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Review: A Coupla Dogs

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Review: A Coupla Dogs

One cage, two dogs and five days of hope—all in just 60-minutes. A Coupla Dogs interweaves many adages about ‘man’s best friend’ in a tightly-written play (co-written by Sue Rider with Director, Andrew Cory).

Dogs are in rescue kennels for a variety of reasons: the abandoned ‘Christmas dog,’ unwanted litters, victims of cruelty, or those surrendered on the death of their owner. A Coupla Dogs presents life from the dog’s perspective. Or rather, that of the two dogs who share a cage at Beryl’s Kennels—receiving second-rate care while they wait for rescue or the inevitable ‘backroom’ death. Humans only appear as disembodied voices, mainly over the crackly holiday-camp-style speaker system (Beryl, voiced by Barb Lowing, with Fred and others performed by Andrew Cory, Noah Cory, Sue Rider, and Peter Crees).

 
Pictured (L to R) : Compelling performances by Tom Oliver (Young Dog) and Ron Kelly (Old Dog).  Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured (L to R): Compelling performances by Tom Oliver (Young Dog) and Ron Kelly (Old Dog). Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

 

The dog aspects of the production are often quite brilliant, and very entertaining. Everyday sayings are beautifully placed throughout the show (‘every dog has his day,’ ‘let sleeping dogs lie,’ ‘play dead,’ ‘It’s a dog’s life’ to include just a few). The musical choices are a nice touch. And the canine characteristics are entertainingly portrayed—from turning circles before sleep, to eating food and of course the wagging of the ‘tails’ (Movement Director/Assistant Director Matt Dear)

But this isn’t merely a tale (or even two tails) about the ways in which ‘man’s best friend’ is abandoned, imprisoned and even re-programed. Or how society treats its most vulnerable. It is also an opportunity to delve into some of the deeper philosophical questions of life. In the words of Young Dog (Tom Oliver), ‘what am I doing here?’ Compassion, fear, love, desire, hope and mortality wrapped up in thinking about the meaning of life. Think Animal Farm (George Orwell) meets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Tom Stoppard) and Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett). Two animal characters, dependent on powerful controlling outside forces, waiting to be ‘rescued’ and filling their time with discussions of philosophy, life and survival.

Don’t let me give you the impression it’s all gloom and doom. There are some very funny moments in this production—from the stage business (that squeaky tog, the tail-wagging, and those outfits) to the news-reporting/distortions by the ‘Channel Four’ reporter (“sponsored by Hard Force Dog Catchers”). And at the end we have a glimmer of hope…or is it just a flame for the moth to die in?

 
Pictured (L to R) : Ron Kelly (Old Dog) and Tom Oliver (Young Dog).  Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured (L to R): Ron Kelly (Old Dog) and Tom Oliver (Young Dog). Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured (L to R) : Ron Kelly (Old Dog) and Tom Oliver (Young Dog) in chains.  Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured (L to R): Ron Kelly (Old Dog) and Tom Oliver (Young Dog) in chains. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Dog Spoon Theatre has assembled a strong team for this world premiere, and I hope that it tours to festivals large and small. Great casting and absolutely compelling performances by Ron Kelly (Old Dog) and Tom Oliver (Young Dog). Fabulous Production Design (Josh McIntosh), lighting (Jason Glenwright), and Sound Design (Peter Crees, with intern Isabella Hall). And a well-written and directed new play. See it if you can.

Verdict: Great to see new, local work in the 2018 Brisbane Festival. See it while you can.

Audience tip: Go—but make it an evening for friends rather than younger members of the family. Book a babysitter so you can relax and enjoy the show (suitable for 16+, with adult themes, sexual references, and coarse language). Tickets $24 - $32 (25-28 September 2018 at 7:15pm, and 29 September at 4:30pm). A Coupla Dogs is at The Block, located in Theatre Republic, QUT Kelvin Grove. Make sure you spend some time in Theatre Republic to visit the various free ‘activations’ (including the book exchange and seed library) and enjoy the occasional free music performances. For more information on other Brisbane Festival events, check out the Brisbane Festival website. 

Catherine Lawrence, perspectives

The reviewer attended the Tuesday 25th September 2018 performance (7:15pm).

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Review: Kaput!

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Review: Kaput!

Thomas Flanagan delivers with Kaput! For many of us who grew up with variety acts on television and in films, the slapstick silliness, acrobatic humour, and well-observed wonder of Kaput! is a welcome return. And for the younger members of the audience? Let’s just say there was fascination and giggling in equal measure. Children young and old were enthralled and entertained (with occasional hysterical laughter from the adults in the room).

Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin would have been proud of this tribute to silent film. The attention to detail is perfect, with beautiful observation of all aspects of the genre creating much entertainment: popcorn, mime, gestures, intertitles, piano accompaniment, and even ‘no smoking.’

The story is a simple one. A cinema projectionist who has a love-hate relationship with his old-time projector, and who works hard to try to ensure his audience get to see the ‘Love Story’ film they have bought tickets for. As fans of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Norman Wisdom, and Laurel & Hardy will anticipate, all does not go smoothly for the ‘little man’: the screen collapses, the projector expires, and rain falls on his love story. But of course, the clown triumphs: the audience get their show, he wins his ‘girl’, and who cares if the stage is destroyed in the process?

 
Pictured: Thomas Flanagan ( Kaput! ).  Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography

Pictured: Thomas Flanagan (Kaput!). Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography

 

The audience interaction was perfect, and beautifully-managed. Make sure you don’t have your phone out (he’ll spot you!), put you hand up for the popcorn (you may end up wearing it anyway), be prepared to get involved (you may not have a choice in the matter). Look out for the fabulous acrobatic pratfalls with the step-ladder. And even if you didn’t recall the Wisdom and Forsyth ‘wallpaper (or decorator’s) sketch’, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the silly attempts to ‘repair’ the projection screen.

Silent clowning is an artform that few can excel at. In the 60-minute show Flanagan wordlessly held the attention of his audience (occasionally with the aid of a kazoo…and yes, they are on sale afterwards). “He talks!” was the surprised comment behind me, when he introduced ‘Ernesto’ and encouraged everyone to spread the word about the Show.

Pictured: ‘Wallpapering’ the screen (Thomas Flanagan,  Kaput! ).  Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography

Pictured: ‘Wallpapering’ the screen (Thomas Flanagan, Kaput!). Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography

Pictured: Thomas Flanagan ( Kaput! ), with a member of the 25th September audience  Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography

Pictured: Thomas Flanagan (Kaput!), with a member of the 25th September audience Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography

I hope they did all tell their friends. It’s impressive to see a show that entertains the under-10s and over-30s—a perfect choice for children as a ‘grandparent-minding’ activity during this mid-term break. ‘Kaput’ may be defined as meaning broken and useless. But with Thomas Flanagan in the spotlight (and Wayne at the piano), Kaput! is a show that works for all the family.

Verdict: 60 minutes of giggles for all ages. Grandparents will be top of the heap with this half-term treat.    

Audience tip: Tickets for Kaput! may still be available (25 & 27 September 2018 at 12 noon, and 26 & 28 September at 10am). $18 - $26 (families $65). Kaput! is at The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent, located in the Treasury Brisbane Arcadia (Southbank Cultural Centre Forecourt). Arrive early as there are usually buskers and other free entertainment, as well as a chance to stock up on fairy floss and popcorn before (or after) the show. For more information on other Brisbane Festival events, check out the Brisbane Festival website. 

Catherine Lawrence, perspectives

The reviewer attended the Tuesday 25th September 2018 performance (12 noon).

 

 

 

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Review: En Masse

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Review: En Masse

Preconceptions can be a big challenge—for performers and audience alike. En Masse was arguably the most heavily-promoted of the 2018 Brisbane Festival events. A featured world premiere, an image of a Circa artiste looks out from the front cover of the main ‘BrisFest’ brochure: a female performer suspended from silk/ropes, dressed in red with one foot arched back behind her head. The website gallery also includes an image of performers suspended from ropes, and the program information categorises the performance as ‘circus, music, theatre.’ I suggest it would have been more accurate to categorise this as opera, music, acrobatics-meets-dance—and exclude any images of the non-existent ropes. But perhaps that is the challenge of preparing publicity material while a work is still in development?

The Circa performers are world-class. During the 80-minute show we were treated to an impressive display of strength, tumbling, and movement. The You Tube link from the Festival website  demonstrates some of their exceptional strength, with impressive lifts (watch for the male performer who holds two female colleagues while standing on the shoulders of another male), jumps (I don’t think I’d have stood quite so still while colleagues was thrown, or jumped, over my head!) and balance (a woman standing on one leg on the head of a performer who is held on the shoulders of another colleague).

Robert Murray has a mellifluous tenor voice—perfect for songs from Schubert’s Winterreise (‘Winter Journey’) and Schwanengesang (‘Swan Song’). Murray’s performance was my personal highlight of the evening (unexpected for me as I don’t have opera at the top of my own list of art forms). The Schubert songs were selected by the director (Yaron Lifschitz) as the music for the ‘end of the world’ first half of the program—interspersed with electronic original music (Klara Lewis), which often prompted jerky movements from the Circa team. In addition, it is always nice to have two grand pianos together on any stage, with compelling work by Tamara-Anna Cislowska & Michael Kieran Harvey. But I must admit to preferring hearing the full orchestra when listening to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

However, together the event was not what I expected from reading the festival brochure and buying my ticket. No anticipated veering between ‘anarchic energy and exquisite loss,’ and I did not come away with the impression of two different ‘visions of humanity.’ En Masse can be translated as a lot, together, or collectively. Separately, great performances. We certainly saw a lot. But all together—I’ll leave for you to decide, if you get to see it...

If I were to go again, at least I’d be better prepared.

Verdict: Individually impressive. All together? not for me.   

Audience Notes: En Messe has 4 performances in the 2018 Brisbane Festival (19-21 September, 7;30pm). Tickets $40-$65 (plus booking fee). For more information on other Brisbane Festival events, check out the Brisbane Festival website. 

Catherine Lawrence, perspectives

The reviewer attended the Wednesday 19th September 2018 world premiere performance (7:30pm).

 

 

 

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Review: Home

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Review: Home

It is always great to see a production that combines, in an effortless way, different dramatic forms and genres. Home is a blend of mime, physical theatre, dance, slapstick, immersive performance art, and Ikea-style house construction—all held together with wandering minstrel-style musical narration (by Elvis Perkins).

From your first home (likely to be “your mother’s house”) to your own family home (“lay your foundation now”), where you spend time sleeping, showering, cleaning, cooking, working and celebrating, home is an important place in everyone’s life. During the 100-minute performance, the cast (Geoff Sobelle, Sophie Bortolussi, Ching Valdes-Aran, Justin Rose, Elvis Perkins, Ayesha Jordan, and Luke Whitefield) encourage us all to reflect on the nature of ‘home.’ They achieve this feat through a gradual building of a house (one of the best uses of the sizeable QPAC Playhouse stage I have seen in a long time), where we experience the passing of time as layers of moments spent using the building—from daily bathroom ablutions through to a major house party (where members of the audience are hosts and guests). At the end of the show, two members of the audience speak about special memories of their first homes, encouraging us all to reflect on the importance of our own houses (as the minstrel sings at the end, “thank heavens for the roof overhead”).

 
Picture: The cast, building the house.  Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Picture: The cast, building the house. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

 

It is fair to say this was not the ‘theatre’ production I had expected. Most of the show relies on the choreography/physical theatre, where the occasional musical numbers are the only verbal communication to the whole audience (the quotes in this review are from some of those songs). The exception is where the cast members engage directly with individual members of the audience—coaching them through the production when they are brought on-stage, or encouraging those seated in the stalls to assist with putting up the party lights.  

Pictured: ‘Layers’ of bathroom use.  Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured: ‘Layers’ of bathroom use. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured: Cast and audience members staging the house parties.  Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured: Cast and audience members staging the house parties. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

The choreography of movement is superb (particularly when it comes to the bathroom and kitchen pieces), and the incorporation of the audience members kept us all completely fascinated and entertained. Throughout the piece, audiences gasp at some of the illusions, laugh at the moments of celebration, and ponder the process of laying down the rich-layers of memory through which we turn a house into a home.  A fascinating show, and an excellent choice for ‘Act One’ of Brisbane festival 2018. Congratulations to creator/performer Geoff Sobelle, Director Lee Sunday Evans, and their co-creators (in particular the set designer, Steven Dufala, and lighting designer, Christopher Khul).

 
Pictured: Events at the house, including cast members (third from left: Geoff Sobelle) and audience participants.  Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured: Events at the house, including cast members (third from left: Geoff Sobelle) and audience participants. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography.

 

Verdict:  Fascinating.   

Audience tip: Signs at the entrance alert visitors to what is described as a “10+” rating as there is some full-frontal nudity in the ‘bathroom’ of the ‘house’ (a member of our party commented they wished their parents had let them go to anything with nudity when they were younger, so you may have your own views on the rating). Be prepared to get involved (don’t worry—you will be able to remain fully-clothed)!

Home had only five shows in the September 2018 Brisbane Festival program (12th-15th September, 7:30pm, with a matinee on Saturday 15th September at 1:30pm). For more information on other Brisbane Festival events, check out the Brisbane Festival website. 

Catherine Lawrence, perspectives

The reviewer attended the Saturday 15th September 2018 performance (1:30pm).

 

 

 

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Review: California Crooners Club

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Review: California Crooners Club

Coming out of a California Crooners Club show I felt like I’d just attended a Hollywood-style party, complete with live music led by a vocal quartet who were determined to ensure everyone has a good time. If you are looking for a fun evening, or an event to get the party started with friends or colleagues, then this is for you. And if you’re on your own that particular night then don’t worry—you’ll still feel as if you’d been at a party with some great friends.

Pictured (L to R): Hugh Sheridan, Johnny Manuel, and Emile Welman.  Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography.

Pictured (L to R): Hugh Sheridan, Johnny Manuel, and Emile Welman. Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography.

The format might not be new, but Hugh Sheridan has built on a great concept: a changing collection of talented singers who he entices to join him on stage for a fun evening of music that showcases their acapella, r&b, jazz, and salsa swagger (here with a little rap thrown in for good measure). Spicing things up a little, the California Crooners Club members don’t only line-up by the band but spend much of their time on the round central stage, as well as getting up-close-and-personal with their enthusiastic audience. The Club format is perfect for a festival, and very well-suited to a Spigeltent, giving everyone a chance to party along (particularly when the performers roam around the space).  By the end of the night, everyone was on their feet.

 
Pictured: Maiya Ociean. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography

Pictured: Maiya Ociean. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography

 

Since their first performance, a mere 3-years ago, the California Crooners Club has built an enthusiastic following, and both Sheridan and fellow original Crooner Emile Welman will be well-known to their admirers. Maiya Ociean and Johnny Manuel are a fantastic addition to the mix. Ociean (introduced as the first female member of the California Crooners Club) has a compelling stage presence, and a vocal range that will delight fellow-Aretha Franklin devotees. The 9th September show was the first time I had come across the exceptional talent that is Johnny Manuel—but I may be one of the last to have heard of him, as his 2017 America’s Got Talent performance of I Have Nothing continues to attract millions of views.

Live music is certainly being celebrated at the 2018 Brisbane Festival. The success of the California Crooners Club format is that the singers have a solid band behind them that includes a brass section who are happy to limbo or conga along when needed. In September 2018, the brass section comprised Jamie Kennedy (Trombone), Julian Palma (Sax), and Malcolm Wood, (Trumpet)—alongside Alex Wignall (piano and keys), Milush Piochaud (double bass, electric and synth bass) and Jacob Mann (drums).

 
Pictured: Hugh Sheridan leading the conga limbo.  Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography

Pictured: Hugh Sheridan leading the conga limbo. Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography

 

Highlights of the 70-minute show included the spine-chilling I Like it Like That (Ociean), Cole Porter’s Night & Day (wonderful harmonies from Manuel), James Arthur’s Say You Won't Let Go (enchanting close harmonies from all four singers), Midnight Train to Georgia (giving Gladys Knight & The Pips a run for their money), Beyonce’s Halo (Sheridan introduced the goosebumps-creating performance of this one) and the wonderful Aretha Franklin’s Respect (Ociean). And of course there was the crowd-pleasing Uptown Funk encore (so make sure you don’t leave without it!).

A great evening. And a bit of a shock to come out of the ‘nightclub’ and discover we were still in time to catch the 6:30pm performance of the free light show. The Treasury Brisbane Festival Arcadia is a great space to relax, to visit some of the food and beverage outlets, and of course to watch the free lighting show that is #CelebrateBrisbane River of Light. A really nice touch to have some local buskers providing free entertainment to the crowds (I hope you get to hear from Lennon Bosschieter who was performing a great selection of music that was just perfect for a Sunday afternoon session—always good to hear a little Tracy Chapman and Johnny Cash in the same set). However, some of the later buskers might need to have their sound system turned down a little lower, as Sheridan commented that the sound outside was not best-suited to their quieter Spiegeltent numbers. But that’s a small inconvenience. Don’t let it stop you catching the show if you can, and enjoy a rich medley of performances that showcase the vocal talent of each of the four members of this latest California Crooners Club combination.

 
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Verdict: Buy tickets if you still can. Everyone loves a party—especially when you can join in the fun with the four charismatic performers (and particularly when you get the chance to hear Ociean and Manuel).  

Audience tip: Linger after the Show to visit the Brisbane Festival Arcadia, and perhaps catch the free #CelebrateBrisbane River of Light shows (3 shows daily during the festival until 29th September 2018), and listen to some of the Arcadia buskers. If you purchased the Premium tickets for this show, be aware there is no separate queue, but there are reserved seats inside for you (closest to the stage). Everyone gets a great view as the performers ‘work the space.’ My personal recommendation is to sit on the first row of elevated seats (the central seats on this row are Premium, and at the side are General Admission). Bring your dancing shoes and perhaps pick up a glass of your favourite beverage from the bar inside the venue.

California Crooners Club has only eight shows in the September 2018 Brisbane Festival program and a number fo the remaining shows are already showing as limited availability (Saturday 8th  was the only 9:30pm show. On 9th, 15th and 16th September, the shows are all at 4:45pm. 11-14th September shows are all at 7:00pm). For more information on other Brisbane Festival events, check out the Brisbane Festival website. 

Catherine Lawrence, perspectives

The reviewer attended the Sunday 9th September 2018 performance (4:45pm).

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Review: Qweens on King

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Review: Qweens on King

Brisbane Festival certainly opened with a bang this year, with a number of major events taking place across the city on the official first day—including the celebration of Pride, Qweens on King. As an official opening event, Qweens on King had opening speeches, a range of musicians, boylesque, drag and comic performers. But at its heart was the first mass wedding of LGBTIQ couples—and when it came to exchanging their vows, the event was transformed.

Pictured: Members of the wedding party. Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography

Pictured: Members of the wedding party. Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography

Michelle Diconski’s powerful book, Ghost Wife (published in 2013), weaves Dicinoski’s own story—of travelling to Canada to marry, when marriage to the love of her life was not yet possible in Australia—with that of the many couples whose stories had previously remained hidden. Following the 2017 vote in Australia, and change in legislation, the sixteen participants in the 8th September celebration were able to exchange their vows ‘at home,’ in front of their family, friends, and members of the local community.

Andrea Kirwin was a fantastic choice as the opening act, with a selection of soulful, and highly-appropriate pieces which demonstrated the versatility and range of this wonderful singer. I particularly enjoyed ‘Let’s Stay Together,’ and will certainly be off to buy an album to hear more of Kirwin’s own music. It’s a pity that the heavens opened as Kirwin began her set, leading many of the audience to dash for cover and conversation, rather than listen to the performance.

 
 

Hosts, the "Prince of Polyester," comedian Bob Downe (Mark Trevorrow), and the glamorous, witty and ever-sassy ring-bearer, Shivannah (Fez Fa’anana), set an upbeat tone—introducing the opening speakers, and welcoming Katie Noonan and the celebrant (Gai Lemon) to the stage. They were also joined by a wonderful Auslan signer (also pictured, above... Pictures credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography). But it was always going to be members of the wedding parties who stole this ‘show.’

 
Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography

Picture credit: Creative Futures Photography

 

Congratulations to each of the eight couples who invited us to your wedding. Carrying umbrellas, you entered the stage through a crowd of well-wishers, friend and family members (serenaded by Katie Noonan, who greatly improved on Kermit the Frogs’ performance of The Rainbow Connection). But when it came to exchanging your vows, the umbrellas were all down, the rain had stopped, and we were all too busy listening to your special words to look up into the sky to spot rainbows. We joined with members of your family who shed the occasional tear of joy (see pictures, below. Picture Credit: Creative Futures Photography), applauded your highly-personal vows and pledges, and wish you and your families every future happiness together.

 
 

Verdict: You can’t have rainbows without a little rain…

Audience tip: Look out for future opportunities to hear Andrea Kirwin, and make sure you put King Street on your list as a place for a pre-Tivoli meal, or just a great place to meet up with friends.

Held on the opening day of Brisbane Festival 2018, the free event was also the official opening for Brisbane’s 27th Pride (which also runs during September.  For more information about other Brisbane Festival events, check out the Brisbane Festival website or Facebook page. 

Catherine Lawrence, perspectives

The reviewer attended the Saturday 8th September 2018 celebration.

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Review: Memorial

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Review: Memorial

Memorial is a stunning piece of music, which enters into a dialogue with the performer (Helen Moore) of Alice Oswald’s epic poem. War and poetry may seem strange bedfellows, but war poetry is among the most powerful and cherished of the form (I’m thinking here of Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum est, Henry Reed’s Naming of Parts, and even Homer’s The Iliad). Oswald’s Memorial: A Version of Homer’s Illiad has been described as a remarkable, luminous, and affecting obituary, and a poem which is “a meditation on the loss of human life.” Oswald distils and reimagines Homer’s Illiad, touching on the over 200 soldiers who died in battle—capturing our attention from the opening line, “The first to die was PROTESILAUS.”

Composer Jocelyn Pook has produced a spectaular piece of music, which enters into an inspiring dialogue with the spoken word. Under the leadership of Jonathan Peter Kenny (music director) the musicians and singers were more than up to the challenges of the score—particularly thanks to the sublime voices of Loni Fitzpatrick (soprano), Jonathan Peter Kenny (counter tenor), Kelly McCusker (soprano), Melanie Pappenheim (mezzo soprano), Belinda Sykes (Bulgarian singer) and Tanja Tzarovska (Macedonian singer). I really hope that the team produce a recording for sale which combines the music, song and spoken word.

As the many recordings of the great Richard Burton demonstrate, the spoken word, particularly when illuminated by a great score (who can forget War of the Worlds), makes compelling listening. Helen Morses feat of memory, performing the poem throughout the 105-minute show, held the rapt attention of the preview audience. At times, the only sound to be heard was the squeak of stalls seat L29 (hint to QPAC—oil needed!).

The staging was epic in scale, and certainly aimed high (director Chris Drummond, concept Chris Drummond & Yaron Lifschitz, and producer Lee-Anne Donnolley). Fantastic lighting design (Nigel Levings) and some striking aspects to the set design (Michael Hankin)—particularly the blue water. However, I found some of the repetitive marching distracting, and felt that Morse’s performance was better-served when speaking directly to the audience (memorably when stepping over the footlights to engage with us) or when round the ‘campfire’ with smaller groups from the chorus.  Congratulations to each of the members of the 215-strong chorus for bringing each of the memorialised soldiers briefly to life. Perhaps a future staging might more directly link each member of the chorus with the names memorialised in the poem—building the on-stage presence to a crescendo? A greater focus on naming each person might enhance the re-telling of each character and their death. And I’d love to have seen the musicians and singers in more of a direct dialogue with the performer—perhaps stage left to the performers stage right movements? But then… those who can, do, and those who review… dream.

Me? I’m off to buy a copy of the poem, and will watch out for the CD of the music and speech.

Verdict: Go. Revel in the music, marvel at Helen Moore’s compelling feat of memory—and then reflect.  

Audience tip: Linger after the Show to visit the Brisbane Festival Arcadia, and perhaps catch the free #CelebrateBrisbane River of Light shows (three shows daily during the festival until 29th September 2018).

Memorial ran for 4 shows during the opening weekend of Brisbane Festival 2018 (Friday 7th & Saturday 8th  7:30pm performances, in addition to matinees on Saturday [1:30pm] and Sunday 9th [3:00pm]). For more information on other Brisbane Festival events, check out the Brisbane Festival website. 

Catherine Lawrence, perspectives

The reviewer attended the Friday 7th September 2018 preview.

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