Posts Tagged ‘hamlet psyched


Hamlet. Psyched


Hamlet. Psyched 

USC Drama

Chancellor College Performance Centre

Friday March 28 2014


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward



How can we look after our own mental health?





Drama Discipline Leader of USC, Jo Loth, wanted to make Hamlet relevant to her students and what better way than to incorporate MYTERN SMS?


MYTERN is an acronym for Take Emotional Responsibility Now. As part of her PhD studies, Jane Foster offered MYTERN SMS to the USC student community.


Foster has been running the service from her own mobile phone, offering daily text messages to students for inspiration, motivation, comfort and support.


Participants gave permission for their messages and feedback to be used for publishing purposes, and in this case, within Loth’s newly adapted production of Shakespeare’s classic tale of teen angst and a family in dissolve.


With two Hamlets on stage, a male and a female, the interpretations are interesting and not always as contrasting as one would think, though this may be due to shared rehearsal time and collaborative work on the character. A monologue is treated as dialogue, and there are times when I wonder about the effect of the role played solely by a female.


There is less need for the actors to raise their voices than they appear to think there is, with much of their shouting becoming ineffectual through over-application; we miss words and we cringe with Ophelia. These are young performers with minimal training and it shows, despite their best efforts to perform with gusto and fully commit to their roles. I’ll look forward to seeing them again in future, with a little more training and stage experience under their belts.


The Creative Industries Drama Major course is designed to produce entrepreneurs who can find or create work in a number of fields. Performance Skills Laboratory 1 (Acting 101) has brought them to a point where they are (mostly) confident in the space, however, I suspect lack of time has been a hindrance on students’ understanding of the text, and also with regard to connecting voice and body and character. We get a more fully realised performance from a mature age student, Lyn Stevenson; the same woman who stood out from the rest in USC Drama’s debut production, R&J (2013).


The production cleverly incorporates Foster’s research by giving students’ responses to her text messages to white clad ensemble figures in between the familiar scenes. The focus shifts from Hamlet to Ophelia, and her death, which brings a sudden change in pace and an unexpected conclusion. The ensemble, like a Greek Chorus or a shiver of sharks, circle Ophelia on her pedestal/coffin and take their places downstage to remind us that mental health is, indeed, a serious issue.


The template is potentially a wonderful resource for schools and community groups. It deserves further dramaturgical development and I’d love to see it receive the funds that would make publishing possible. This way, the (anonymous) personal stories can be easily incorporated, making the original story and local content relevant to entirely new audiences.


Loth has big ideas and at times very little to work with, but her gift is in going beyond our expectations and boldly challenging our notions of what theatre is and what role it plays within contemporary society. The potential of performance, to change how we see the world and each other, is evident in each original production Loth undertakes.



Sunshine Coast Arts Friday 21 2014


SCD Arts Friday February 21 2014


Xanthe Coward


The Making of The Great Lover


When Maleny playwright Jo Denver wrote The Making of the Great Lover, about Edith Maud Hull, her husband Percy, and her daughter Cecil Winstanley Hull, she had no idea that Edith’s relatives lived in Australia. Naomi MacKinnon, from Cairns, is married to one of many Hull descendants in that area. Jo said that when she was writing about someone who lived in a little village in England she had no idea that any of the Hull family had been residing in far north Queensland around the Ingham area since 1871. The Making of The Great Lover enjoys its final performances tonight at 8pm and tomorrow at 2pm and 8pm. This new historical comedy is over-the-top Fifty Shades of Grey fun. Bookings online or call 5441 1814


Hamlet. Psyched


USC Theatre presents Hamlet. Psyched. Directed by Jo Loth, it’s a new and original look into the troubled head and heart of Shakespeare’s most famous teen, Hamlet. Chancellor College performing Arts Centre on February Wednesday 26, 27 & 28. Bookings




NT Live – Coriolanus & War Horse


Noosa Arts Theatre screens the Donmar Warehouse’s acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus on Sunday at 6:30pm and Monday at 10am. Directed by Donmar’s Josie Rourke and featuring Tom Hiddleston (The Hollow Crown) and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), this is the classic story of one man v the world. In March, don’t miss the National Theatre’s smash hit, War Horse, screening on Friday March 7 at 1pm & 7:30pm, Sunday March 9 at 6:30pm and Monday March 10 at 10am. Bookings online or call 5449 9343


Hat Fitz & Cara live at Noosa Arts Theatre


Noosa Arts theatre hosts Hat Fitz & Cara, award-winning hill style country blues duo, for one night only, on Friday February 28 at 7:30pm. Bookings online or call 5449 9343




Minefields & Miniskirts


Directed by Jenni McCaul, Minefields & Miniskirts is a collection of the stories and memories from women affected by the Vietnam War, interviewed by Siobhan McHugh and adapted for the stage by Terence O’Connell. Featuring Jo Hendrie on vocals and guitar, the play uses music of the era to tug at your heartstrings, and good ol’ Aussie humour to make you laugh. Catch Sharon Grimley, Tania Nash, Jannine Ritchie, Kitten Styler and Julia Verburgt on stage from March 13. Bookings or call 5449 9343




Accidental Death of an Anarchist


PAK presents Dario Fo’s satirical black comedy Accidental Death of an Anarchist-based on the real life event of an anarchist’s death in 1970’s Italy while in police custody. This production is a zany riotous and at times deeply profound expose of the social and political machinations of 70’s Italy and blends live action and multi media in an evocative and highly original way. March 7, 8, 9 & 14, 15,16 at USC Student Guild. Bookings


Motherhood Out Loud


Directed by Jacqui Mata Luque, this myth-smashing comedy about parenthood, features Susie Pritchard, Wendy Silvester, Cathy Quinn and many more. If you’re a mother, you’ll love it and if you’re not, you’ll go home and thank your mum. From March 14. Bookings or call 54452515


Four Weddings and An Elvis


Coolum Theatre Players present a musical comedy about four of Sandy’s most memorable weddings – she’s the four-times-married-three-times-divorced owner of a Las Vegas wedding chapel. Featuring Jennifer Rousset, Marilyn Davies and more from March 21. Bookings or call 5446 20 50






Noosa Arts Theatre – Jerry’s Girls


Noosa Arts Theatre’s information night for Jerry’s Girls, an all female musical review celebrating the music and lyrics of Jerry Herman, directed by Stephen Moore, will be held on Wednesday March 26 at 7:30pm at Noosa Arts Theatre and the auditions in April. September season. Details


The Lind, Nambour – Sweet Fanny Adams


Director, Errol Morrison, will hold auditions for Sweet Fanny Adams March 27 and 31 at 7pm. A rollicking Aussie musical about the rivalry between brothel owners Kitty Divine and Fanny Adams, there are some fun roles up for grabs. Details




Sunshine Coast Arts February 14 2014



SCD Arts Friday February 14 2014


Xanthe Coward


Season Launch Soiree




Last Saturday night, the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance, with special guest from London, Australian actor and writer, James Millar, celebrated in style at Noosa Arts Theatre. Sam Coward, in his fourth year as President of the Alliance, hosted the sold out event, at which member theatre companies offered a sneak peak of their 2014 seasons.


Congratulations must go to Denise Campbell and Nancy Moule, who were both inducted in the Hall of Fame. Both ladies have each given over 40 years of service to the local theatre community. The President’s Award honoured the dedication and diligence of Stephen Moore, and new members BYTE & XS Entertainment were welcomed to the Alliance. Thank you to Bendigo Community Bank, major sponsor of the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival at The Lind in August. Watch this space for details.


From the Sunshine Coast Daily


THERE will be close to 50 live productions across the Sunshine Coast from farcial comedy to musicals thanks to the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance.


At the Season Launch Soiree this week, the current seven members of the Alliance presented a preview of their theatrical offerings for 2014.


The gala evening, held at the Noosa Arts Theatre, saw the who’s who of the local theatre fraternity, rub shoulders and kick up their heels.


There were also a few VIP guests including the award-winning actor, singer director and writer James Millar, a graduate of WAAPA, and star of many national and international cabarets and musicals.


Also seen out and about, were representatives from Bendigo Bank.


Several of Bendigo Bank sponsors several member groups individually including Tewantin and Marcoola Community Banks.


 They are also sponsors of the National One-Act Playwriting Competition and now, are the major sponsor for the annual Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival.


Bendigo was represented by new Regional Manager Rob Chittick and Marcoola Community Bank branch manager, Judy Blackall.


The Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance opened it’s doors this year to new members and in doing so, have attracted several new member groups including the Performing Arts Kollective (PAK) from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Suncoast Repertory Theatre, and award-winning choir Oriana Arts.


They join long time members BATS Theatre Co, Coolum Theatre Players, The Lind Theatre, Noosa Arts Theatre, along with new members Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence (BYTE) and XS Entertainment.


There were two new inductees into the Hall of Fame, with Denise Campbell (The Lind) and Costume wonderwoman Nancy Moule, both inducted. Both ladies have volunteered for over 40 years to various theatre groups, in various capacities, and they were thrilled to have their contributions acknowledged.


The outlook for the Alliance is hugely positive and last night saw a fabulous display of talent, the night culminating in a stunning performance from PAK to round off a fabulous night.


For anyone wanting to join a local theatre group, or find out more about theatre on the coast, visit the website,


The Making of The Great Lover


LindLane_2 (1)


Edith (Kirsty White) is a writer who tells it as it is, and if it is the taboo subject of women’s sexuality, then so be it. Her husband, Percy (David Frank), returns from WWI to find the woman he left behind has changed. How will he react to a woman who has turned ideas of women’s sexuality upside down and now seems to be leading a crusade against the rightful domain of men? Discover this deliciously decadent tale of exotic desire tonight with your Valentine, when The Making of The Great Lover, written by Jo Denver and directed by Denver & Michelle Connelly, opens at The Lind in Nambour with a special Gala Opening Night event. Season continues February 15 – 22. Bookings online or call 5441 1814


NT Live – Coriolanus


See Donmar Warehouse’s acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus at Noosa Arts Theatre, thanks to NT Live and Free Air Entertainment. Starring Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, War Horse) and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), journey alongside hero and defender, Coriolanus, as he confronts realpolitik and the voice of an angry people in ancient Rome. Two screenings only, on Sunday February 23 at 6:30pm and Monday February 24 at 10am. Bookings online or call 5449 9343


Hamlet. Psyched.


Explore Hamlet’s mental state – he’s distraught by his father’s recent death, furious at his mother for her sudden marriage to his uncle and confused about his relationship with his girlfriend! Hamlet has some serious issues! Combining classical text with contemporary material, HAMLET.PSYCHED. is a theatrical exploration of the human psyche. Directed by USC’s Drama Discipline Leader, Jo Loth, this is a new psychological thriller based on William Shakespeare’s classic text. Chancellor College Performing Arts Centre in Sippy Downs February 26, 27 & 28 at 5pm and February 27 at 8pm. Bookings online (click on “conferences and events”)


Hat Fitz and Cara




Hat Fitz & Cara welcome you to a night of live music seeped in authentic realism.  This dynamic duo is a unique combination that have skillfully combined their music of hill style country blues with old time folk.  Their material is original yet crosses the boundaries as if written from a time once forgotten.  The night will include music from their acclaimed album Wiley Ways and performances of their new writings for the first time ever.
Wiley Ways won Best Blues Album of the Year 2013 Chain Awards Australia & Spiral Earth 2013 UK. One night only at Noosa Arts Theatre on Friday February 28 at 7:30pm. Bookings online or call 5449 9343


Accidental Death of An Anarchist


Comical, kinky and corrupt, the Performing Arts Kollective (PAK) Presents Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Directed by Peta Beattie. March 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at SCU Uni Club (University of the Sunshine Coast). Bookings online


Minefields and Miniskirts




Adapted by Terence O’Connell from Siobhan McHugh’s book, Minefields & Miniskirts is a collection of stories and memories from the women who were affected by the Vietnam War. Nearly a thousand Australian women played a part in the war and the lives of all these women were changed forever by Vietnam. For many of them it was the most vital and alive they had ever felt. The play features many iconic songs of the period written by female singer/songwriters including Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Carole King, Buffy St. Marie and Melanie Safka.


A volunteer, a journalist, a nurse, the wife of a Vietnam vet and an entertainer cross paths at an Anzac Day march during the 1980′s. The women are transported back to the 1960′s and early 1970′s to their youthful experiences in Vietnam into a memory world where rice paddies, paper lanterns and ancient temples team with G.I’s, orphaned children and constant bombardment.


Minefields and Miniskirts is full of surprises. The pain of war is in this play, but you should also come prepared to laugh. No bomb ever killed the Australian sense of humour. These are the voices of those who were actually there: ordinary women revealing how they survived a war and discovered what they believed in. Opens March 13. Bookings online or call 5449 9343




Auditions for The Lind’s Sweet Fanny Adams, directed by Errol R J Morrison will be held March 27 & 31 at 7pm. A rollicking Aussie musical, Sweet Fanny Adams, will be staged from 11 for 10 performances only. It’s a great opportunity for singers, and actors who like to sing! Set in 1930’s Sydney and telling the story of the rivalry between brothel owners Kitty Divine and Fanny Adams, it is set in the era of the infamous razor gangs, BUT, there’s nothing dark about this show. It’s a rollicking story of the brothel business, sly grog parlours, corruption, deception and even, love. For more details email or call 0412396373



Sunshine Coast Arts February 1 2014


SCD Arts Saturday February 1 2014


Xanthe Coward




Book theatre tickets early – if you snooze you lose!


Last year people missed out on tickets to local productions because they left booking too late. Queenslanders are notorious for leaving their bookings until the last minute so it should be no surprise to people when they miss out on seeing some top live theatre in their local area. To look at the bigger picture, producers and presenters need to see some good numbers early or they might be forced into considering cancelling a production. By booking tickets as soon as a season is announced you can secure the best available seats and get your calendar sorted to ensure there are no clashes and no friends offended when you’ve missed their show. With the option to book online now there’s really no excuse.


Sunshine Coast Season Launch Soiree


It’s not too late to get tickets for next week’s Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance Season Launch Soiree. Join member groups over drinks and canapés, as they present a sneak peak at what’s happening on stages across the Coast in 2014. A cash bar will be available. Limited capacity. February 8 at Noosa Arts Theatre from 6pm. Bookings or call 5449 9343


Hamlet. Psyched.


USC Theatre presents Hamlet. Psyched, directed by Discipline Leader of Drama at USC, Jo Loth, and featuring the second year Drama students, for three nights only in February. This original psychological thriller, based on Shakespeare’s classic tale of adolescent angst and betrayal, combines classical text and contemporary material to explore Hamlet’s mental state. Wednesday February 26 at 5pm, Thursday February 27 at 5pm & 8pm and Friday 28 February at 5pm at Chancellor College Theatre (P Block). Bookings online




The Making of The Great Lover


Love is very often a comedy and local playwright, Jo Denver, has penned this original comedy, The Making of The Great Lover, about a gorgeous young Italian who rises to fame in the sensual titular role in the famous film written by the wife of an aristocratic English pig breeder. Directed by Jo Denver and Michelle Connelly, this is a deliciously decadent tale of exotic desire, opening at The Lind in time for Valentine’s Day. Bookings online or call 5441 1814




Minefields and Miniskirts

Adapted by Terence O’Connell from Siobhan McHugh’s book, Minefields & Miniskirts is a collection of stories and memories from the women who were affected by the Vietnam War. Nearly a thousand Australian women played a part in the war and the lives of all these women were changed forever by Vietnam. For many of them it was the most vital and alive they had ever felt. The play features many iconic songs of the period written by female singer/songwriters including Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Carole King and Buffy St. Marie. Minefields and Miniskirts delves deeply into the pain of war but don’t be afraid to laugh at its comical moments. No bomb ever killed the Australian sense of humour. These are the voices of those who were actually there: ordinary women revealing how they survived a war and discovered what they believed in. Fascinating, stirring stuff. Directed by Jenni McCaul and featuring Sharon Grimley, Tania Nash, Jannine Ritchie, Kitten Styler and Julia Verburgt. Strictly limited season March 14 – 22. Bookings online or call 5449 9343




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow on Bloglovin

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Comments

Bernadette O'Brien on Memorial
Flaunt 2.0  Redevelo… on Flaunt
Trevor Ross on the wizard of oz – harve…