieke Hardy is P’s favourite, hardiest critic – she and P may share few opinions overall, but when she hates something,…

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