Posts Tagged ‘lucas stibbard

18
Mar
17

Constellations

Constellations

Queensland Theatre

Bille Brown Studio

March 9 – April 9 2017

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

Humans are meaning makers.

Sam Strong, Artistic Director QT

 

You may have had to learn the dance routine slowly and in its component parts, but in the end, you had to let go and dance.

Howard Fine

 

The universe doesn’t care about time…

Kat Henry, Director

 

We have all the time we’ve ever, and never had.

Marianne, Constellations

 

Nick Payne’s award winning Constellations is an extraordinary play, and Kat Henry’s world class production for Queensland Theatre and Queensland Museum (and a major coup for the World Science Festival) is nothing short of astonishing, challenging actors and audiences to truly be present, live in the moment, and make the connections between seemingly random occurrences before opportunities (and loved ones) become lost to us.

Essentially, Constellations is a beautiful and complex love story, but it’s also about the choices we make and the infinite possibilities presented across ‘multiverses’.

Historically, physics has explained time chronologically, as in the “arrow of time”, charging forward in a single trajectory, however; an alternative view sees time as something immediate, infinite, without beginning or end, presenting endless opportunities. In A Time Apart, Paul Chan describes the quality, not quantity, of time as “A kind of time charged with promise and significance.” Upon further reading it becomes clear that the two types of time are entangled and while some may regard time as something to be kept, others derive greater satisfaction in its release…

The creative team behind Constellations is a scintillating meeting of minds, bringing the abstract and complexity of quantum mechanics, string theory and relativity, and the challenges of the unlikely relationship between an apiarist and an astro physicist into a reality accessible to all. (Can you lick your elbow? Try it!).

Within a deceptively simple design lies lots of clues: the dots we connect to make meaning from the play, in the same way, if we’re living mindfully, that we’re able to make meaning of our lives. Anthony Spinaze’s design draws on the visual representation of the scientific theories, the hexagonal spaces of bee hives and a smooth, shiny, deep blue undulating surface, beneath which we sense a tumultuous emotional landscape. At any given moment, the actors appear to be standing in space, or on the peak of a mountain, or within any interior indicated in the text. We are anywhere and everywhere all at once. Spinaze’s aesthetic is one of the most inspired, intelligent and effective designs we’ve seen for a long time, and so useful in terms of giving the performers a real-surreal place in which to play. 

Ben Hughes’ lighting is inherent in the design, built into the landscape and shining like streams of starlight from the wings and the rig above. The side lighting is particularly effective as we settle into the rhythm of the play and watch the relationship dance across various universes, and immensely satisfying is the final effect, covering the floor with the constellations of the title. A swirling black hole exists out of sight and yet right under our noses, continuously appearing in segments during the repeated motifs, the impressive choreography of the performers (how are they finding their marks in the dark?!) incrementally leading Roland and Marianne toward their inevitable fate. Guy Webster’s original compositions and a salient soundscape take this production into another realm, sending us at the speed of light between alternate worlds, poignant moments.

Lucas Stibbard and Jessica Tovey are perfectly cast, generously offering beautifully nuanced, incredibly rich material to one another and making every second vividly real, despite the challenges, which are more often found in film, presented by so much repetition in the text. This play could easily be a disaster of monumental proportions, and boring to boot, but Director, Kat Henry, is in possession of directorial superpowers. She employs a couple of them by crafting just enough of each vignette (we see an extraordinary 59 – or is it 60 – scenes in all), giving the actors clear boundaries, literally, within the space, delineated by lines and light, and also enough space between these boundaries and the actors’ bodies in which to allow them room to recreate each part of the story in a fresh, new way. I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like it, certainly not on a Brisbane stage. And the blocking! (Because even within these scenes, driven by impulse, there is a certain amount of direction to get them to where they need to go). 

When speaking about working on this play on Broadway, Jake Gyllenhaal observed, “There’s no moment for autopilot. It demands a constant presence,” and while this is true of every acting job, Constellations showcases the incredible skill and highly attuned instinctual natures of these two performers. To put it in a film context again, it’s as if we’re seeing every single take during a shoot, but every single take is being captured for a different film, depending on the choices made by the characters (and by the actors embodying those characters). It’s next level Sliding Doors. Bravo, Kat Henry, for diving in so deeply. We’re able to plunge the depths of human existence with Roland and Marianne, and come up for air at the end of the night in a state of serene acceptance of the tragic circumstances because, as incredibly moving and devastating as this conclusion is, we completely understand the way everything just is…and always was and always will be.

Whether or not you’re a performer, Constellations is a masterclass in staying in the present moment, applying fearless choices and responding courageously, instinctually and intentionally to whatever’s happening in a given moment.

Constellations is astonishing work; it really could change your life.

Special Event
For two evenings only, do not miss the unique opportunity to attend a performance of this critically acclaimed play, accompanied by an onstage conversation between Constellations playwright Nick Payne and World Science Festival co-founder and physicist Brian Greene.  Following the performance, Nick Payne and Brian Greene will delve into our current understanding of the multiverse, the mysteries that remain, and why this theory captivated Payne’s imagination inspiring this theatrical tour de force. This exclusive event is a collaboration between World Science Festival Brisbane and Queensland Theatre. Book online

 

31
Jan
15

Matilda Award Nominations 2014

dashandemily

Well, we had a fun night recently, coming up with these noms for the most outstanding work in the Brisbane performing arts industry in 2014!

 

Celebrating more than 25 years of theatrical excellence in southeast Queensland, the awards have become a prestigious event on Brisbane’s arts calendar. Having added to the reputation of some of Australia’s best-established practitioners and companies, and many talented emerging artists, a Matilda Award remains a coveted honour. Not only is it a significant achievement in a professional artist’s individual career, it is also unique as the only official acknowledgment specifically for the work of local theatre practitioners.

 

The beauty of having ten judges is that, between us, we’ve have seen most productions (when five judges see a Queensland-made show it becomes eligible* for a Matilda Award) and we are able to argue politely and respectfully discuss the merits of each nominee. Between us we see almost everything.

 

If you’re an artist, producer or publicist, please continue to keep us informed. A Facebook event page invite is not going to make us mark your opening night in our calendars, but an emailed invitation will! Thank you to the companies and venue staff who send EARLY invites and remain flexible regarding dates (and our hot dates!), because quite often seasons  overlap or clash completely and it’s difficult to schedule attendance around real life and work as well (and it’s useful to have somebody with us who is a) happy to share the long drive, and b) open to some frank discussion about the show).

*To be eligible, theatre workers have to have made, in the judges’ opinion, a commitment to the State, for example, by either beginning their careers or living and working mainly here, or by having a strong identification with Queensland. This means that interstate actors who come here for one production are not eligible, nor are touring productions that do not originate in Queensland.

See you at Gardens Theatre on Monday March 9 2015!

 

6.30pm for 7.00pm

Hosted by
Lucas Stibbard & Neridah Waters

Special Guest Presenter
Wayne Blair

Entertainment by
#firstworldwhitegirls
Riva Soul
and
The Boy&Girl Performers
featuring Garret Lyon

RSVP

wreckingball

 

There are five premium Matilda Awards, represented by gold trophies. A Gold Matilda is awarded for outstanding work in any area of the professional theatre industry, which also includes independent productions. These awards may be for a single work in the preceding year or for a body of work.

In addition to the five Gold Matildas, there are 12 Silver Matilda Award categories:

 

SILVER AWARD NOMINATIONS:

Best Mainstage Production
A Doll‘s House, La Boite Theatre Company
Gloria, Queensland Theatre Company
Macbeth, Queensland Theatre Company in association with The Grin & Tonic Theatre Troupe
Pale Blue Dot, La Boite Theatre Company

 

Best Independent Production
Angel Gear, La Boite Indie & Pentimento Productions
with the support of QPAC
The Button Event, Brisbane Festival & Queensland Theatre Company
Machina, La Boite Indie & MadCat Creative Connections
with the support of QPAC
Sex with Strangers, Jennifer Flowers, Thomas Larkin & Brisbane Powerhouse

 

sexwithstrangers

 

Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nicholas Gell, Hedonism’s Second Album
Thomas Larkin, Sex With Strangers
Hugh Parker, A Doll’s House
Sven Swenson, Angel Gear

 

Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
Helen Christinson, A Doll’s House
Veronica Neave, Sex with Strangers
Christen O’Leary, Gloria
Naomi Price, Wrecking Ball

 

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Chris Beckey, A Doll’s House
Damien Cassidy, A Doll’s House
Chris Kellett, Spamalot
Steven Rooke, Gloria

 

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Julie Anthony, Spamalot
Caroline Kennison, Pale Blue Dot
Cienda McNamara, A Doll’s House
Casey Woods, Angel Gear

 

spamalot

 

Best Director
David Bell, Gloria
Steven Mitchell Wright, A Doll’s House
Callum Mansfield, Cats
Tim O’Connor, Spamalot
Dave Sleswick, Or Forever Hold Your Peace

 

Best Design (Set and costumes)
Bill Haycock, Gloria
Josh McIntosh, Spamalot
Steven Mitchell Wright, Ben Hughes & Nathalie Ryner, Caligula
Simone Romaniuk, Macbeth

 

Best Technical Design (Lighting, multimedia and sound design)
optikal bloc, The Mountaintop
optikal bloc, Pale Blue Dot
Ben Knapton, Nathan Sibthorpe & Freddy Komp, He Dreamed a Train
Guy Webster, The Button Event

 

Bille Brown Award for the Best Emerging Artist
Casey Woods, Angel Gear
Ashlee Lollback, Pale Blue Dot
Elijah Wellsmore, Gloria
Eliah Watego, Black Diggers

 

The Lord Mayor’s Award for Best New Australian Work
Adam Brunes & Naomi Price, Wrecking Ball
Richard Jordan, Machina
Kathryn Marquet, Pale Blue Dot
Sven Swenson, Angel Gear

 

machina

 

Best Musical or Cabaret
Wrecking Ball, the little red company, developed with Brisbane Powerhouse
Cats, Harvest Rain Theatre Company
Spamalot, Harvest Rain Theatre Company
Good-bye Miss Monroe, Grayboy Entertainment

19
May
14

Five diverse arts projects need your support via pozible!

 

METRO ARTS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

FIVE DIVERSE PROJECTS NEED YOUR SUPPORT

 

How much does is take to kick start five arts projects?  The answer is $16,500!

 

 

A diverse range of artists participating in Metro Arts’ development programs are set to receive dollar-for-dollar matched funding from Creative Partnerships Australia through its program MATCH: Crowdfunding for the Independent Arts Sector – to qualify for this funding they need to raise $16,500 through their individual crowd funding campaigns which will take place online through pozible.

 

The five projects include three creative developments of new works, an international dance exchange and a repertory season of eight pieces of contemporary theatre.  All five projects will run in the second half of this year and will be housed at Metro Arts.  Supporters can find the campaigns online at www.pozible.com/collection/detail/86 under the Metro Arts Collection.

 

Each campaign is offering different rewards for different levels of donations and range from a postcard direct from Eastern Europe in return for a $10 donation, to dinner with one of the city’s best directors for $500.  Every little bit counts, so supporters shouldn’t be shy!

 

Daniel Evans’ (The Good Room) project sees him produce eight plays, that wouldn’t otherwise be seen in Brisbane, directed by eight local directors in a two-week repertory season titled Awkward Conversation.  Joining the directorial ranks are those names well known to Brisbane such as Lucas Stibbard, Steven Mitchell Wright and Catarina Hebbard.

 

 

In contrast, curator and producer Britt Guy is looking to support the fourth year of the Croatia-Slovenia-Australia Artist Exchange which sees one dance practitioner from Croatia and one from Slovenia join two Australian artists, Jess Devereux and Zaimon Vilmanis, in an international cultural exchange to be housed in Brisbane at Metro Arts and Darwin, as part of Darwin Festival, before heading back to Croatia and then Slovenia.

 

artistexchange

 

Hybrid performance maker and director, Genevieve Trace – after premiering Aurelian at Brisbane Festival last year – is raising funds to commence the development of her new performance work, The Lavinia Project, which tells the story of modern femininity in Australian culture in

 

Theatre maker Thomas Quirk wants to return to Brisbane to continue the development of The Theory of Everything which sees artists from both Brisbane and Thomas’ new hometown of Melbourne, collaborate to discover the theory of… well everything!  With characters such as Einstein, Queen Elizabeth I and Milley Cyrus onstage it should be interesting night in the theatre!

 

Rounding out the group is early career artist Lucy-Ann Langkilde who has graced Brisbane stages in such productions as Trollope (Queensland Theatre Company, 2013) and The Wizard of Oz (La Boite Theatre, 2013), but now wants to turn her focus to directing with her new work Las Pozas which has been selected as a Shortfuse Residency at Metro Arts.

 

This group of artists have the ideas and passion to match and really they are half way there.  Head to www.pozible.com/collection/detail/86 to donate and assist them over the line.

 

ABOUT METRO ARTS

A multi-artform incubator for independent practice, Metro Arts provides a platform of infrastructure, mentoring, development and producing support, networks and leadership for artists at all stages of practice, while concurrently promoting new and emerging ideas, forms and practices to the market.

 

The Lavinia Project – Pozible Video from Genevieve Trace on Vimeo.

15
Nov
13

> < R&J

 

>< R&J

La Boite Indie & Breadbeard Collective

with the support of QPAC

The Roundhouse

13 – 30 November 2013

 

Reviewed by Meredith McLean

 

Ten people aged 18-25 gather in a room. They play, dance, fight, kiss and talk about life, love, violence, sex and death. Taking Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, they remix the work by hanging new meat on the skeleton of the story. As the tale takes hold, the party dies down and the group sees the bloody consequences of their experiments.

 

Helpmann Award nominee Lucas Stibbard leads a cast of Brisbane’s bravest emerging artists in this deconstruction and reconstruction of the greatest love story ever told.

 

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>< R&J and its opening night has been awaited by many with baited breath. Even one of my own sources in the theatre community was contemplating travelling from the Gold Coast to see it. A lot of excitement was riding on this one. Would it fly or flop? Generally I avoid asking this question before going into a show. But I couldn’t help myself this time. I’ll tell you now, >< R&J soared.

 

This show truly needs to be seen to be believed. It gets meta, it gets comical, it gets personal, it becomes interactive, it becomes multi-media designed and explosive, it focuses on meta and the Real again. It becomes emotional and bends and turns and laughs and changes and lights up. By the end of the show you feel like you have befriended the cast. You come for the tragedy, but you stay for the interconnected stories you thought you’d never laugh or cry about.

 

This is what contemporary theatre should aspire to be.

 

When the show first opened I did have a moment of doubt. The team employs words and imagery on the screen. This is well and good and they made a solid delivery in this media form, but it is a common hallmark of a QUT production. It had me concerned this would be a rehashing of a Vena Cava production and nothing particularly unique. I also choked on the hipster vibes at first. References in the first ten minutes to High Fidelity and covering the song Love Will Us Apart by Joy Division on a ukulele is very cliché hipster chic. All they would’ve needed was The Smiths playing and a guest appearance from Michael Cera and they would have all the pieces of a hipster set.

 

But this retelling of Romeo and Juliet thankfully did not head in that direction. It’s a show that engages Y Generation more than anyone, but it maintains sincerity and inclusion for all the audience without getting bulked down in being too “quirky”.

 

The physicality of the show is superb.

 

The cast in their ever-changing roles was so fluid to transform. Each and everyone of the cast could change from a bum to an astronaut if they wished and I would not have noticed. But there are no astronauts in this show – only star-crossed lovers and those around them.

 

I lost count how many pop culture references I found. But the songs, the stunts, the lights and the burning creativity of this piece keeps you alert and hungry.

 

I have seen many performances of Romeo and Juliet. Some were entertaining, some were true to the text and some were absolutely horrible. I vowed never to say this about any version of a Shakespearian classic, and certainly not one as well known as Romeo and Juliet.

 

This is by far the most impressive performance of the text I have seen yet.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing what The Breadbeard Collective comes up with next.

 

R&JBreadbeard

 

How many La Boite Indie shows did you see in 2013?

 

SIX INDEPENDENT PRODUCTIONS AT LA BOITE IN 2013


ONE SEASON AT QPAC IN 2014

_________________________

 

La Boite Indie is one of Australia’s leading platforms for independent theatre.

 

This year you’re invited to help La Boite choose one of the six independent groups to move to QPAC in 2014.

VOTE HERE

03
Jul
13

The Lost Property Rules

The Lost Property Rules

Queensland Theatre Company

Bille Brown Studio

02– 05 July 2013

 

Reviewed by Poppy Eponine & Xanthe Coward 

 

The Lost Property Rules is sure to have a long life after its premiere season at the Bille Brown Studio during the school holidays this week. From here the show goes to Perth, and it would certainly be an easy sell to schools and NARPACA venues all over the country, so I expect to see it again somewhere down the track.

 

601685_577173622334278_63845_nIt’s a cute combination of stories, told via that very simple, and lovely old-fashioned theatrical device, actual storytelling.

 

The audience is asked to use their imaginations.

 

  

In The Lost Property Box there are rules that must be followed…

 

 

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Alice and Isobel are lost. They are about to meet some new friends. Whether they want to or not, that’s another story.

From acclaimed Brisbane playwright Matthew Ryan (Kelly, Sacre Bleu! and boy girl wall) comes a tale of mystery, joy, fear and what it means to be brave. Under the imaginative direction of Lucas Stibbard (boy girl wall), three performers will weave a quirky story of two young girls about to embark on one of the scariest moments in a young person’s life:

 

moving house and moving schools.

 

I took two of Poppy’s friends with us to see this show on Tuesday afternoon – one of them had never been to a live theatre production before – and they loved The Lost Property Rules. It was exciting to get the invite, it was exciting to get up in the morning and get dressed for the theatre, it was exciting to drive ALL THE WAY TO BRISBANE, and it was super exciting to walk into the lovely, friendly space at QTC’s headquarters to see a show. Before the doors opened, the girls took the opportunity to write descriptions and stories on postcards about “lost things”, which were laid out on a table in the foyer. When it was time to go in, they proudly presented their tickets at the door and were invited to sit right up front with the other kids, already chatting with the performers on stage (Louise Brehmer, Stephanie Tandy and Thomas Larkin). I could mention that there were clearly some mums who would not have minded joining their kids on the floor at Thom Larkin’s feet but I won’t.

 

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This show is a winner because it combines all the elements in such a way as to make kids forget where they are. AND IT’S FUN! Poppy told me that she felt like she could jump into the pictures on the postcards. I love that this device worked, you know, like in Mary Poppins, when they jump into the chalk drawings on the pavement. No tricks, no gadgets, no high-tech stuff needed! Just as Dead Puppet Society did for Argus, the company relied on our imaginations, and recycled and reused props, and bits and pieces from out of storage to tell their story.

 

Under Lucas Stibbard’s direction, The Lost Property Rules has a distinct boy girl wall feel to it (Larkin’s phrasing and timing at times guarantees it!), and with Writer, Matthew Ryan, in the rehearsal room for the past three weeks, the show has developed to a point where it’s obvious everybody has had a great time playing. The sense of play, and the energy of these talented performers, fuels the kids, who laugh and cry out and gasp in all the right places. It’s as if we’re a part of some lovely global conspiracy – a brand new, genetically modified form of pantomime…and we’re lucky enough to get it first. Unlike Monsanto, Queensland Theatre Company is not out to reap profits without considering our health and wellbeing. This show is beautifully imagined, it’s well executed, and it’s been so well received already that I’m going to let Poppy take over, and tell you what it was like to be a seven-year old in the wonderful imaginary worlds of the lost property box.

 

My friends and I loved the show so much we actually did exactly what we promised we would do in the promising swearing. (Promising swearing is not bad language swearing).

 

This is what we promised:

 

I solemnly swear,
 To laugh when it’s funny and cry when it’s sad,
 To be scared when it’s scary and boo when it’s bad,
 I swear with all my heart through and through,
 That the story told here is completely untrue.

 

Eva and Tayla were very excited to sit on cushions at the front, which they’d set up for the kids. I knew Thom because he’s famous and we’ve seen him in shows before. We saw him in Treasure Island and after the show, Tayah and I went up on stage to have a photo with him. It’s probably on Facebook. Mum sat with Todd who is another famous actor, but not in this show, in the adults’ show, in Venus In Fur. She is making Daddy go see it, it is THAT GOOD!

 

Xanthe: Um. You don’t really have to say that. Is it relevant?

 

Poppy: Yes it is relevant. And you can link to it, Mum.

 

Xanthe: OKAY!

 

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Eva had NEVER been to the theatre before to see a real show! So it was a new experience for her. It was fun to go the theatre together. We felt like we were triplets and we didn’t want to leave each other but the girls wanted to see their mum and dad again of course. We went for cake and hot chocolate first. At The Three Monkeys, where we go after a show. We played I Spy and What Am I Thinking Of? all the way home.

 

The show got a bit spooky when the dog came out and it felt like he was going to pull a kid out onto the stage! (Just to let you know, it wasn’t a real dog, it was Thom acting as a dog, but it was so real you could imagine it was a dog!).

 

They were all amazing. The actors were so good that I felt like I was IN THE PICTURE. I actually got scared, and I was crying a little and laughing a little, exactly like I said I would! Louise is really good at accents, and she had a funny one for the cat. I think it was a Russian cat, but it wasn’t really, it was just a cat from the Sushi Train counter being a Russian cat with Louise’s voice for his voice.

 

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The stories were good and my friends liked the vet scene the best (it was the scary one, BUT the flying feathers from the parrot’s haircut were REALLY FUNNY! Luckily, we know the parrot wasn’t hurt because they told us afterwards it was just a haircut), but I had no favourite scene. I liked the sound effects and the props that they used. Eva asked about the props after the show and they are all found things, recycled and reused. I was a bit too shy to ask a question but my question is how did they get the show ready in just THREE WEEKS?

 

 

I would have nudged my friends to say it was so perfect that I would like to be in a show like that but I didn’t want to disturb the actors or my friends. I loved it! It was fabulous!

 

01
Jul
13

The Lost Property Rules – we have 3 family passes up for grabs!

 

LOOK! IT’S A GIVEAWAY! BE QUICK!

 

Thanks to QTC we are giving away 3 x family passes to the awesome school holiday show The Lost Property Rules

 

You can use your family pass to see the show TOMORROW (Tuesday) at 10am or 2pm OR WEDNESDAY at 10am or 2pm.

 

Leave a comment in the comments section below telling us why you and your kids MUST see The Lost Property Rules before the school holidays finish! We’ll choose the most entertaining answers and let you know on our Facebook page and via email if you’ve scored a family pass to see the show! Don’t forget to let us know which performance you’d like to attend!

 

If you miss out on these tix (4 tix per family pass) you’ll have to make other arrangements, but be quick because this show must close this week, on Friday July 5th!

The Lost Property Rules – 2 to 5 July

 

Concept devised by Louise Brehmer and Matthew Ryan.

 

A playful physical performance using puppetry and object theatre.

 

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I solemnly swear,


To laugh when it’s funny and cry when it’s sad,

To be scared when it’s scary and boo when it’s bad,

I swear with all my heart through and through,

That the story told here is completely untrue.

 

 

In The Lost Property Box there are rules that must be followed. Alice and Isobel are lost. They are about to meet some new friends. Whether they want to or not, that’s another story.

 

From acclaimed Brisbane playwright Matthew Ryan (Kelly, Sacre Bleu! andboy girl wall) comes a tale of mystery, joy, fear and what it means to be brave. Under the imaginative direction of Lucas Stibbard (boy girl wall), three performers will weave a quirky story of two young girls about to embark on one of the scariest moments in a young person’s life: moving house and moving schools.

 

Queensland Theatre Company’s Bille Brown Studio – 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane

 

For 8 – 12 year olds.

 

Bookings online if you miss these tix.

 

Adult: $20
Child (18 months – 12 years): $20
Family Ticket (Admit 4): $50
Family Ticket valid for 2 adults, 2 children or 1 adult, 3 children

 

Additional free activities for 1 hour duration at conclusion of the performance

 

Duration: 55 mins

 

Tuesday 2 July 10:30am & 2pm

Wednesday 3 July 10:30am

Thursday 4 July 10:30am & 2pm

Friday 5 July 10:30am

 

10
Jun
13

Delicacy

Delicacy 

Brisbane Arts Theatre 

24th May – 15th June 2013

 

Reviewed by Meredith McLean

 

Delicacy, by Melbourne playwright Julian Hobba, is a two-handed drama based on the joyless true story of two German men – Armin Meiwes (“Der Metzgermeister”) and Bernd Brandes – who met in an internet chatroom devoted to cannibalism. Meiwes advertised to meet a “well-built man who wants to be eaten”. Brandes posted a reply that said: “I offer myself to you and will let you dine from my live body.”

“It leads us to the place where thinking stops.” Investigating Officer, Wilfried Fehl

Delicacy was first seen in 2006, at Melbourne’s Trade Hall, directed by Wesley Enoch and featuring Luke Mullins & Paul Denny.

 

This is by far the strangest play I have seen yet. What makes it even more chilling, is the knowledge that this story is based on real life events. The depravity of this production’s characters is horrific, and terrific to watch.

 

Unexpectedly, more often than not, some moments came off as comical. I still can’t decipher if this was the director’s, or the cast’s intention. If so, then they were successful. If not, I can only say it is within human nature to cope with things of such morbidity by resolving that it is humourous. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to process some of the content if I didn’t think it was in jest and intentionally bizarre in order to make me laugh.

 

Another reason for finding some moments to be comical might also fall upon the cast themselves. All the elements were there. I just couldn’t believe it. Perhaps that’s not them, that’s me and my reading of it; as audience members we’re protecting ourselves from fear. Then again, Greg Scurr, as the meek Denny, just wasn’t selling it. The character himself seemed contrite, like a bad homage to Norman Bates. Difficult to do convincingly, the old thespian art of fake blood spill has been mastered. I couldn’t see the source of the fake blood at all, which gave me the shivers.

 

Despite the comical moments, there were still many times when I was unsure of my emotion. Fearful isn’t exactly the right word. The phrase, “Oh My God, is that his…?” was murmured a lot. As was, “What the hell?” whispered most likely too loudly. There aren’t many shows that can achieve that sort of reaction without any full frontal nudity involved. Merely by their darkness, these characters transported us to a world of inevitable death and outlandish horror.

 

Also noteworthy, was the fact that everything (except the blood and drugs), was real. Something you rarely see on a community theatre stage; Rachel Cherry’s design included a real functioning kitchen with a real fridge, with real food served and consumed on stage. I suppose I should assume for my own comfort that the masturbation scenes were acted. Those perhaps went on a bit too often and unnecessarily. The crudeness of it made it intriguing to begin with, and then it became comical. But finally I found it to be nauseating and over done.

 

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Delicacy is a bizarre and unexpected discourse of a play if ever I saw one. Bring a friend along if you do care to see the show. Be wary and open minded, and leave the children at home.

 

WARNING: Delicacy contains adult themes, graphic violence and coarse language. Not recommended for those under 18 years.