Posts Tagged ‘neridah waters


Elizabeth I


Elizabeth I

Brisbane Powerhouse & Monsters Appear

Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Theatre

December 1 – 3 2017


Reviewed by Rhumer Diball



At a glance, Elizabeth I is a one-woman show about Elizabeth, a seemingly ordinary royal enthusiast from Sydney. When delving a little deeper, it becomes apparent that this production is also a one-woman show about the Virgin Queen’s ghost entering the world of 21st century Australia. When tentative and vulnerable present-day Elizabeth, and fearless, resilient Queen Elizabeth I join forces during an inciting threat of doom, the far-removed females combine the paradoxes of history to present a surprising development of wits and self worth.


Despite all of her endearing qualities and quirky antics, royal enthusiast Elizabeth is introduced to the audience as a faltering woman who relies on small pleasures and simple prospects to fill up her modest life. She loves her pug, is working her “dream job” managing complains at a Sydney pharmaceuticals company, and gains most of her thrills from office parties and unrequited desires for mysterious work colleagues. However, when a number of tragic developments multiply before her, Elizabeth is propelled down a terrifying path that leads to life threatening danger in a single afternoon. Lost and helpless she calls up her love of historical monarchs to source the power needed to face her looming peril. With this comes the hilarious yet harrowing entrance of the infamously powerful Queen Elizabeth I, and with her a split from a single character’s journey to a more complex battle between two women’s considerably conflicting attitudes towards danger and intimidation.


The Virgin Queen enters Elizabeth’s body as a kind of guide to offer commanding counsel and an essence to drive effectual action. With a simplistic, relatively supernatural usurping of Elizabeth’s internal control, the frail and susceptible woman is engulfed and her inner warrior is released. Within moments following her introduction Elizabeth I reveals her dated historical perceptions of gender roles and attitudes towards physicality and its dictation of power. However, her value of inner strength and devotion in times of confrontation is a welcomed reinforcement of modern day empowerment for any woman, let alone one as uncertain and self-doubting as Elizabeth. The contrast between the women through time and stance is an exquisite dynamic that pushes the piece beyond a playful fusing of timelines and closer to a more profound reflection of past, present and future musings.


Sole performer Emily Burton’s performance is rich in personality yet sweet and endearing as modern day Elizabeth. She matches vulnerability with admirable comedic timing and keeps the character entertaining in office-based contexts that could have quickly become tedious. As the two Elizabeths Burton showcases her diversity, combining a meek and charming demeanor with a guttural and commanding presence in a sharp retort. She portrays a delicate amalgamation with a controlled splitting of characters, or personalities if so inclined, while fixated from a singular spot on stage. Burton’s control of movement, body positioning and inner strength is what truly makes this complicated hybridisation work; her ability to bring out the shades of light and dark within both Elizabeth characters is impressive, and it is executed with evident depth during moments that require stark contrast.


Director Benjamin Schostakowski also deserves praise for his ability to lead Burton’s detailed delivery of the two women. Overall Schostakowski manages to embrace the piece’s melodrama and predictable plot developments and harness their impact in a hilarious fusion with effortless style. His control of pace and surprising contrast strengthens the work’s evolution from comedic charm to thrilling theatricality as the plot progresses towards the climactic cliffhanger.


Notable mentions must also go to this production’s stellar design team. Neridah Waters’ choreography and Wil Hughes’ sound and AV design compliment one another fluidly to layer atop the comedic yet intrinsic elements and enhance Burton and Schostakowski’s coordinated craft. Jason Glenwright’s lighting design holds the shows’ realistic beginnings together with imaginative depth, as well as exploiting moments of mystical proportions with sophistication and pertinence. Glenwright goes from creating simple yet beautiful atmosphere to exploring eery environments to differentiate the Elizabeth psyches. Through smooth alterations and understated overlays Glenwright progresses from playing with sparkling disco dance floor or flashing thunderstorm to splitting the stage and the characters’ essences visually through juxtaposing green and orange hues. As distinctly different colours cast across the space and divide Burton’s body, the Burton’s physical performance of the two Elizabeth’s is extended into a purposeful yet beautiful manipulation of space.


With powerful creatives joining forces, Elizabeth I at Brisbane Powerhouse’s Wonderland festival is an exhilarating first instalment of a what looks to be a promising full-length production in the future.


Matilda Award Nominations 2014


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
Riva Soul
The Boy&Girl Performers
featuring Garret Lyon




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:



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




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




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




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

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